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  • Issa Aviles

Making the best of trying times



Who knew we would live to see days like this? In January, COVID-19 was just another story in the news; a distant thing that felt less of a threat than the Taal eruption. And up to just a few weeks ago I was still planning a trip to Spain and booking museum and show tickets! How quickly things change.


We’ve been on community quarantine for a few days now. For me it’s been mostly business as usual because my company has always had a work-from-anywhere setup, but for my husband and kids, they find themselves with plenty of time and nowhere to go.


Everyone has their own way of coping, but there are things we can all do to make the most of our current situation.


Focus not on what you can’t do, but what you CAN.


1. Stay productive. Learn new things or accomplish tasks that you could never find time for in the past. Take an online course, pick up a new skill, organize your files and photos, or fix up your room.


In this last week, my husband has been upgrading his kitchen skills and trying new recipes: from cooking chicken tinola for the first time, to perfecting his ribeye steak and sides. Meanwhile my son has been practicing a piano piece that he’d always been stuck on, and making good progress!


2. Keep moving. Resist the temptation to stay in bed or on the couch for long periods of time. Take frequent movement breaks and make time for your workouts.

My kids (fine, they’re not kids – they’re young adults) are doing 100 and 300-burpee challenges and attending online dance classes, while I’ve been taking this opportunity to get my husband to work out with me every evening.


3. Stay calm. Setting goals and working towards them can keep you focused, while connecting with friends and family (whether at home or virtually) can help to keep fears and anxieties in check.


I try not to listen to too much news. I’ll watch the news in the morning while having coffee, as is my routine, and then do one check at night for updates. Otherwise, it’s so easy to drown in it.


4. Find time for fun and relaxation. Whether it’s watching your favorite shows on Netflix, playing boardgames at home or online games with friends, or having a mini home spa day, we can all still enjoy happy moments.


We always have Sunday dinners with my parents, my brothers and my Kuya’s family. It’s tradition, and no quarantine is going to stop us. So we’re planning to host virtual family dinners instead, and see who’s got the best ulam prepared.


Do your part.

For those of us who are not on the front lines, “doing our part” means complying with the quarantine rules, staying home and staying healthy so that we can help to reduce the number of new cases and #flattenthecurve. It means practicing good hygiene and not hoarding food and essentials so there’s enough for all. It means sharing only verified information (stick to www.doh.gov.ph and www.who.int) and not myths or fake news. It means uplifting and encouraging each other. Never have the words “we’re all in this together” rung so true.


There are also ways for us to support people at the front lines and those whose livelihoods are affected by the quarantine. Here’s a list of ways to help:


1. Donate to frontliners and daily wage earners

2. Volunteer your skills

https://www.rappler.com/move-ph/254945-volunteer-skills-donation-drive-coronavirus


Eventually, things will be better. I’m looking out my window at a noticeably less smoggy view of Manila, and I know we WILL get through this. One day at a time.

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