Lockdown Diaries

Metro Manila has been on lockdown for 11 weeks. Only one person is allowed to go out of the house because only one quarantine pass per household is issued, and we can only go out during a certain window of time, 3 days a week (Wednesday, Friday, Sunday).

I have not been outside our home for over 11 weeks.

I keep a Hobonichi cousin, and I use the weekly pages to make short daily summaries at the end of the day. Just an overview of how the day went, along with a few to-do items. Here’s a collection of my weekly pages from the past 11 weeks of community quarantine. I included a simple drawing of what we had for lunch daily. It takes a few seconds to illustrate, these tiny drawings, but this little ritual has kept me calm and sane these past eleven weeks. It’s also a bit quirky, keeping track of what we eat no matter what that is. You can see the weeks when I made more of an effort to cook healthier food instead of relying on processed food that are quick to prepare. 11 weeks’ worth of daily summaries, showing what my life had been like in community quarantine. These daily summaries don’t take up a lot of time, but what they did for me in terms of my mental and emotional health is incalculable.

Aside from these weekly pages, I also write longer daily entries that include Covid cases and deaths in the Philippines and worldwide. The first day that I recorded these tallies was back in March 11, when we had only 33 cases in the country and no deaths. Fast forward to today, when the global tally is already over 6 million. I don’t subscribe to the idea of toxic positivity, where you only focus on the positive no matter what. I subscribe more to the eyes wide open school of thought. We’re going through extraordinary times, and it’s important that we be honest about what’s happening not just around us but also inside us. It takes more courage to face the facts, after all, and it’s an important process in being able to see what’s happening in a larger historical context.

Tomorrow we’re allowed to go out, with some restrictions. I am looking forward to seeing what the world outside looks like. We won’t be in lockdown anymore, but I know that life isn’t going back to normal anytime soon. We’re slowly inching our way to some sense of normalcy, and nobody knows what the next few days will be like. I think it will be interesting to read my journal entries for this year someday, several years from now, when we’ve put COVID behind us.

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