This is the second summer time that we stayed home. I got used to spending a lot of time at home due to quarantine that I forget how “fun” this season is. Summer time is for vacation and exploring new places! People travel and majority go to the beach to escape the summer heat. But a beach trip for me is in the far, far future. With an ongoing pandemic that shows no signs of slowing down and border restrictions still in place, it’s such a hassle right now to go on a trip even if we can do it. And besides, Covid is still waving!We can probably travelsafelywhen 90% of the population is vaccinated and we have what they call “herd immunity”. But that would probably take years!
A few days ago, I watched the documentary “The Year Earth Changed” and it is so moving that now I am thinking of staying put and refrain from traveling for a while so that Mother Nature can heal. Maybe for a year or two so that we can help our planet. If you haven’t watched it yet, please do so. I did not realize the extent of the impact to our planet because of our thirst to see the world.It’s still an eye openereven if we know that somehow our carbon footprint is doing a lot of harm to the planet. I sincerely hope that this major pause to movement will have a major effect to the world we lived in.
And just like that, January is over and we still cannot travel! Looks like traveling will be a thing of the past in the next few months or even year/s. We still don’t have the vaccine in our shores. Not that I am particularly excited to get it. I can wait until they include some other strains in the vaccine. As they say, save the best for last!
Anyway, I would like try to travel domestically just to visit other places butrestrictions are still aplenty. Plus you need to be covid tested if you plan to fly. Then at work, we have to get permission to travel to another place. And leave credits will be used for quarantine time, if any. Upon return, you have to get a doctor’s clearance to go back to the office. It’s a lot of hassle to travel even within our country and so much more if you are traveling abroad.
Maybe, I should post throwbacks? I miss traveling. I want to go back to Japan! Imiss that country. Maybe, Fukuoka and Nagasaki will be the next destination. Whenever I read emails ofairline ticket sale, I get exciteduntil I remembered that we are still in a pandemic.Hopefully, borders will soon open once a lot of people have taken their vaccine. And I hope we will also be allowed to travel without restrictions!
For now, let’s relax in our own home. For people working from home, try to take a break every hour. Even for just a minute to two to rest the eyes or stretch the arms. Try to find something to do as well aside from a marathon of Netflix shows during the weekend. Take a walk and enjoy life. Don’t forget to wear your mask! Remember, if you are reading this then you are a lucky person because you are still alive!
What are your coping mechanism with a prolonged stay at home directive? Most of us still have movement restrictions. We aren’t able to go out as much as we like. And even if we are allowed to go out, most of us are still afraid to do so with the covid-19 virus still out and about.During this pandemic we found ways to cope. I did experience cabin fever so I went out of the house and just drive around! Sometimes without leaving the car. Just go on a joyride to see the outside world and then drive-thru at the nearest McDonald’s.
During the first few weeks of the pandemic, my activity was cleaning the house. Arranging things and trying to have a Marie Kondo moment. Then after that, it was learning how to cook and actually likingit. Yes, I don’t know how to cook but was able to learn how while on quarantine. I got good feedback for my Baked Salmon, Sushi Bake, Chorizo Pasta and BBQ Ribs. I guess this pandemic is not so bad. Forced to stay at home. Boredom kicked in and boom! You find something worthwhile to do that your family will appreciate. Ha!ha!
After the kitchen stint the next one was looking at the garden. This by far is the most expensive hobby that anyone can have during this pandemic. It’s addicting but nope, I am not yet that crazy to buy an expensive Monstera Deliciosa. But, I did revamp our garden which cost a lot of money. Plus I bought plants, pots and plant racks! I am a certified “Plantita” now because not only do I go straight to my plants to water, talk and check on them but I also know how to repot and plant! Slowly, I can feel my “green thumb” sprouting as well. I never imagined myself actually doing the gardening. We have a gardener that comes every month to tend the garden. Usually, I just watch him cut the grass and repot some plants.
I am not sure if this is because I am getting older. But, I enjoy gardening now. Not only me but my circle of friends as well. We chat and video call each other to discuss our plants! No more discussions on the new fashion, bags or shoes but instead we are excited to share our new “babies”! We collect varieties of Calathea, Caladium, Monstera, Philodendron etc. And mind you, plants are getting expensive everyday. The demand is so high and supply is already low.
My kids were shaking their heads every time I arrived home with new plants. Some plants were given to me by neighbors though but some are bought at the nearby garden center. I know I should stop buying plants. But it’s so hard especially if there’s a pretty one that caught my eye. My usual defense is to say that we are helping revive the economy by buying and spending our money. Ha!ha!
Having plants at home is therapeutic though. It’s like a happy pill. A new leaf sprouting is an eye candy and can make the day a little brighter than yesterday. What about you? What are your new quarantine hobby? I hope you find one that is interesting, totally new and out of character!
Manychanges to one’s normal life happened in the last few months. And not only in my country but the whole world. Most of us were quarantined. We were afraid of an enemy that we cannot see. We became paranoid about getting sick and dying because of a virus. No one is judging anyone of their fears. Everyone were affected one way or another. I am thankful everyone in the family are currently healthy. We had a couple of scary moments thinking one of them got the virus. Luckily, it wasn’t covid although still a respiratory problem.
Metro Manila where I live will be lifting the hard lockdown and will move to what they call GCQ or General Community Quarantine on the first of June. Doing so will help our country’s economy recover by opening businesses. There are still so many restrictions but at least a lot of people can now go back to work with the availability of mass transportation. Air travel is allowed with major airports opening. However, international destinations inbound and outbound are still limited. I guess no one really wants to travel and be quarantined at their destination as well as at home upon arrival from a business or leisure trip. Two weeks ago I cancelled ourTaipei trip in July. My companions and I are too scared to travel and be quarantined in our destination or when we come back from traveling. I am collecting travel funds, travel vouchers nowadays! When you buy promo fares, you’ll end up with that. Well, for the airlines that I chose to fly for the cancelled trips. Ha!ha! Anyway, I really hope that when October comes, the virus is nowhere to be seen. Otherwise, another travel cancellation and this time to Europe will happen.
I read that the new normal in traveling will entail going to the airport earlier because aside from the usualsecurity check, there will also be a health check. Online check in is required. Lines will probably be long since we have to follow social distancing protocols. That we need to wear a mask is a given. It is mandated by the government. Failure to wear a mask in public will incur a hefty fine and you might even end up in jail. We will know more about this in the coming days when airports finally open and we get news of the flow.
I am thankful though that during the quarantine I was able to reconnect with old friends and made new friends albeit online. With nowhere to go and our busy lives suddenly slowing down, we have time to actually catch up with one another. Some people became busy harnessing their baking and cooking abilities and turning it into a small business. While I become busy drooling over the yummy food they were selling and then always end up buying them!
I think I will miss being on a total lockdown. I dread going back to the traffic and pollution. I somehow liked the stillness of the street. I enjoyed the supply run where the roads are so eerily quiet
I hope tomorrow when we start to go out from our home again we willremember that the virus is still out there. It’s not eradicated yet. There’s still no available vaccine. The “new normal” will be us making sure we protect ourselves as well as protecting others. So, don’t forget to wear your mask and to bring along a small alcohol or hand sanitizer wherever you go!