It has been 24 days since the lockdown started. In the past weeks, I have only been outside thrice, the first two happened during the first week of the quarantine, and the last was just this Sunday when my partner and I drove around scavenging for a cake. We went home empty-handed, but we did purchase a few things from an open Korean store. The drive back home felt weird and eerie; it was as if we were placed inside a post-apocalyptic film and we’re about to be chased by zombies.
It’s weird how the normal things that we’re so used to are now seen as a luxury. Walking outside, doing groceries, picking up something by the nearby store, or just going outside to glance at the moon are some of the things that are now inaccessible (at least for me). I live in a tiny apartment deprived of a balcony and a huge window, and honestly, I can only do and see so much.
I haven’t seen my family for more than a month now and the only person that I was able to talk with is my boyfriend. My friends and I are in touch through chat, but we don’t update each other as often either. We share quick snippets of what we’re up to, but I sometimes hope that we could just be physically together and talk about what’s happening in much greater detail. I also honestly wish that I have wine at my disposal because I couldn’t (for the love of everything holy) calm my nerves. I’m just a walking ball of anxiety and most days I just feel like I’m a zombie.
Despite being three weeks in, I honestly still don’t know how I feel towards this pandemic. They say to give yourself a few days to settle and adjust, but goddamn, everything just feels like it’s on fire. Staying at home is not a big deal for me, but having restrictions and knowing that there is a global meltdown happening outside of my doorstep makes me feel uneasy. People are dying and suffering and I can’t stop myself from feeling helpless.
I know I shouldn’t be yapping about my challenges because other people are having a harder time than myself, but come on, Brenda. I understand my privilege but these struggles are also real and they are as valid. And I know that I am not alone in feeling this way.
They say that the time in quarantine is a great opportunity to work on things you’ve always said you’ll do. If you’ve been keeping yourself busy and getting through your to-do lists, then that’s amazing. But if you are having a difficult time, acknowledge that life has been tough, and honestly, to hell with productivity at this point. Stop being too hard on yourself. It’s okay if you haven’t done a lot and it’s okay if you’re taking some time to acclimate in this ‘new normal’. Be gentle with yourself and keep clinging to whatever little hope you have. We’re not living the best of times, but perhaps we’re just transitioning to a new phase of our lives. Whatever that ‘new phase’ may be, only time could tell. But for now, the world is burning, and it’s okay not to be okay.
Wash your hands and keep safe, friends.