It’s about this time when it finally occurred to us that we’re halfway down 2020 and things are not getting better. June waves its final goodbye; for us in the Philippines, it meant new quarantine guidelines (which is given every after 15 days). The new announcement gave us, the most of us, a thumbs-up, and yelled, “You can get out of your homes, losers.” And who would forget the meme-worthy “Congratulations, Philippines!” which trended in all caps, thanks to our very own spox who seemed to see winning in a new direction.
Here’s the report: in the past two days, cases shot up to almost 2 thousand. That, of course, was categorized under either fresh or late results.
You are free to imagine some eye-rolling action here.
But I can tell you a few good things. On Thursday, a couple of days after the MGCQ was announced in the province, I got to do the family grocery. I’m not useless anymore! It was 9 am when we got to the mall, and there were about ten people lined up to the door. I was excited to get in, ready to use my adult card, to rub my shoes against the foot bath and walk meters apart from the next person, when things happened at the entrance.
Me, who just got out of her house after 100+ days, smiling sweetly, “Good morning!”
Guard, checking my temperature by holding the thermometer gun on my forehead, “Good morning, ma’am!”
Military guy, standing before the guard, downsizing me, “How old are you ma’am?”
Me, a thirty-something adult in the body of a kid, tells my age.
Military guy, laughing while repeating what I said, “Naaah.”
Me, also laughing and cringing, “Yeeeaaah.”
Military guy asks confirmation. I was ready to show my ID. Guard let me pass.
I would be going out a few more times after that, because MGCQ guidelines allowed 50% capacity on religious activities, and my pastor-dad was bent on starting worship services, as long as they follow the rules. On Friday, my parents drove back to Hagonoy to finally see the house they didn’t live in for more than three months. On Saturday, we will sleep over the parish and help the church set up the livestream on Sunday.
Which, by the way, featured my shaky hand and moving fingers.
The service was a success; we held our first-ever communion, each one given a cup and a piece of ostia arranged in singles. Halfway through the service, the District Superintendent arrived without notice, his wife Ate Gladys gave us cookies, and told us we did a good job at implementing rules.
Know what’s weird? To be separated from my dog and cat for a good day. Chiba has been so used to sleeping by the doorway (that’s where he gets gusts of the air con), and Louie always cuddled up in my bed, but not this time.
July would be different. July would be our first taste of almost normal. My brother would be back in his office at Malabon, which means waking up early. Thunderstorm season is back, and, coupled with the habagat, it spells bad news for us, especially when it’s high tide. The family arrangement is back in order; my pastor-dad is back in his church duties and would be away half the week. The only thing that didn’t change is me, the indoor person, sitting here, writing, musing, daydreaming.
But July is a new thing. It doesn’t matter what year it arrives. New things hold promises. And I am keeping my hands open to grab one or two, hold it tight, and make it come true. x
If you haven’t heard, I’m publishing a 10-part sci-fi series on my Patreon. The chapters will be up on Sundays, 10 am Philippine Standard Time. Click here to read what it’s all about. If you’re ready to take the dive, here’s the first chapter.