When Reality Strikes

I was quite set to welcome the weekend on this Friday night when mama called me asking for help for my aunt’s best friend. Apparently, she is suspected to be stricken with the unfortunate and dreaded virus.

My aunt’s best friend, whom we’ve known since we were kids and is very close to our mother’s side of the family is more of family rather than a friend. My lola probably treated her as one of her own kids, when she was alive. You’d know when you meet her that she is such a joy to be with, very warm and very easy going.

Tonight, her life may be hanging by a thread. Mama, my aunt, my brother and I asked help from friends in the medical field, called all hospitals within the QC, Pasig, Marikina and Rizal areas but to no avail. Every single ICU bed in all the hospitals in the greater Manila area are all full, which we reported back to mama. When I finally called the last hospital, mama sadly responded with a “thank you ate dags matulog na kau“. (FYI, dags is short for dagul, one of my many nicknames) lol!

One rejection after another, I suddenly thought that we don’t realize the gravity of any tragedy until it hits home, and it hits you so hard. It made me fear for my family’s health and safety now more than ever, especially that we are too far away from home.

Thinking about her now, I couldn’t help but look at Jesus and Mary’s images on my wall and ask for nothing but a miracle for our aunt’s friend. She must be in a lot of pain and discomfort right this moment and it sucks that not one of us can do anything about it. Why does it has to come to this?

All we can do right now is pray that she may be free from pain and suffering and that a miracle may be granted unto her. Please pray for her and the whole world.

Life Lately / Quarantined

Earlier tonight, as I carefully lie in bed, just minutes after shoving a copious amount of Laksa into my mouth for dinner while watching yet another incredible episode of “Tiny House Nation“, I decided to look for Mark Manson‘s “Motherfuckin Monday” newsletter on my email. I have been so tired of reading stuff on the internet lately that I resorted to reading more valuable and rational insights from my favorite people instead. One of whom is Mark.

Unfortunately, I forgot that we are at least half a day ahead of US time and I was a tad early to ask for my much needed brain “dessert”. I have been craving for these emails more than I would for real sweets these days. It has even taken the place of my Monday ritual, that is listening to the podcast “The Halo-Halo Show“, which I religiously wait for to start off my week.

That wasn’t the only thing on my routine that has changed. In fact, a lot of things in my life has taken a turn since the outbreak. Early into the quarantine, I would stealthily go out at night to hunt for food (I am Legend lang?), este to go for a grocery run, but that has changed too as they imposed a provincial wide curfew here in Cebu and eventually, an ECQ, just like in Manila.

My days of rotting sitting at home has turned into weeks and now almost a month. I even stopped crossing out days on my calendar. At first, I was kinda excited thinking “hey I’m gonna be working from home for a while! DREAM F*CKING COME TRUE!”, but things unexpectedly took a turn for the worse. Before I realized it, this whole crisis aggravated my anxiety even more and one day, I just lost it.

I had an episode of what some may probably call, “inarts“, but just so everyone’s in the same boat with me, let me just call it a mild panic attack. Maybe it’s because of the pressure from our bosses amidst the crisis, plus the pressure to show off what we have accomplished at work, and the fact that we won’t be able to go home to our families for Holy Week, and add those to all the irritatingly “woke” tweets of people that pop up on my feed from nowhere and the posts of people losing jobs and going hungry, increasing Covid-19 stats and deaths that are constantly passed around every single online messaging group that I am member of. And to top it all off, there were paranoid thoughts of me having various encounters with people who might be coronavirus carriers, which led me to think that I might probably be the next to die while sooooooooo far away from my family. That was a mouthful I know, but can you imagine all that constantly stirring inside my messy head, all at the same time, morning til night, every single day?

Those thoughts got out of hand the night I had the panic attack. I was having extremely shallow breaths, I felt like the oxygen I inhaled didn’t even make it to my brain anymore. That was probably why my head was getting cloudier by the minute. Netflix wasn’t working. Surprisingly, I also couldn’t understand why the online Rosary that was livestreamed at the time couldn’t calm my nerves as I wanted it to. I thought of calling my mom first, but knowing her, she panics doubly than I do, so I texted my sister instead. Then she told my brother about it and there they were, calming me down from worlds afar. After what seemed like an hour of peptalks, I had some tea and forced myself from then on to take things with a grain of salt (if not ignore them entirely) just as my sister asked; and even though I didn’t think I would be able to sleep that night, I did. Thank God! ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿป And so that was the story of my first ever panic/anxiety attack in my entire existence! I hope it never happens again.

I got through it unexpectedly that the next day, I was back browsing through tweets again (IKR?) and was badmouthing annoying people online to my friends, who couldn’t agree with me more.

Work got more hectic, which I couldn’t understand how, when we are all just on our asses, all day. Apparently, working from home can be extremely tough for most people.

Fortunately, last Friday was our last working day before we go into a week-long company break. Friday was time for end of the week reports compilation and I loved that everyone on our team did everything efficiently! Our online session with the training team also ended just in time for Part 4 of LA CASA DE PAPEL (MONEY HEIST), which according to Netflix is the #1 streamed show in the country as of this writing!!!!! And so it began!

My days of constantly checking Viber, texts, emails and Messenger are over (at least for now)! Our boss may have also given us the green light to mute our group chats for the week and thankfully, my heart and respiratory rate have both gone down to normal because of that (after weeks of being on constant high alert). I am finally getting my peace and quiet in my place of comfort once again.

As I write this, I am also indulging on the luxury of taking a break from Twitter and Messenger. Who would’ve thought silence can also be music to the ears? I only check our family gc’s for now. I assume that if people need to contact me urgently, I’m always just a phonecall away.

And just as I wrote that, like magic, my phone lights up and in came a colleague’s multiple texts saying that a department chairman from one of the hospitals we cover also confirmed positive for Covid-19. This saddens me greatly as it hits closer and closer to home now that more and more people we know personally are stricken with the illness.

As I was reading the said texts, another friend called and 2 and a half hours later, here I am all panicky once again, but not enough to make me ๐Ÿคฎ. Apparently, my friend’s friend works for a hospital in QC where my cousin has recently submitted her application to work as a Respiratory Therapist. My friend cut me off right after the mention of the hospital’s name and told me to stop my cousin from doing so. So, I had to talk my cousin out of it no matter how hard it broke her heart because I know that she intends to put herself out there to help. Sadly, she is going into battle like a lamb to the slaughter for reasons I cannot disclose, for now. If you were in my shoes, would you dare let your loved ones go into war unarmed?

This post wasn’t supposed to snowball like it did. I had a different concept in mind, but how likely does life often go as planned? ๐Ÿ˜œ I have to say that this post was probably triggered by Mark Manson’s insightful thoughts on the pandemic’s effects on everyone’s mental state, or not. Maybe I just had all these thoughts balled up inside of me, and now came the time to finally let it all out. Whatever it is, I’ll just take comfort in the fact that I will always bounce back stronger, because I’ll always have Him โ˜๐Ÿป evidently through the people around me.

I’ll take advantage of the quieter next couple of days and write at least every day for the rest of this week. I am not sure how, when exactly, what about or for what, but I’ll do it anyway. At least to keep my head afloat while I can. I promise the next posts will be less melancholic and more useful for the weeks ahead! For now, let us all pray for one another and stay sane and safe!