Rules of The Lockdown
Updated: May 10, 2020
It was Tuesday. Mama, Papa, and Susan (my dogs' nanny) had to go the public market. Since the community quarantine extended through all of Luzon, my hometown followed the same guidelines that the city of Manila imposed on people's movement in the city.
I told Papa that the police might apprehend them for violating one of the regulations: only one person can be in a vehicle. This was logical because most vehicles could not carry more than one person and still preserve the one and a half meter distance between its passengers and driver. On Monday evening, my mind was busy thinking of ways that my parents could outsmart the authorities when they traveled from our house to the market. One thought that crossed my mind was for Mama and Susan to hide under a pile of clothes. I also thought of making them rehearse a sob story that would make the cops pardon them for the violation of the quarantine rules.
Papa said that he would just use the same story that he typically used when a cop stopped him from driving into town on our car's coding day (our car is banned from the roads once a week like the car-ban rules of Manila). He would either tell them that he was a tourist and did not know that those rules existed. He also said that most cops believed him when he claimed that he was a retired colonel and he was on official business.
It turned out that I did not have to be worried about anything , the trio was able to do their weekly chore without being accosted by the police. They all spent most morning at the city's market to pick up fresh produce. They also went to the grocery at the mall which was important because that's where they bought the dogs' food (raw ground beef). Unlike our friends and family in Manila, we did not feel the need to stock pile food (at least not yet). Most of Manila's vegetables came from Baguio and its neighboring towns. We felt that we would always be able to find food somewhere in the city.
Mama realized that I had been eating carbs so she bought bread from the panaderia. I rejected these treats before because I followed a ketogenic diet. But ever since I came home for the lockdown, I had been eating rice, pasta and bread. On the kitchen table were pan de coco and freshly baked ensaymada covered generously with margarine and sugar.
I thought to myself as I chewed on the pan de coco while reaching out for the ensaymada, "I think I will survive this quarantine but when this ends, I might be two steps away from a heart attack."