It’s been more than a hundred days since the quarantine period has started, and most people are now allowed to go outside and even dine in at restaurants and some cafes (though I’ve heard that Starbucks is still empty). But to immunosuppressed people like me, life goes on in the confines of our homes. I think it’s going to be like this for us for a while, as long as there is no known and approved cure for covid-19. I’ve been trying to come to the terms of this new reality even if it’s hard, because what choice do I have? Summer came and went just like that (though in my country there’s only wet and dry season). I still have my job, and I managed to do just fine despite my mobile internet connection (PLDT has the lousiest customer service ever). Three birthdays in the family have passed and I celebrated mine with hotdogs and marshmallows on sticks. I’ve read a couple of books, or maybe three and gained a bit of weight. I’ve watched 7 kdramas in total – I started binge-watching on the 45th day of quarantine and has diligently updated my kdrama spreadsheet. Things aren’t so bad, if I may say so myself.
100 days of solitude
The past 100 days weren’t really lonely, either. Now I have more time to chat with my mom about important and silly things. I have more afternoons to spend with my dad over cups of coffee. I am constantly chatting with my friends through various messaging apps. Although truth to be told, I keep most of my thoughts to myself. Thoughts that don’t really keep me up at night, but they are here, tangled in my brain and somehow they make me feel restless and uneasy. Thoughts that could be misunderstood. Thoughts that can make someone feel sad and burdened. I am not the type of person who’d normally ask for help, simply because I don’t want to be a bother to anyone. Thus, I’d like to operate on my own and create solutions even before I state the problem. This used to be easy, because I have the opportunity to have a change of environment, be on my own, and formulate my action plans from A to Z. But now it’s different, because I only have the four corners of my room plus the ceiling and sometimes the window to look at.
The desk in my room used to be my escape – I’d sit on it with a notebook and pen or the computer in front of me and write some toe-curling romance or whatever’s on my mind. This desk have been my salvation, when my thoughts are getting tangled I’ll organize them by writing them down one by one. When I get sad, frustrated, and disappointed, I’d type away my feelings until my fingers hurt and my keyboard bleeds. Now it has gone under the claws of my corporate shenanigans that each time I sit on it on a lazy weekend afternoon, I am reminded of how stressful the week had been and that tomorrow’s a new start of another potentially stressful one. As much as I want to separate work and personal life, the space I have right now is too small that I am forced to let them coexist. My zest for writing seemed to have left me. I feel like it wandered around for a bit and now that I think about it, I’ve never felt more alone than ever.
Keeping it together
These days, I find myself shy away from my desk. Not that I am starting to hate it, maybe I just want to get away from what’s happening on it during weekdays. I keep on trying to find ways to entertain myself though, and sometimes they just come to me unexpectedly. I never thought that hearing a random song on Spotify could make me swoon over Jung Yong Hwa that I felt legitimately sad when I decided not to buy his lightstick when I bought the ticket for his online fanmeet on his birthday and now it’s sold out. I’ve started my Hangul lessons, something that I didn’t think of doing and now I can order 2 beers in a Korean restaurant and read Kim Soo Hyun’s captions a little bit now that he’s actively posting things on Instagram. Kim and Evalor came over to my house one Sunday afternoon for hot-hand-dripped coffee and samgyup which commenced our outstanding Sunday afternoon coffee dates reading the gospel. This is what I am most grateful for, because finally I have the avenue to share my thoughts without the fear of being judged and being misunderstood. It makes me feel less lonely and more involved. I really hope we can keep this for a long time, and even after this pandemic is over.
It’s been more than a hundred days… let’s keep on living. Stay sane!