How Maddening...

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

How bad could quarantine be? Being at home, laying around without homeworks, playing games on the phone, and not bothered about what's happening outside. Really now, how bad could that be?

To tell you the truth, it's maddening.

A/N: The ideas and scattered and I don't think I can fix it with my current mindset in our situation.

 

 

 

I have already forgotten how long has it been since I've worn my school uniform and saw my high school friends. How long has it been since I've last been to the canteen where numerous students would be bustling in, even trying to push around the others just so they could buy themselves food first. How long has it been since we've worried ourselves about paperwork.

 

 

 

Apparently, the moment the classes were cancelled, life changed. Since I've already passed what needs to be passed and done what needs to be done before Coronavirus entered the Philippines, I've been very idle.

 

 

 

It wouldn't be so bad, so to say. If one is an introvert, then of course it's good. If one is an extrovert, then I hope they haven't been caught sneaking out of their homes to meet with their friends.

 

 

 

It was around January 30, 2020, as I've known from Wikipedia, that the very first case of COVID-19 snuck in Metro Manila. During those times, us students don't even bother about it and continued our lives in the classroom – ignorant of what's happening in the country. As time goes by, some of my classmates started wearing face masks...while most thought it's a trend so they started wearing, too. I gave my friends some surgical masks, since I couldn't afford washable ones, and joked about joining the trend in the school.

 

 

 

A few days have passed and the stocks of masks suddenly got depleted. Cards that mentioned: "We have no more mask for sale" we're all stationed in each stores, drugstores and even sari-sari stores. The news about N-95, a certain type of mask, has also been depleted. Days gone by and the announcement of class cancellation happened, then extended...until we are never allowed to take a step outside our homes.

 

 

 

I started celebrating the early summer break at home by sleeping late, waking up at noon, playing online games with my online friends on daily basis, until I got bored. I started worrying about my final grades, since we didn't even have the time to for an exam, and our adviser kept on nagging about the students who hasn't passed their project for pre-finals. I asked my adviser about mine, but he just said my grades are already fine and I don't have anything to worry about.

 

 

 

Then I started regretting that I wasn't able to do what I plan for summer.

 

 

 

To be honest, I've already created an Affidavit required to be passed with my application in City Hall's Special Program for Employment of Students (a job), even though it hasn't been notarized by a lawyer, and I was really looking forward to experience working and earning for myself. I supposedly should be working with my friends and a few batch mates instead of diving on swimming pools or having an outing, but things don't go the way I thought.

 

 

 

Here we are now, trapped in our own homes.

 

 

 

It was probably around the end of April when I started worrying about my own family's situation. My mom was a vendor and my dad was a tricycle driver. When COVID-19 break out in Philippines, selling food on the streets has been a big NO. Then, when things go for worse, even driving for people has been banned. The 5ft social distancing has been implemented and we started wearing face masks even when at home. The utensils would be separated for those coughing for fear of them having the virus and sort.

 

 

 

Things we're getting chaotic.

 

 

 

May 5, I was waken up by my parents' cheers about getting an ayuda (money sent down by the government for each family as a relief) of eight thousand pesos. I cheered with them, wondering how they will manage the few thousands for the whole month with a family of six, the youngest being a baby who needs to drink milk.

 

 

 

When mom got home from grocery, she would always have lots of milk boxes for my youngest sister. My brother would ask why does she buy too many supplies and I would reply: "smaller kids can't handle starving, unlike us." Stocks of canned goods are placed on shelves along with bags of rice. The condiments were always few, but we have chocolate and instant coffee for extra taste.

 

 

 

Meanwhile in the social media, numerous memes about what would teenagers do after COVID-19 has been put down and even memes about Chinese eating bats with delicacy circled. "What's this, road?" and "Ching chong: 'Oh a bat, delicious'." aired without minding others for being racist. The world is in chaos, and netizens blame China for everything that's happening. I have no opinion for that, and only feel sorry for the people who couldn't do anything to help, yet decided to spout blames.

 

 

 

There was even these videos of people coughing on one another as if to tell they have the virus and they want to take you down with them, not minding the psychological effect and chaos it would bring. They say that, the ignorant remains happy, but it's totally different to the ones pretending. The cases were getting higher day by day, and they still have time to spite on each other. Do they think they can use the: "When life gives you lemons, squeeze them into people's eyes" as an excuse?

 

 

 

The days passed by and everything seemed pass forward. Waking up at noon, eating, bathing, playing games, reading, then sleeping late – the monotonous and unproductive lifestyle I've longed back in the school days were intolerable and nauseating. The only thing I'm glad about was that I am not insane enough to kill myself to escape this predicament as tons of videos of people killing themselves also circulated in the internet. Shooting themselves in the head, drinking bleach and mixed unidentified liquor out of boredom, and slitting their throats in front of the camera.

 

 

 

To summarize everything, quarantine has been nothing but maddening for a senior high school student like me. The criticism on the conduct of those who only go out to buy unnecessary stuffs, the helplessness on how would the country end up once money is depleted, worrying about my parents who could get in contact with infected people every time they step outside, the tangled feelings every after I play games with my online friends, the memes I get to laugh at which are partially true regarding the epidemic, and monotonous days. I can't do anything to help, but stay inside my house. I can only keep telling my friends and other family members to stay safe, wear masks, stay at home. Just how much burden do the parents and frontliners carry on their shoulders, together with every government in each country.

 

 

 

Most of us don't even know what day it is today. How hard could things be, ah? So you see, it's this hard and this chaotic– just like the things you've read. How maddening, right?


Submitted: May 28, 2020

© Copyright 2021 Chibi Lucifien. All rights reserved.

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