Reality Bites

That Weekend Errand Girl In The (Sort of) Eased Quarantine

For the record, it’s been months and the pandemic is still out there. The number of cases is still on the rise (DOH, I fudgingly don’t believe your records…not convinced). This metro in +63 land is still on quarantine in various forms.

The decision to lighten up the restrictions was something I’m not solid in favor of. This is not because I don’t care of the economy (cause it is a global dilemma and sadly more Filipinos are also having a hard time). It’s more because of my disappointment of how the government handles and reacts on this situation, whereas it reflects how our country is way behind.

When the quarantine has been eased, it gave room for people to have more options to work on their essentials (and unfortunately, more excuses to consider what is essential indeed). By the way, THIS AIN’T AN EXCUSE TO BE RUNNING CARELESSLY WILD AND FREE. I had to keep that on caps lock to totally emphasize. For the record, we were all able to be content with what’s on the shelves of our neighborhood grocery or convenience store or market. As for us, it is just a way to look for other places to buy for our needs, aside from what’s within vicinity.

Being an errand girl outside for me only happens on weekends. Weekdays are work from home days at the moment (grateful, fine, thank you). When GCQ got implemented last June, that was the only time I tried going out of bounds from my beloved territory.

Salute to the commuters. I will never get tired of saying that. I can speak for them cause I was raised not to be too dependent with having a car nor to take advantage of people who own one (Perhaps, that’s how I got my traveler’s itch too). During the stricter quarantine phase, we survived going to the nearest grocery and market, walking with a trolley (cause it ain’t that far). GCQ led to allowing public transports but of limited numbers. My to and fro is just via Grab car. While the experience was a breeze, my heart goes out to employees (especially in service industries) who find it difficult to commute just to support consumers and to earn for their needs.

Here’s what the weekend errand girl went thru with a few perspectives. Today, I’m just sharing my recent experience during GCQ as there have been recent change in regulations as of August 2. This is just taking into account what has transpired during GCQ.

Majority wear masks. Yeap, let’s be clear on this, it’s majority. While I don’t want to deep dive on this here, it’s clear that NO ONE should be excused in not wearing face masks, the moment you step outside your house.

Shields are installed in vehicles like Grab car and taxis. Honestly, this concerned me due to my claustro side of things. The mask alone makes me feel I’m too covered, added an extra cover like a plastic shield made it more uneasy for me. Despite that, I try to make my phobic mode not get the best of my commuting. I just keep in my head, “it’s for your own safety”.

Business establishments are not only doing their best to survive, but they’re also doing their best to ensure the safety of their consumers and employees. Sanitation mats, alcohol / hand sanitizers, temperature checks, UV protectors in escalators, mall staff guiding people to distance and move around accordingly — these are things one will notice when you go inside a mall or public establishment.

Restaurants and food businesses also made changes. Though this has been happening since day one of the quarantine, but it’s seen all the more now that businesses are allowed to reopen. For the sake of just documenting how it’s going now, I tried dining in.

Dine in is very limited, as capacity has to be limited too. Seats are placed with stickers as where you should only sit. Other restos have plastic shields in tables. Less human intervention except in taking orders and serving your food are the obvious ones. Dining in will require you to fill up a personal info form and temperature check before ordering and using their premises. And if you decide to dine in, you just have to eat, drink, rest a bit and then leave.

As I type, we got an update that effective August 4, Metro Manila along with some nearby provinces will be going back to MECQ (somewhat similar regulations during ECQ, needless to explain further). This will take two weeks to give way to the raising concerns by medical frontliners — the increasing influx of patients in hospitals and stresses already incurred by these guys who’ve been tirelessly saving peoples’ lives since March.

It might take a while for us to have the opportunity to extend our movements for our basic needs and wants. It may seem frustrating and make us wonder with a couple of why’s, how’s and until when’s. To wrap this up, my unpopular opinion might shake you (dear reader), but I’d better say it minus the sugarcoating. It will be more difficult and painstaking if we keep asking questions. By now, as hard as a big pill to swallow nor a huge open wound to close, all we can do now is just face this and go through it. I know there are more rightful people to blame, but we can’t keep blaming all the time and not do anything about it on our own. Easier said than done? Maybe, perhaps. I’m not saying it’s bad that we wonder, ponder and feel bad about this. But instead of dwelling into them, we’d better in baby steps adjust and take this life as it is, in whatever way we can for now. As a lot of professionals and inspirational speakers (even) have said, we will ‘never’ go back to the way it was — learn and reset with what’s given in front of us. Lastly, trust (that even if we don’t see it yet) this shall definitely pass — just don’t keep challenging until when, He knows this better than we do. Before we know it, by then we have adjusted, lived a new and better normal and survived a global battle.

Time to adjust to the modified and enhanced (parang noodles lang),

Calai

Author

calaithewriter@gmail.com

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