When it was announced back in March that a quarantine would be implemented in Metro Manila due to COVID 19, it was only natural that people were uneasy. Hours before March 16, the roads were abuzz with people heading to supermarkets.
Thankfully, I did some trips to the supermarket the week before in anticipation of a pending lock down. Our company had also communicated work from home arrangements describing how we will be conducting our business during the quarantine.
The quarantine should only have lasted for a month. Sadly, the number of cases kept on rising so we ended up being in quarantine for two months and a half.
So what did I do within that period?
#1 WORK, WORK, WORK
Oh goodness. I thought the amount of work would lessen during the lock down. Ngunit maraming namamatay sa maling akala. If there is death by PowerPoint, there is also death by never ending Zoom / Teams / WebEx / Hangouts calls. Work just poured!
Before, I would usually have two meetings in a day as the hours in between would be allotted for travel. During the lock down – I log off one meeting then log on to another. My record was 6 long meetings in one day. My ears were ringing after my last call.
The new normal also meant joining meetings without worrying about what you’re wearing (unless I’ll be presenting). The jokes about web conference bloopers? They’re all true.
#2 RELEASING THE INNER MARTHA STEWART
I baked. A lot. Not because I was craving for a pastry – I just wanted to bake. There were nights wherein I couldn’t sleep out of anxiety and I would just start preparing ingredients for a cake, a cookie, or whatever.
I have made quite a lot of pastries but my favorites are kanelbullar, chocolate chip cookies, and banana walnut bread. Lately, I have been adding a cinnamon walnut streusel to my banana bread. My neighbors are happy.
#3 BALCONY BURN
Given the closure of fitness centers (which sadly includes Avant Garde CrossFit), I had to order weights such as dumbbells and kettlebells so I can workout at home. Thankfully, our coaches send us workouts to do at the comfort of our own home.
I try my best to workout daily because I have been eating more than usual. My weight peaked at 95 kg two weeks back! I panicked and thankfully my weight is going down.
#4 ORDERING RANDOM THINGS
A hair trimmer? Really?
I browsed Lazada and Instagram for small items and food. I also followed our condominium’s homeowners marketplace for pasabuys and interesting finds. I even ordered Aling Kika’s Bibingka from Cainta (the BEST kakanin sa balat ng lupa).
And don’t get me started with ube cheese pandesal. I have tried more than 10 different kinds during the quarantine. I’ll probably write a review on the soon. Haha!
#5 LEARNING NEVER STOPS
I love Coursera. I just browse through the courses and enroll in the ones I am interested in. I also try to find other platforms for learning, be it a website or an app on the phone.
As odd as it sounds, I memorized Thai script one Saturday afternoon using an app (Pocket Thai Reading) I purchased on the Google Play Store. Now I can read Thai! Can’t understand them though.
I highly recommend the courses on Data Visualization offered by UC Davis. Concepts are fairly easy to digest and you’d be communicating with data in no time.
SO there! I did have other activities but these are the top five things that kept me busy during the lock down. How was your quarantine experience?