Work from Home
Updated: May 9, 2020
The community quarantine's goal was to limit human contact because this was the primary driver of the spread of the disease. COVID-19 was transmitted through an infected person's bodily fluid - like saliva. Thankfully it was not air borne, so you would have to be in close proximity of someone who carried the virus for you to get infected. With the quarantine, the face-to-face human interaction was limited and the going in theory was that it could slow down the spread of the disease.
It was a drastic measure and very Machiavellian. Restricting people to their homes put tremendous economic pressure on the businesses and citizens. Malls were closed, so the retail industry suffered a great loss. People could not visit the hair salons and barber shops to get their regular haircut. Fitness gyms were also closed. On top of most businesses being closed, all modes of public transportation were suspended which impacted the livelihood of their drivers. This also meant that people who relied on public transportation were mostly only able to travel to distances that they were capable and willing to walk.
There were those who had the privilege of working from home. I was one of them On the surface, it did not seem like we understood how lucky we were to have our source of livelihood un-impacted. Many of those who worked from home ranted on Social Media sites of the inconvenience that working within the confines of their home brought about.
Many years ago, I bought a TV that I intended to use in my room. We already had a big one in our living room. My parents watched their respective favorite shows on that big TV. Papa watched the news, the volleyball and basketball games and the thrillers from HBO. Mama watched Eat Bulaga, cooking shows, and the televised Sunday Mass.
I rarely watched TV and yet I thought I needed one and I initially set it up in my room This TV went unused for years until I moved it to my parents' bedroom when I moved back to Manila. I hooked up a magical digital box to it so my parents had the option to watch different shows simultaneously. After five months of that set up, the digital box stopped working. I'd estimate that the TV was used for a total of six months in its lifetime.
Today I brought back the TV to my room. It was dusty and as I wiped the dust away, it caused Char Siew (my Shar Pei) to sneeze. I set it up to be my secondary screen for my work from home set up. Many televisions across the cities were hijacked by workers like me for a similar set up.
When I was not working and during those quiet moments away from social media, the voice of uncertainty crept up. It whispered harrowing thoughts of the apocalypse but I had been setting those thoughts aside because if I was to survive this in one piece (physically and psychologically), I would have to live each day as if it was just like any normal day.