After several weeks of being at home monitoring what has been happening to the Australia, the Philippines and the rest of the world through online news, I decided to go out with my partner to help him with the groceries.  In the past, he would be the only one to go out to buy food from the shops in Forestville and Chatswood. As soon as he gets home, he leaves all the bags by the door and goes straight to the bathroom for a quick shower. I then would gather the groceries and start stocking them in their respective areas (cupboards, the ref, etc.) . So this week, we needed to get more items so I felt like I have to help.

We left early in the morning and like every day – the streets were empty. People seldom pop out of their houses unless they need to mow the lawn or walk their dogs. But upon getting to  Victoria Avenue in Chatswood, I noticed that there were fewer people on the street, most in face masks and in the parking lot, more slots to choose from. When we got off the car, I suddenly felt like the air was thinning and I felt like scratching my face crazy. So like any sane person would, I kept it inside and entered the mall.

On the inclined “walkalator” I noticed that people were several meters apart and trying to be cool (or was it just me?). On the ground floor where Kmart was, were cordoned off areas for lining up to enter the shop. I noticed on the first year that I migrated to Australia that people’s attitude towards malls is very functional – shop and go. Seeing people line-up to go in the shop was a bit disconcerting. Communal areas were closed, X’s on the floor and people were obviously more careful than usual to be around other people. At one point, I felt like holding my breath and worked so hard not to touch my nose or scratch my face.

     

I guess knowing everything about the virus and the disease is not enough to ease into this “new normal” given the uncertainty of who at what you will be in contact with. This may also be the reason why people are getting angrier, touchier and sometimes more racist – oh no, it’s just their ignorance doing that.

But seriously speaking, keeping a positive perspective can be a challenge with all the news that’s out there. Right now, there are 185 countries with cases of COVID-19, more than 3 million people infected and more than 200 thousand deaths. But there’s another big number that we should be aware about and that’s 893,196 – the number of people who have recovered from the disease. Here in Australia, of the more than 6,000 confirmed cases, there are already more than 5,000 people who have recovered and the number of deaths have slowed down to 88. After 6 weeks, there now possibilities of easing the lockdown laws out beginning with the opening of some beaches.

Slowly, there’s a semblance of hope that we are flattening the pandemic curve especially with the fast development of a vaccine that would usually take years to finish – the COVID-19 vaccine has September 2020 as its target release. So are we seeing that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel? Well, not yet.

Though the last 2 weeks have shown good results, there still is a possibility of experiencing a second wave like what China and Singapore are now experiencing. So as much as the current social distancing and lockdown laws may sometimes bring out the hypochondriacs in all of us, patience may still be the best virtue along with trust that the government is making the right decisions to help us all get through this.

So let’s get all our knickers out of their knots and keep on giving our best contribution to for this recovery effort – stay home and keep ourselves healthy.

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