Journal Entry No. 1
The president of the Philippines, my country, announced tonight that the National Capital Region (NCR) will be placed under some sort of a lockdown/quarantine for one month due to the rising cases of COVID-19, the new coronavirus that has killed nearly 4,300 people around the world, and which impact has compelled the World Health Organization (WHO) to call it a pandemic on March 11 EDT.
I live in one of the biggest cities in the NCR, just 30 minutes away from the city where I work as a marketing professional. I live there with my boyfriend who I have been with for over two years. A couple of days ago I had planned to leave the NCR to stay at our family house in the province, which is four hours away, since rumours of a lockdown had been circulating since the outbreak became a global concern. I wanted to be at the same place with my family — my parents and siblings — in the event a lockdown is implemented. My work is not suspended, but we were allowed to work off-site; thus, allowing me to go home. My boyfriend and I had agreed that it would be best to do that. He, on the other hand, will stay at their house where his family resides. This morning, I left the city and arrived at our house in the province.
In the evening after the president made his announcement in a seemingly drunken behavior — a recurring style which never ceases to surprise and annoy across social media –, I felt anxious, and then scared. A lockdown means shit is getting serious. Under an inept and corrupt government, not to mention abusive, this could end ugly for many people, including myself and my family. What if I already contracted the virus and I’m one of those who just don’t exhibit symptoms? What if I pass on the virus to my parents, who have pre-existing conditions? What if supplies don’t last and we experience starvation? Why is the action plan shared by the president so confusing, and, quite frankly, nonsensical in some parts? How are the people below the poverty line going to cope with this pandemic with minimal support from the government? As usual, the poor are the most susceptible to risks during times like this. It was pretty distressing, but having known what kind of government officials we have for over three years now, it was also depressingly unsurprising.
When my anxieties and fears subsided, I lied down and decided to rest. But before I could, a thought hit me, which made me tear up a bit: I wouldn’t be able to see my partner for a month. The longest we were apart since we started dating was seven days. He is the one that gets me through bad times, and I get those a lot. I am, in fact, having one now as of this writing. The following weeks are going to be tough if the outbreak doesn’t slow down. I hate thisss.