We all made plans for 2020. Our next travel destination, a business proposal, a new routine for a happier lifestyle, a time for family, and a time for ourselves. When the Sinulog Festival ended last January, I was slowly switching into active mode to start my year with a bang. But when the Coronavirus disease outbreak happened and the gradual lockdown of provinces and cities in the Philippines started, I was clenching into my hope that one day this will come to pass. This won’t take long, I told myself. But it’s already almost 4 months that I am staying at home after I decided to not go out because COVID-19 is still here.
I Decided To Write Coronavirus A Letter Because… Why Not?
March 5, 2020, when I attended a press conference at a hotel in Cebu City, it never came to mind that the next day would be the beginning of myself being on home quarantine, away from the usual rounds I do as a blogger. I cover social events so I can write about them on my website for people to read. Even after that, I have decided to drop by a restaurant near where I live because I am longing for my favorite fried chicken isol and coleslaw.
I even ordered another set to take-away for my youngest sister, Priscilla, who arrived days ago from General Santos to attend an appointment. She was waiting at home and I was thinking, she might want something to eat tonight. Days have passed and turned to months, my sister is still here. She couldn’t take a plane back home because flights were canceled. Coronavirus is something. It made everyone come to a halt, but everything else keeps on changing. I don’t get it. Coronavirus is really something.
Stay At Home, Yes, But…
For the past three months, I’ve spent 100% of my time at home, mainly working on my blogs. As an online content creator and entrepreneur, I generally work from home anyway, so it wasn’t especially difficult for me to be at home. Yet, the whole Coronavirus situation is still a mad challenge for all of us.
Like everyone else, I don’t know when all this is going to be over. And I don’t know how life will look like after the pandemic. Nonetheless, I feel like we’re going to ignore all this too easily. If someone had told me that I wouldn’t be able to leave home for a few weeks and that I would cancel my holiday because of a virus that infests the world, I’d probably laugh at it.
I thought this won’t take long, until such time I came to realize that the supposedly trip to Bantayan Island didn’t happen. First, it was canceled due to the Yolanda typhoon and the earthquake in Bohol. Now, the pandemic did this to me. I was even scheduled to a 3-day stay at a prestigious beach resort in Mactan, but it hit me big time when I looked at the calendar and it shouted back at me, “JUNE 2020”. Summer. Is. Gone.
Few Little Valuable Lessons
I wanted to establish a small company initially so I can have another source of income. But due to the Coronavirus disease outbreak, it came into me that doing so does not let me become financially stable. All of a sudden, it came into me that one day, when I am ready to become my real own boss, I can provide jobs for other people. One day, I might be able to build an empire that provides and gives answers to other people’s why’s.
Every time I publish a blog post during the pandemic, I would be receiving a message or two on Facebook from readers letting me know that they are very thankful for the information I provided and made things clearer for them to understand the situation. Because of the pandemic, I became more appreciative of little thank you’s and acts of kindness from random people.
Cash flow from my blogging work became lesser and more difficult. I have failed to achieve weekly targets and I am running out of funds because clients are freezing projects and losing customers. They would ask me to give them discounts for my publishing charges, which I did. But sooner or later, I would be receiving emails or text messages from them asking me for my mailing address because they would be sending me essential things like groceries or something to nibble at night when I’m working, just because of the consideration I have given them in these difficult times. That was something heartwarming.
A random reader even donated via my PayPal account because I started posting videos of past concerts in Cebu. The reader said it gave him (or her) something to look forward to while on home quarantine because somehow the videos I posted gave him entertainment at home. One even mentioned that he should have watched the Moffatts concert that had happened two years ago in Lapu-Lapu City and he might be one of those fans who sang along “Girl Of My Dreams” and “Miss You Like Crazy.”Because of the pandemic, I became more appreciative of little thank you’s and acts of kindness from random people. Click To Tweet
Personally, I started to appreciate more the small business people of home cooks. The perseverance and hard work in preparing food and delivering orders across the neighborhood. I have nothing bad to say about dining at fast food joints and restaurants, but the opportunity the home cooks have found would tell us that we are not limited to just fast food and fancy restaurants, which we usually eat out when we have something to spare.
I would just laugh about it, but my mama, who’s not into gadgets (“Sige ka na lang bili bagong cellphone!“) and social media (“Palagi na lang nasa harap ng computer!“) would suddenly invite us for a video call on Messenger her voice almost reaching the end of the football field and her nose almost touching the screen. It’s also comforting to have a group chat with old friends who are now living abroad, sharing the sentiments of their own situation overseas, and wishing the situation will come to ease hoping for this year’s reunion in December.
I don’t want to forget about all of this. Instead, I want to take a few little valuable lessons. That’s why I decided to write Coronavirus a short letter:
I discovered that the most precious things in life are not things. Mostly, it’s connections. Deep, human connections. Click To Tweet
There’s a lot that the pandemic has taught me. I realized how much you have let us reflect on the lives we usually take for granted, and I discovered that the most precious things in life are not things.
Mostly, it’s connections. Deep, human connections.
No one is untouched. In every way, the Coronavirus outbreak affected all of us. So, I see a lot of folks whining, but there’s a better approach: to keep our minds calm and practice self-reflection. Remember, these are the little things in life that really matter.
And I am hoping that you won’t let us forget our responsibilities to take care of ourselves and of others.
P.S. I am just thinking that Mother Earth got angry at us, she snapped and cried stress balls. But deep inside, I know she still loves us and her rage will soon come to an end… as a mother always does for her kids.
Wait! But I won’t forget you. Begone! The door is always open for you to get out. We, Filipinos, are die-hard fans of beauty pageants, but you’re the only ‘corona’ we despise.
Moreover, I will not let go of my dreams and my plans in life. I don’t like to stop working and just counting sheep until it’s too late. I will still move forward even when Coronavirus is around. I might be limited and progress might be slow, but I am very much determined to find more answers to my why’s. This pandemic taught me a lot of things. It even gave me an understanding of how to become more creative in my work. It even gave me extra time to go back to the drawing board and re-evaluate my plans for this year and the years to come. I was able to appreciate more about what I can do and how I can help others find a path for them to know what to do in the future.
The pandemic is somewhat a blessing in disguise, but I totally want Coronavirus away from here.
To My Readers
Before I put this to close, I would like to encourage my readers to consider this:
It’s our duty to protect ourselves and other people to not get sick of the Coronavirus disease. In these difficult times, what we can contribute is to be responsible for our actions.
● Be supportive of our medical frontliners.
● Be careful about one’s health.
● Be alert in times of need.
● Be kind to yourself and others.
Let us encourage each other to be always ready to fight COVID-19. Please pledge that you care to #StopTheSpread of the virus that already took thousands of lives. Stay at home at all times. Wear your face mask when you go out to buy essentials. Wash your hands with soap and water. Follow the social distancing rules. It’s a simple gesture but your consideration will come a long way. ?
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This story is a contribution to ComCo Southeast Asia’s “Write to Ignite Blogging Project”. The initiative is a response to the need of our times, as every story comes a long way during this period of crisis. Igniting and championing the human spirit, “Write to Ignite Blog Project” aims to pull and collate powerful stories from the Philippine blogging communities to inspire the nation to rise and move forward amidst the difficult situation. This project is made possible by ComCo Southeast Asia, co-presented Eastern Communications, and sponsored by Electrolux, Jobstreet, and Teleperformance.
Photo (except the featured image and project key visual) courtesy of the United Nations COVID-19 Response on Unsplash.