In the Philippines, quarantine because of the pandemic COVID19 started last March 16, 2020 and lasts to this day. It has gone through varying degrees . Community Quarantine which restricted people from going outside their homes was the first implemented. It progressed to stricter Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), then Modified ECQ (with essential businesses opened), then General Community Quarantine (GCQ) with additional businesses opened and Modified GCQ (still with more businesses opened). Ideally, the progression is from the strictest to the laxest but as the degree of cases fluctuated, the degree of quarantine varied accordingly.
Starting today, August 4, 2020 Metro Manila , Laguna , Cavite and Bulacan are placed back under MECQ from GCQ. Another evaluation will be done after August 18, 2020.
Illustration of Philippine Star:
So, we have been confined to our homes for more than five months now. All of us found ways to survive the quarantines and below are some of the productive ways I did or observed from family and friends.
I’ve been thinking of trying my hand at blogging and the quarantine provided me the time and impetus to do it. This is my first attempt at blogging. I’d like to share information that will either:
-have some benefit to my readers
– give information about our culture, language or other random thoughts and observations, or
– give them a reason to smile.
If I can do a write-up which accomplishes all of those objectives, better.
- Answer Online Paid Surveys
I joined some survey sites which paid for respondent’s opinion on some issues or products. Surveys are not available all the time and some surveys pick a specific age range or gender. The pay per survey is small so this is not really a good source of or job alternative. Still, I earned something while just sharing my thoughts.
I planted some vegetables in pots and in–between ornamentals. Most of the time I just trimmed hedges and repotted some plants. Sometimes I just cleaned the yard tended my compost pits-heaps (these are shallow pits which becomes heaps as they get full until I cover them), put compost on the plants or just water them.
It seems gardening is a favorite activity among my friends as I’ve seen lots of them posting their plants and gardens in Facebook or sent photos through emails or our chat groups.
It’s a good way of connecting with nature and refreshing the environment even if in a small way.
- General Cleaning/Decluttering
My friend Chit David Guillermo took the time to have a general cleaning of her home including their bodega.
Many have done this, I’ve read Prof. Winnie Monsod found P100, 000 when she cleaned her home office. Some celebrities gave away some of their clothes and home items.
- Repair/Remodel Old Clothes
My friend Elsie Jorvina Ocampo used the sewing lessons we learned in our Home Economic class and remodeled old clothes to new dresses, blouses, dusters and face masks. She hand sewed them.
Me, I just mended unstitched (or better understood in Tagalog as tastas) clothes and replaced ripped or missing buttons.
- Learn a New Craft/Practice Your Old Craft
My friend from college Peia Gaite Fausto turned to crocheting.
Another friend from college.Vicky Javate Holganza finished her cross-stitching project.
- Earn from Hobby
My friend Ellie Icasiano really loves to cook specially bake. She always brings cakes whenever our college group gets together to our delight.
During the pandemic, she entertained orders for her cakes.
- Cut Own Hair
Hair salons were closed during the quarantine, some were allowed to open once a locality is placed under MECQ. But most of us are still cautious. I’ve seen many posts of wives or mothers cutting the hair of their husband and children. But some of us women managed to trim our own. I sort of wanted to try to let my hair grow while there is quarantine and see how long it would be. But I eventually decided to cut it because short hair is easier to maintain.
- Hone Cooking/Baking
My friend Ruby based in the US honed her cooking and baking especially those she misses from the Philippines like pandesal and siopao.
- Fix /Repair Items at Home
My US -based brother and his daughter were stranded in the Phil. when quarantines were implemented. They were supposed to fly back to the US on April 6 but their flights were cancelled and rescheduled several times. They were able to leave on June 27.
During their stay, my brother did some fixing/repairs. One panel of the window in the room they were using was difficult to open, he fixed it. One of our electric fans malfunctioned (wouldn’t oscillate), probably due to overuse during the quarantine and he fixed it. Our electric kettle malfunctioned, he tried to fix it but it was beyond repair so he bought a new one, at least the repair option was tried.
- Learn/Use Technology
We embraced technology to survive even those of us who are not tech-savvy.
New apps on video conferencing or virtual meet-ups became very popular. We had to install and learn them.
We used online banking as much as possible though some of us are averse to giving our bank accounts.
In the beginning of the pandemic we received a lot of forwarded messages and videos about COVID-19 and how to avoid it as well as inspirational songs and messages. We had information overload and learned how to separate the fake from the true ones.
This should be done regularly whether on lockdown or not, but the confinement at home has given us more free time.
This has been done by many in our neighborhood. Our Homeowners Association Facebook chat group is full of items being sold the more popular of which are:
- COVID-19 related items like face masks ,face shields and alcohol
- cleaning items