My 6 Months of Community Quarantine in Pictures

It was already more than 6 months ago when the government placed the whole island of Luzon under Enhanced Community Quarantine. Today, after months of changing CQs, I commemorate my sufferings and joys and what I saw during the world’s longest lockdown against the spread of Wuhan Virus.

1. Groceries Galore

Grocery in time Lockdown

As the man of the house, I am the one who is tasked to go out and buy our supplies. The result is that a bulk of photos in my camera are those of grocery items. Well, I am not the only one who photographs grocery items. Almost all men that I saw in grocery stores are taking photos of the groceries and then sending it to their wives. Going to the grocery is a great challenge for us husbands during the ECQ. I guess we follow the saying “it is better to be safe than sorry”.

2. Lines, Lines, and More Lines

Long Lines during Lockdown

It was chaos in the first weeks of lockdown. People were in panic and afraid of losing food and essential supplies. The result is massive panic buying and the long lines to grocery stores, drug stores, and money remittance centers. I spent almost one day just buying one to two weeks' supply of grocery items.

3. Preparing for the New Normal Education

Continuous Ink - 6 Month Lockdown

The lockdown also affected the schooling of our children. We were confused about what will be the mode of education for the so-called “new normal”. To ensure that our children will not be left behind, we bought whatever they will need for online classes, which include a continuous ink printer. My wife even ordered a ring binding machine and a laminating machine that she can use when making workbooks for the kids.

4. Late Night Show with DU30

Duterte Late Night Show

I tried to watch the public speeches of President Duterte in the beginning of the pandemic so that I can get the latest guidelines. However, Duterte’s incoherent ramblings caused more confusion so I stopped watching him and just waited for news about the latest confusing guidelines about the community quarantine.

5. Empty Places

Empty Divisoria

The lockdown affected the movement of people and killed many businesses. The result is that the normally busy areas, like Divisoria’s Ylaya Street in the above image, became empty. Even the SM in our area is dark and empty during the early weeks of lockdown. The crowd is back to Divisoria now that restrictions are easing.

6. Spiritual Barrenness

Empty Binondo Church

It is more than 6 months now that our family was not able to experience physically attending a Holy Mass during Sundays. We attended mass via online but we feel that there is something missing in that mode of “mass”. I can now enter many churches but we are yet to attend a Sunday Mass, physically, as a family.

7. Commuting Woes

Empty LRT

Commuting to work was a hellish experience during the lockdown. There was one morning when I was having difficulty riding a jeep or bus that I snapped with anger. It was a terrible experience that made me realize that the stress caused by the pandemic is already getting to my nerves.


It seems that the majority of what I wrote about the lockdown is negative and I guess that's how negative-thinkers like me view the world.

The truth is that I relished the disruption to my normal pre-pandemic life. It allowed me to be with my family more and it kept me away from some fake/plastic co workers and their phony office politics. I actually wished that the work-from-home scheme will never stop but then again the reality slapped me in the face. 

The drawback of the disruption is the blurring of the boundary between home and office since the house is both the place for work and family. The competing concerns of home and office made the life during the lockdown more difficult. 

Despite the many difficulties and sufferings brought by the pandemic, the most positive that happened is the coming of our Bunso, the littlest one of our children.

It is true that more difficulties are yet to come since 2020 is not yet done. I can only hope that I can cope, that I can increase my patience, that I can put more faith and trust in God. This is not for me but for the family that the Lord entrusted to me. 


Our Life during the Lockdown

Hermit Crab

One of my unusual pet when I was a kid is the hermit crab. I used to amuse myself with it by scaring it into hiding to its scavenged shell. I then wait for it to cautiously get out of the shell just to be scared again. Well, I guess our pet hermit (may it rest in peace) is now amused with us and probably saying "that's karma for you" because we have been living like hermit for 8 weeks now thanks to the government-enforced lockdown. 

The pandemic disrupted our lives and shook the very foundations of our society. We have read many stories of suffering, from health workers working in hazardous conditions to no-work-no-pay people who are now reduced to begging just to survive. 

So far, this is our life during the lockdown. 

Working from Home

Fortunately, my work can be done in a Work-from-Home (WFH) setting and our company allowed us to have this set-up. Thus, our family still has income despite the lockdown.I am also fortunate that I ditched Smart Bro and moved to a better ISP. 

Transitioning to WFH is not easy because there are so many distractions at home. The kids ruin my focus and I also allot time to do house chores since My Beloved Wife is pregnant with our fourth child. 

To make up for the loss time, I tried waking up very early during the first weeks of the lockdown. It did not work. It took me a long time to get my work-from-home rhythm. Now, in the eight week of lockdown, I managed to juggle work and family concerns.

Despite the WFH struggle, I still don't work during the weekends. I avoid, as much as possible, working at night unless the office concerns are urgent. 

Paranoia is Real

We experience some sort of paranoia during the first weeks of the lockdown. The news of the spread of the virus and the number of dead people scared us, especially my pregnant wife. She was afraid for her children who might be infected by the dreadful virus. Facebook, with scary posts and constant fighting, is also not helpful.

There were also times when I was not motivated to work. I feel stressed and tired even if I am just staying home. I guess this is what some call as cabin fever. 

What we do is to distract ourselves. My Beloved Wife made me cook lunch. We also have our merienda in the front yard so that we can breathe fresh air. We also watched less news or entertained ourselves by watching movies. 

Homeschooling the Kids

One of our concerns is the education of our kids. We do not know how schools will operate in the midst of the pandemic. My Beloved Wife decided to teach our children herself. She researched about homeschooling and we recently bought some digital educational materials for our children. 

We Pray More as a Family

The greatest tragedy for us is that we can no longer attend the Holy Mass physically because of the lockdown. We attend Sunday Mass via online streaming but that is not enough. Our souls hunger for the physical presence of Christ at the mass. 

Our paranoia pushed us to pray more. Now we pray the 3 O'clock Prayer and also pray as a family before we sleep. This is the best positive effect of the lockdown for us.

Going to the Grocery is a Big Pain

One major difficulty that I experienced during the lockdown is when I buy our needs at the grocery. The lines at the grocery store are long and I spend at least half a day to finish.

Public transportation is prohibited so I just used my bicycle. Unfortunately, there was a time when I walked three kilometers from the grocery as I pushed my bike loaded with a boxful of grocery items.

I am a smart grocer now because I bring two backpacks and plenty of eco bags so I can still ride the bike while I carry all groceries back home.

- - -

Our family is somehow coping with the disruptions caused by the pandemic. Sadly, the end is not yet in sight because there will be third and more waves of infections. In short, our temporary incarceration at home will be longer than what we imagined.