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Posts Tagged ‘life in the time of COVID-19’


I am not a cry baby but I almost cried this morning when I hurt my left thumb while slicing squash. The knife slid down the tip of my thumb and it bled a lot. My t-shirt was full of blood while I was waiting for Josef to get a band-aid strip. Woe to my sliced finger. I accidentally bumped it and it bled again.

Please don’t get tired of my rantings Last night, Duterte delivered another speech while most of us were already sleeping. Yes, it is always delivered at night when nobody except maybe a few would watch. We don’t watch his curses and rantings anyway so no love lost there. This is actually a continuation of my previous post the other day regarding the public appeal of the medical practitioners to give them at least two weeks, not to rest but to review and align what is more effective to be done amidst these rising numbers of COVID positive individuals including more than a thousand of their own and more than twenty five doctor specialists in different fields of specialization who died.

Duterte misinterpreted everything and he talked about revolution. No one is talking about revolution but he challenged these doctors and nurses that he is very much willing to fight them if they will start it. Goodness gracious, the enemy is unseen but he was so angry saying that the government is doing everything . What the medical practitioners need, what we need and what the people need is a CONCRETE PLAN to combat this pandemic. I pity the poor doctors and nurses who bore the brunt of his ire, he treated them like dirt instead of helping them and assuring them of the government’s help. And there is no plan except to wait for that vaccine from his best friend, china. The doctors and nurses are one in saying that the present Department of Health secretary must be relieved of his duty because he is not effective. It was an afterthought, a prepared speech which he read last that August 4 to August 18, we would be on Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine again. And we are now required to wear face shield when going out.

Protection from COVID-19 – surgical gloves for when going out for groceries, face shields, surgical and cloth masks. Add several bottles of Alcohol and a big jar of disinfectant. And yes, lots of Vitamin C.

I stayed in the garden close to two hours this morning. Started trimming the carabao grass while Josef went marketing for two weeks’ supply of food. I harvested more than a kilo of Calamansi and gave some to our neighbors.

Busy, busy Monday. How’s yours?

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Yeay, even if the rest of the week are not that busy, weekends I think are still the best. Even if Jovy and Josef work from home, midweeks are quite a little bit toxic than weekends. Time to relax and pamper yourself drinking tea and  applying Jeju Aloe Ice on your skin, savouring the ice cold lotion. It is better applied when it is cold.

I am still reviewing my earlier posts. I am in the middle of 2015  and I am definitely enjoying reading them again –  the days spent with Nate picking calamansi and staying in  the garden, the quiet days  and blissful nights of reading, time spent discovering new books, conversations with  friends, glimpses at Facebook etc.

Last Thursday night, I told Fr. Pao that it was like I had my own segment in their program Interaktib.  I contributed three random excerpts from my blog and they collated it before reading on air. I remember Brother Ed saying “eto na ang quotable quotes”. Haha! I  am also enjoying their show, pampatanggal stress talaga, lots of laughter coupled with news of our Catholic faith.

Previously, I blogged about this. Until now, I am looking for a copy of P. Anciers’ Libertine’s Destiny. I read it when I was in college. The Humanities Section of UST had only one copy and it was always out. Every time a student returns it, there is always another student who would like to borrow it. I should have looked for a copy long ago and bought one too. It is no longer in circulation. Even a reading group at Goodreads is on the lookout for this particular book. All I remember is that it was  set during WWII.   Has anyone of you read it previously? It was serialized long ago in a  women’s magazine here.

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I am trying to take a siesta but I could not sleep. Then someone was at the gate, I could hear the doorbell  bell ringing.  Ah, finally, after almost a week of waiting, my order at Lazada arrived today. I am still waiting  for the three packs of the longganisa I ordered online.

Speaking of tea, I tried several flavors of Twinings before and that of Celestial Seasonings, two brands of tea that I like. Then I found this new one (at least to me) from Lazada. The aroma of combined apple, cinnamon and raisin, just perfect for an afternoon drink. The taste is mild but I like it. There was I time when I used to experiment on different flavors but they have become so expensive here. Even Lipton’s green tea is so costly. Yeay, one box is enough 🙂

Catching up on my reading too. I found a few books by Taylor Caldwell. The only book I had before of her was Captains and the Kings because we watched it on a television series. I hope these books won’t disappoint.

I watched two masses today, one in the morning and one this afternoon. I love listening to their homilies even if there are the same gospel readings. It has now become a regular routine for me to hear mass every morning.

Here’s what I learned from Fr. Regie this afternoon and I quote:
Do we have that same longing for Jesus?
Do we hunger for Jesus?
When, where and how did I see Jesus Today?

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Remember a child wanting to have a lollipop and she/he won’t stop whining until she/he gets one?

It started last election 2016. People said it was because of the seven-hour glitch that the twelve senators of the administration won. No one from the opposition made it when they had all the best candidates in the Senate. And Comelec had no explanation about that glitch. We Filipinos let it. It was followed by the the removal of a sitting senator. In September 2016, De Lima was removed from her position chairing a Senate Justice and Human Rights committee investigating extrajudicial killings. For three years now she was in jail. “On July 19, 2019, the PNP–Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) filed charges against De Lima and other members of the opposition for “sedition, cyber libel, libel, estafa, harboring a criminal, and obstruction of justice”. On February 10, 2020, she was cleared of all charges.” But she is still in jail until now. We let that happen. Then the Supreme Court Justices voted to remove Maria Lourdes Sereno from the court on May 11, 2018, by a vote of 8–6 on a quo warranto petition. Again, we let it happen. A few months ago, Maria Ressa, one of our prominent journalists was found guilty of cyber libel. She is a co-owner and CEO of Rappler, Inc. There were several criticisms from human right groups but we Filipinos just stood by.

I try to avoid writing political blog. Nowadays, I only have those one or two liners that I add to my posts now and then. Yesterday though, my heart bled for what happened. Seventy congressmen opposed the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise to operate. It is the Philippines’ largest entertainment and media conglomerate. Only 11 of them voted for its renewal.

People were outraged and took to social media to air their disgust. I was one of them. It’s not only the 11,000 plus employees who will be affected but most of us who rely on news and entertainment from this outfit. Even those artists who are affiliated with them are affected. Even those providing services to the employees like food companies, BPOs handling their accounts and the ordinary citizens who rely daily on its operations. Big taxes will be lost, those commercial ads won’t be aired. I hope they would go digital. They also have foundations that they support like Bantay Bata.

Now I wonder, how much did a NO Vote costs? The government is rich despite its president saying that there is no more money and is thinking of selling government properties. From the start, he has been saying that the franchise won’t be renewed. What was all that thirteen Congress hearings all about? Was it just a moro-moro one? I wonder if they can still sleep at night. Sabi nung mama, vote according to your conscience, instead of saying vote according to law and what is right. In the end, they voted for their own agenda.

It smells and looks like a political agenda. Those hearings just hid the REAL INTENT – to close ABS-CBN. We are slowly dying.

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They’ve been telling us this for quite a while now but some of those in the government are not following the rules. Do they think they are exempted?

Several MRT (metro rail transit) personnel were found positive of COVID-19, how could they do contact tracing now when they deal with  thousands of metro riders every day?  Unless of course, these passengers would opt voluntarily to be tested? We’ve breached the 50,000 mark and it keeps on rising. To think we had the longest lockdown in history of the Asian nations.

 

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Finally, we see each other. And it’s been more than four months. Nissa and Obet are here with us, sadly though, Nate was left in their house. Nissa doesn’t want him to go out yet because kids under this general community quarantine (GCQ) as they call it are not allowed. Although they have a car, she’s afraid that they might be prevented from going to another area like Rizal province.

It’s nice to be able to get in touch personally with them again although it is kind of weird that Nate is not around. I miss him and I miss listening to his stories. Nissa will buy him a tab which he can operate when school opens and the two are not around. They’re required to report to the office twice a week and the rest of the week, they work from home. Nate knows how to use a tab on his own even without their supervision. This pandemic changed everyone’s plans and perspective and it continues changing the lives of the people worldwide.

I sorted some of my plants yesterday but I lack plant pots where I could transfer my Amazon lilies and Aglaonema plants. The lilies have enough bulbs for replanting. I am thinking of using those empty plastic bottles of mineral water as plant pots. I gave Obet and Nissa some plants (dwarf snake plant, red shrimp plant and another which until now I could not identify). Nissa said her mother -in-law will surely be thrilled because until now she is still grieving over the loss of her husband last April.

Time is not enough to catch up on everything, I’m glad though that we were able to see each other again.

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How many times have you ever thought of those people you meet every day even at this time of pandemic? Did you ever smile and exchanged a few words with them? Have you ever thought how they  are coping with this worldwide problem that we have?

Some may probably look happy because all is right in their small world, some are probably thinking what to have for their next meal. Maybe some are  having problems financially but do we ever know?

Since it was only the two of us, Mom and I, I ordered batchoy from one of our neighbors (a resident of our subdivision) for lunch  yesterday since we had snacks from McDo before Jovy, Josef,  Jovy’s grandma and a cousin went back  to Fairview. They stayed here overnight to get more supplies since the two will accompany Jovy’s grandma till Sunday. They carted off their laptops, Oreo’s food supply, a half sack of rice and a few groceries to tide them over.  My favorite pastime nowadays is searching online  and see what our neighbors are selling for the day. There are no fish vendors here, they are not permitted to sell their merchandise to the residents here. I bought these milkfish (6 boneless daing)  to augment our supply of chicken and pork.  The vendor I bought from in  another street gave me free papaya pickles so I could taste it when I want to order. I am getting tired of eating something without fish at all. But who am I to complain? There are more jobless people nowadays who could not even provide enough for their families.

Lucky me, a fish vendor passed by while I was watering the plants and he stopped by our neighbor’s gate. I was able to buy a kilo of fish, no need to make a bargain since I know how hard it is to sell something during these times.

Some thoughts for the day:

There was this prediction from UP that it would reach 40,000 positive cases by the end of June and this spokesperson from the government raised his hand and executed a fist pump while saying that we didn’t reach that number.

YOU ARE REJOICING but we haven’t beaten COVID 19 yet, stats keeps on rising. Why would you be glad that those predictions were not met? We are talking of life here.

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I rejoice in the joy of knowing that I am on my 11th year in remission. Thank You Lord for all Your graces and blessings. I celebrate this month with pain in remembering what I went through and with such happiness that I feel okay now. I pray for those who are battling with their health, may they have enough faith that they will get well. I pray for a cure for cancer.

And may we always be safe from COVID 19. To all my friends, relatives and family members, STAY HEALTHY.

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In my various foray of those sellers online in our subdivision, I chanced upon someone selling Puto Cassava but it had to be ordered in advance. I didn’t know about this kind of snack until I saw the ad yesterday. We usually make cassava into cakes, suman (steamed in banana leaves) and maruya ( fried and toasted in a bit of sugar).

So cheap for P20 pesos each.  I ordered four and it was delivered here still hot. It was topped with bukayo (grated young coconut cooked in a little sugar). Since the Cassava itself is not sweet, it was perfect.

Paired with this hot mug of Matcha green tea, it was a yummy snack. Mom had a cup of hot choco.

These online sellers are definitely trying to make both ends meet by selling everything from food, make-ups, groceries, appliances like cellphones, electric fans  and even LED lights. You can even contact an online doctor and seek an appointment and they will visit you at home. Beauty parlors are now open too but  it would take you a long time to enter their shoppe.

I read somewhere about the difficulties of some of our fellow Filipinos whose jobs were closed in the middle of this pandemic.  Wayback when Josef and Jovy had their aircon installed last April, they found an all-around carpenter, plumber, electrician all rolled into one. At the start even if he and his assistant only stayed for half a day, Josef and Jovy provided them with free snack and lunch from KFC, paid them more than the usual rate and gave them around six kilos of rice on their way home.  Oliver lives nearby but he has no permanent job so he just rely on what is available. We call him now and then to fix things here. Josef also gave him food during his birthday last week.  At first we asked for his rate but he said it was up to us,  what we can afford to give so giving him a little more is our way of helping a bit. There was one who ventured into the hotel business and loaned from banks but when two of his hotels were about to be opened, quarantine was declared so it’s gone kaput. Now he needs to pay the banks but the establishments are not earning enough to meet the expenses.

One more observation:

I wonder what that aerial survey in Cebu was all about.  Can it cure COVID-19? They’re making it appear like it’s a war between the people and the military. Di po ba COVID ANG KALABAN? Those tanks and several soldiers deployed in Cebu are just making the people afraid. Have they ever thought of our economy?

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Gosh, it took me so long to get in touch with this online Pharmacy where I have ordered last month. I sent them the required prescriptions, Senior citizen’s IDs and the number of tablets/capsules which are good for one month. I sent it through Messenger but I tried contacting them this morning via phone. They have so many orders online since they placed their ads  on FB. Good thing, the pharmacist I talked to was so accommodating.

It is quite hard to go to Mercury Drug nowadays to fill up a prescription because of the long line of buyers who are mostly senior citizens. I don’t want Josef to stand in line for so long under the heat of the sun so I opted to order online, never mind if they have delivery fees and you have to wait for at least two days for them to deliver it.

This is the “new normal” so to speak. Senior citizens are now allowed to go out for basic necessities but deep inside, one is afraid to get caught outside because of this pandemic. I tried going out at the nearby “talipapa” here the other day. Just bought chicken and a kilo of pork. Good thing yesterday, Josef and Jovy bought one week supply for us because they will be staying at Jovy’s grandmother’s place starting today until Monday morning because they are on leave from work.   Haha, Oreo is excited, he is missing going around with them when they go out. He has his vaccines yesterday. They found a vet near our place.

Sometimes one gets bored just staying inside the house and puttering around  the garden. I am grateful I have my books with me to pass the time away. One doesn’t get bored reading. Right now, I am in the middle of  reading The Key To Rebecca by Ken Follett. If you love The Eye of the Needle and  The Pillars of the Earth and the two succeeding books, you’ll love this too. What’s not to love about anything historical?  I am looking forward to another book of his entitled  Jackdaws. 

And here is my observation for the day:

For them, there is a more serious and pressing matter – changing the name of NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport).  What a misplaced priority 😦

 

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