Saturday, April 18, 2020

Pandemic Quarantine Musings: Mourning, Loss, and Trepidation for the New Normal

I'm pretty sure this pandemic caught most of us unawares. I really didn't want to blog about this at first but felt compelled to put my thoughts here for posterity, and later, for perspective. Everyone lost something in the over-a-month quarantine (edited: now extended to two months) -- jobs, livelihood, even loved ones. I, for one, lost my brother, not to COVID-19 but to a lingering illness. It's the first time I wasn't able to see off a loved one who passed on but I guess there's always a first time for everything. I also lost things along the way -- writing jobs trickled down; one employer even duped me for jobs already done (there are opportunists even at the height of crises like this one). But there's always a lesson, if not a silver lining, behind all things that happen. 

I've always thought that people of my mom's generation (sorry Pops, wasn't able to talk to you at length when you were around) were a lot more resilient than the present ones. I'd like to think that that thought was validated. People complain in social media about being bored of doing a lot of nothing, of eating more of the same thing. Based on WWII survival stories my Nanay told me, these are trifling distractions. Granted that the enemy then was very much visible, the bombs and bullets were much more physically real, but the older generations would probably be more thankful of being quarantined inside their homes. I also think that the pitfalls of technology and social media make us all susceptible to degenerating into boredom very quickly. 

Anyway, there's also trepidation about what the future holds for all of us. How do we make up for the lost incomes?  The lost jobs?  How do we handle everyday dealings that we took for granted pre-pandemic?   Will the specter of an infectious pathogen get in the way of a kiss, a hug, a pat on the back, a get-together of friends, nay, even the grieving of family members?  There are no easy answers forthcoming, I guess.

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