Covid-19 and Other Stories…

Hi there, how art thou?

I took a little hiatus from writing blogs about travel because I was honestly going through something difficult in my personal life. However I also chose shy away from writing due to the fact that many people are suffering, afraid and facing a variety of uncertainties. From where I stand, as much as I want to uplift others and take their minds off of things, I wanted to be respectful to those who had become ill with Covid-19 or have had their lives turned upside-down financially and otherwise. I hope that everyone is doing their part to be safe, staying indoors and keeping up morale as much as possible. We have a good chance of coming out on the other side of this if we exercise discipline and responsibility when it is needed most, right now.

At this present juncture, a lot can be said about Covid-19. I feel a bit sad to write this blog post as my heart goes out to the people who have lost their lives or loved ones to the virus…

The day before the lockdown began on March 12th here in The Philippines, I was forced to go through the whole ‘panic-buying’ episode since it was extremely sudden and it wasn’t clear if groceries would remain open or even be stocked due to the rush. I was alone and so, I could only take as many items as I could carry on myself, not a good start I thought. I stood in cues for up to three hours from all the way outside the supermarket right up to the cashiers. I almost didn’t make it home in time for the curfew that particular day. President Rodrigo Duterte’s words echoed in my head ” Shoot them dead…” anyone who defied the lockdown orders.

I have since done my best to stay indoors, cut out the delivery services and I even quit my exercise regime at the gym and pool to be as safe as possible. I was actually doing quite well, swimming daily. I have since been indoors 98% of the time, finding things to do such as working, looking at movies, playing play-station and sleeping in-between the aforementioned. I also downloaded two books I wanted to read. One being A House for Mr Biswas by V.S. Naipaul. This book has one of the most captivating introductions I have ever read.

Anyway, at first it was absolutely shocking to find out that taxis weren’t running and I was ‘essentially’ stuck. ‘Essential’ has come to be a very important word in these times. I am happy to say that I am within walking distance to most things I need but I have not been able to get certain products that I heavily relied upon before the outbreak, such as bread, garlic and potatoes, staples in most households. This situation has forced me to become creative in terms of finding healthy ways of living.

My personal experience has been transformative mainly due to fact that I have been forced out of many bad habits I was not aware I had. I have since given up eating junk-food and discovering I am much more capable than I had given myself credit for. For reasons as simple as not having a washing machine, I have had to wash everything from towels to bed-sheets by hand and frankly it’s not that bad as I save a considerable amount on laundry. I usually wash at night so that my items would have dried by midday the following day.

Since most places are closed, simple things like paying the water and electricity bill have become increasingly complicated. Google-maps shows that everywhere is still open and that I can walk into any 711 and pay my bills. However that is far from the case and I have been forced to scour the internet to find ways of paying before I am left without my utilities. It has happened once before when I was not aware that I had to ask the front desk for the bills since my landlady usually delivers it herself. Yes, I spent almost a week filling water at the pool every night in the cover of darkness, to run my little household. You would be surprised how much water is used on a daily basis if you had to fetch it yourself. I will chalk this experience up to another character building exercise.

My birthday has since come and gone, quarantine style. If I had not decided to do something a bit different it would have passed unmarked by memory. Thankfully other April babies have become my strength in this time. The solidarity is real. I ordered a 3-day Juice Detox Set and found it was the ideal time to cleanse myself of bad eating habits, give my body the nourishment and care it deserves and frankly teach myself a little bit about discipline once again. It really was a challenge just drinking fruit juices every time I got hungry. I even became light headed some time in day two. But at the end of it all, I felt really good about myself having been able to carry out this form of ‘fasting’. I realized all the chocolates I was so accustomed to eating were merely props, habits and comfort food, things I needed to fill my day, often due to boredom and negative thinking patterns.

I hope this post finds you (all my readers) well and that you are feeling mentally ok in this time of isolation and economic uncertainty. Feel free to reach out to me at any point, just to talk if it would make you happy to do so. Big hug to all my readers. Stay safe.

-Naomi

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