I used to pride myself on knowing how to respond to challenging situations. Even if there may be times I do not know whether what I do makes a significant dent in changing a concern for the better, I do what is needed to the best of my ability.
The past weeks made me feel like I'm walking on a deserted alley with an invincible enemy lurking around, ready to pounce given an opportunity. No one is exempt from the possibility of getting the virus. The elderly and those who have pre-existing health conditions are particularly at risk. I'm pre-diabetic; I have a wound that is taking too long to heal. It was when my husband, the most disciplined in our family regarding food and other health matters, came up with chills that I realized the virus may really hit any one of us at any time. Thankfully, he did not have any other symptoms, eventually getting better.
I realized how important it is to draw up a plan if one of us may get sick or die because of the virus. Much as it is difficult, it is crucial and necessary to talk about these things so that the surviving family members would not be left confused and pained with their loved ones' death. Some of the questions that need to be discussed by the elders in the family are:
Who shall bring the sick person to the hospital? How shall the sick be transported to the hospital? Who shall be in charge of the finances and getting the food for the dinner table? Who shall be the second-liner if the parents get sick? To whom shall the care of the minor children be entrusted?
The family unit must be united during this critical period. However, it is important to be compassionate and understanding with each other, given the stress that the situation brings to each member of the family. This is easier said than done. Many households are being pulled apart while living in the same house, given the pandemic's uncertainty.
There were times that my husband and I got angry with each other during the past weeks. What was helpful for us was being open to each other about our concerns and allowing breathing space for resolving things. We realize that what matters at the end of the day is our commitment and love for each other and our family.
It is helpful to remind myself of the things I am thankful for despite the pandemic's uncertainty. Yes, we can still go outside of our house to get our much-needed sunlight.
I appreciate dinner time in the family, where we can talk about things aside from developments on the pandemic. My husband and I take turns cooking batch meals, even if these are only variants of our favorite nilagang manok.
It is likewise helpful for me to list down things that I can do, what my family can do given the quarantine. I follow a schedule since I am working from home. My husband is working on a mathematical model regarding trends in the COVID 19 pandemic in our country and Southeast Asia. I wonder if there is already a trend towards a much-diminished curve. My younger daughter is reviewing her notes as part of her online learning for her Circuit class. I read and collate materials on resiliency and mental health to share these with my students online. I am also part of a volunteer team that does counseling for frontline medical personnel.
I'm thinking of my eldest daughter, who lives and works in another city, far away from us. I know that she's a kick-ass person who knows how to handle different situations. Her husband is also a good person who cares for her. I'm confident that they will manage this challenging period of living under the enhanced community quarantine, aka lockdown.
I pray that my relatives, especially my sister, are safe from harm's way. My sister is one person I deeply respect and care for. She has endured many difficult times in her life, survived, and thrived. She has given so much of herself to me and to many others.