It has been more than 2 months since we got stuck in our homes, not because we chose to, but because we had to. And still, we have to.
This was a golden opportunity for me to try out being a house wife…
I used to tell my friends, especially my mom-friends that I dream of being a house wife: staying at home, cooking for the husband, caring for my kid and for the house. So when quarantine was mandated, the therapy clinic where I work closed, I saw the positive side and thought this was a golden opportunity for me to try it out! But just 8 weeks after, I realized it was unfair. It was unfair for me to try “house-wifing” when I have no me-time. I could not even reward myself of taking a trip to the café or the bookstore after cleaning the house up. Even leisure grocery shopping was impossible!
It wasn’t also the best pretend playing when I worry about my job, the clinic I work at (and similar businesses) and most especially about my OT kids and their families amidst the pandemic. So here I am, praying and looking forward for all these to end and go back to how things used to be.
What’s your new normal?
Of course, that’s plainly impossible, there will definitely be a thing or two we picked up from this time, to bring forward in the future. As a parent, there are things I might just take with me, onward, even into the pandemic-free world. These are my new normal:
Improved hygiene practices:
Proper hand-washing and 70% alcohol rubbing
World Health Organization (WHO) strongly reiterated that hand washing alone can save us from the coronavirus, so doing it religiously today and in the future might just save us from lurking viruses out there. Humming is now part of my hand washing routine. I mix it up a little and sing different songs (usually chorus parts) in my head, several times a day, whenever I wash my hands.
Believe it or not, it is only now that I understood why alcohol is called rubbing alcohol. I have, long, noticed that the percentage of alcohol content varies from bottle to bottle, but now, more than ever, I began to pay attention to this detail because it’s a matter of life and death. Being a pediatric therapist, I have used alcohol a lot at work to avoid catching cough and colds from my kids. In the future, I will, surely, continue to use it to make sure that my hands are clean and disinfected.
Respiratory etiquette (use of masks)
I used to think that masks are only for those susceptible to illnesses such as cancer patients. Covid has clearly taught us that masks work both ways. If you have a weak immune system, wear a mask to avoid catching diseases. But if you are sick, wear one, as well, so you do not go spreading and passing on to others, what you have. This is called respiratory etiquette.
I have been using online banking services but it was only now when I relied, solely, on it. Checking balances, transferring funds to parents (or other people who need help), and paying bills are now my fingertips’ responsibility. We are fortunate that our current technology affords these kind of service. My only hope is that for them to continue waiving the fees past the quarantine.
Grocery delivery and other delivery services
The husband is the Quarantine Pass holder in our household. Only he, was able to go out and buy our needs. He, however, hated the very long queues. There was one time when he had to wait 3.5 hours in line just to enter a supermarket. After that, we explored grocery delivery services. Though we did not complete our usual list, we found it to be very convenient. The husband and I were also able to do this for our parents who were senior citizens living in the adjacent city. We did not have to endure crossing checkpoints and we were also able to follow social distancing and mass gathering protocols.
It was during this time that we really appreciated delivery services such as Grab and Angkas. Not only were we able to send food to relatives as blowout for my son’s birthday, we were also able to send help to the needy and front liners through these groups. I also realize how they help businesses, especially in the food industry since dining in is still out of the question.
Household and Personal Projects:
We have a small garden and it is a work in progress. Had we purchased our gardening needs before the quarantine, we would have used the free time to work on it. Luckily, from the start of quarantine, we were able to plant seeds here and there: now we have budding herbs and hope to add more and to enjoy the fruits, and leaves, straight from our backyard.
So I started this blog on April 1. I supposed, I was fooling myself then, but it seriously, served as my emotional cushion during the stressful time. It busied me and forced me to become optimistic. Even if I have very few readers at the moment, I look forward to keep on doing it, improve my writing and help my readers along the process, in one way or another. Knowing that only a few read what I write, at this point, actually gives me more guts to write. I can never be more true to myself than now.
Homeschooling and online learning
Career-wise, I have attended several webinars on topics of my practice, personal development and parenting. My son has also attended art classes with Papemelroti’s Teacher Robert Alejandro for weeks! All of these are free! This is one of the perks brought about by the pandemic and we are grateful.
Now, the area we are still contemplating these past few days, is my son’s formal education. He is an incoming Grade-4 student. I considered homeschooling him in preschool but went against it since I want him to gain friends and socialize in a natural context. So, he went to a regular traditional school and coped just fine. For his safety and our peace of mind this coming school year, we are thinking that homeschooling is our best option.
For those who read until here and willing to reply, what’s your new normal?