Happy Quarantine Anniversary! A Year of Stories in Isolation

Share on facebook
Share on twitter

So, it’s been a year.

Let that sink in for a second, because if you’re feeling it’s only been two months ago but also two years ago, then same. But here we are, officially, disbelievingly a full year since we were made to go into lockdown in an attempt to flatten the curve.

How are we doing, fam? Whatever the answer may be, know that it’s completely valid. 

It’s been a period of ups and downs, of what feels like a battle of wits between the government’s debatable decisions and the public’s general welfare, of wearing a new uniform of face masks and face shields, and of staying home with all the challenges that come with it. 

Given all those, it’s no surprise that a new crop of coping mechanisms, under the guise of ‘quarantrends’, has caused a frenzy among the population in waves. Raise your hand if you’ve ever made Dalgona coffee, or did the pillow dress challenge to make up for not being able to go out for your usual coffee dates or slay your usual OOTDs. Perhaps you’ve ordered more sushi bake than you like, or you went into making your own sourdough. Plantita, or plate-tita? K-drama or Army — or both? We’ve all been bored-in-the-house-bored.

At first, everything seemed like a novelty. The general consensus was that we’d all be indoors for a month, maybe two at most. Plans were pushed towards the latter end of 2020 in a futile attempt at optimism, weddings and movie releases (still waiting on you, Black Widow), and who cancels Christmas in this country anyway? We’d all be fine come Christmas, right?

But as the pandemic raged on with exhausted healthcare workers and vaccines still in clinical trials, it became clear that we were in it for the long haul. While it was for everyone’s safety, it also accompanied a sense of hopelessness about not being able to pinpoint a definite timeframe when this would all be truly over.

People had no choice but to buckle up. Schools weren’t opening, so parents had to be more involved in their children’s education all while working from home. Businesses had to adapt to new safety protocols, which often reduced capacity down to 50%. Employees had to adjust to working from home if they hadn’t been when lockdown went into place. Also, the mental energy of trying to figure out the real differences between ECQ, MECQ, GCQ, MGCQ is a feat in itself.

A year in, it’s fairly safe to say people are just tired. There’s the frequent shade on social media about an establishment not practicing social distancing, a community not enforcing the wearing of masks and face shields, for groups of people who go out irresponsibly. The frustration is clearly double-edged in how it reflects the general exhaustion, people perhaps feeling invalidated about remaining cautious, while other people are just throwing caution to the wind. 

In 2021, the light at the end of the tunnel came when it was announced that, finally, COVID-19 vaccinations would begin rolling out in March to medical workers in Cebu. There’s still a long way to go until the shot would be available to the general public, but it’s a significant start. If the entire country recently reported a new record-breaking 5,000 new cases, our highest number since August 2020, it’s a setback that we can only hope we are able to manage better.

It’s important to remember that the longer the pandemic continues, there are more chances of it affecting people in your circle, even yourself. Until everyone is vaccinated, it remains a very serious threat that means we still shouldn’t be complacent, not if we want a true end to this worldwide ordeal. Stay home unless it’s necessary, always wear your face shields and face masks when you go out, take contact tracing seriously, and wash or disinfect your hands regularly. 

For now, all we can say is… Happy Quarantine Anniversary!

More Food For Thought