The coronavirus pandemic is quite the turn in 2020 that I never would have imagined in my wildest dreams. At the onset of the outbreak in the Philippines, I immediately isolated myself even before the imposed enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in Manila. Aside from the unsettling fear of catching the virus, I felt it was also my duty as a responsible citizen to stay in. It was the very least I could contribute while the frontliners at the healthcare facilities, government, and essential establishments do their act of selflessness and bravery for the community.
“ Personally, my life has changed drastically! It made a full 360-degree turn from a life surrounded by people in my workplace and attending social events and gatherings daily — to complete isolation. ”
Having to live and survive through a pandemic is one I would read up on, or perhaps see in the movies, but never thought would become our reality in this lifetime. It is truly unsettling, scary, and just so uncertain. I feel we are at war with an invisible enemy.
Personally, my life has changed drastically! It made a full 360-degree turn from a life surrounded by people in my workplace and attending social events and gatherings daily — to complete isolation.
Thankfully, this drastic adjustment was not difficult for me at all. I am actually a homebody and one who truly enjoys staying in. During the quarantine, I took the time to catch up on rest and organize at home. I also made it through with the many Zoom and video calls with family and friends! Thanks to today’s technology!
Being in the hospitality industry, we made an inevitable decision to temporarily cease operations of The Sulo Riviera Hotel on March 14, even before the government’s implementation of the ECQ, solely for the safety and protection of our employees and guests. It was a tough decision to make because we were concerned about the livelihood of the employees, too, but we were left with no choice.
In a perfect world, the solution might be that we all continue to strictly stay home until perhaps a proven treatment or vaccine is released. But in a realistic setting, our economy can no longer take that, so we find the “balance” in what we now know as general community quarantine.
There is a lot of belt-tightening for many, if not most, families. As this pandemic is completely unprecedented, we all adjust in means and ways the best way we know-how. Many people have lost their jobs and some businesses, forced to shut down. This is difficult to witness as people strive to just stay afloat. I believe a Balik-Probinsya Program would be beneficial to some. Perhaps people who have lost their jobs in the metro may go back to the province and focus efforts on planting, fishing, and other means of livelihood.
After all this is over, and I pray it comes soon, we will need to support and rebuild national tourism and local goods to help our economy recover. Now more than ever is the time to support one another and support local businesses. We all don’t have answers as to how long we will have to keep living this way, or how much adjustments we will still need to make for the “new normal.” We can only hope and pray it ends soon and that we survive and come out of it healthy, stronger, wiser, and more unified as a nation in wanting to have a better and brighter future.
Edited by Büm Tenorio Jr.