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COVID-19 Quarantine Diary: 1st Week of Lockdown

Writing has been a significant part of my personal and professional life, but I’ve never been fond of diaries nor posting much of my personal stories online — whether through blogging or social media. Much about me online are work-related. But after trying to cope up and make sense of this pandemic plaguing the entire world and putting a halt to what we know as normal, reading about writing down our experiences in these trying times may actually be something I should do. Perhaps, it can be a good reminder of this point in our lives when much of our busy, fast-paced lives suddenly stopped and forced us to be home (or bravely face the world as frontliners).

The first week of the lockdown, survival mode meant going to the grocery and health store to ensure we have enough supplies for the entire month. I didn’t hoard and I bought as much stuff we need as a family and I had to make sure we would still have funds left being from the middle class. Unfortunately, the high prices of everything was very much felt as I found myself grocery shopping with just enough but paying so much for them — it was just a cart of stuff and I almost run out of funds.

It’s normal to check on news reports for government announcements and updates on the pandemic through TV, radio, and online. I realized, for the sake of my own health and sanity, I should avoid watching this sick president mumble for minutes and hours without anything concrete. Social media is a combination of good and bad — but at least I can control the content I put my focus on somehow. Old-school radio and audiobooks are awesome while in transit as always. From time to time, i try to check the AM stations instead of my usual FM faves.

In between doing family errands and checking news updates, I had to work from home as my students are counting on me. To help me somehow relax as a workaholic getting stressed with the effects of the pandemic and the lockdown, I tried working on some personal projects on the side so I can finish some pending pre-production and post-production works for my short independent film projects. Indeed, when you are working on something you are passionate about, it feels good — despite the seemingly bleak future looming from the background.

I feel extreme emotions throughout the entire ordeal and I think this will continue through the 1-month quarantine. Getting updates on people dying, heroes falling, officials abusing their powers, privileged people being insensitive in social media, people fighting for their lives in various ways, mental health concerns affecting those locked down in their homes, irresponsible people who would still go out for the heck, sick people, pregnant women, and newborn children unable to go to clinics and hospitals to see doctors, filled up hospitals, people losing jobs and thinking of their bills, etc. On the other side of the spectrum, people are finding more appreciation of the arts, people no matter how limited their resources are, find ways to help, people unite online against fake news sites, people sharing their knowledge and skills online to help out or entertain others, families and relatives near and far continue to communicate, ordinary people start helping out strangers compared to the distrust of people before the pandemic, family members generally have more bonding time in households, and realizations on who are the right leaders doing real public service vs. those who don’t.

In a span of a week, people’s perspectives were changed if not shattered. More people felt the importance of health and well-being, alongside the value of taking care of the only home we have — as Mother Earth heals without much pollution around that we see blue skies, birds chirping, dolphins swimming in unexpected places. I hope the issue on climate change will be more impactful to more people now more than ever. Perhaps, mentioning how ice melting in the polar caps would mean waking up deadly viruses like the novel coronavirus would shake them up. More people now have more respect to science, professionals, experts on their fields. Grocery, health, and science workers, alongside media workers, garbage truck collectors, security personnel, porters, delivery people, fruit stand vendors, fast-food workers, social science experts, and many others are now getting the much-needed respect they deserve ever since. Same thing with artists and writers as people at home try to cope up with the current state of affairs by watching films and TV shows, play games, read books, appreciate poetry, listen to music, among many others.

If there is one word that had a huge impact on me this past week, it is the word TIME. Time to stop and time to reflect. Time to spend more time with what is really important. Time to change for the better — not just with myself or my family, but for the rest of the world. We also need time to stop the spread of the virus as we buy more time for the experts to make vaccines and antivirals against it.

Let’s do our part and make good use of our time. For us, for our loved ones. For our future.

Rianne Hill Soriano
Rianne is a director, writer, educator, and consultant in film and commercial productions. From mainstream essentials to independent flair, she knows the drill in making entertaining and well-meaning productions. She can lead a pack passionate about extreme action and technological edge; she can breathe an endearing and sentimental style for a team with a sweet disposition.

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