Pandemic Living in my corner now

Covid-19 Pandemic Diaries: Journaling through Life shadowed by Coronavirus. There is isolation, quarantine, lockdown and more.

This timeline of events is approximate. This account is my opinion and subject to error.

The Coronavirus Journal 2019 -2020.

December 2019 –

Western media said news from Wuhan, China, indicated that a strain of Coronavirus leaked from their bio lab and was causing viral, widespread infections. China denies this. Rather, they said bats transmitted the disease across species, to human, who then infected other humans.

January 2020 –

We read of Coronavirus infecting large quantities of people in Wuhan.

Panic buying starts with hand sanitizers, face masks, thermometers, wet wipes with disinfectant, sterile gloves and other medical supplies.

Some civilians even snap up PPE, or makeshift PPE like plastic raincoats. A few international travelers on flights wear their PPE on board flights. Naomi Campbell’s photo in her PPE suit went viral. That sparked even more air travelers buying PPE for their flights.

Skeptics scoff at cautious people who wear masks even when the government did not issue advice to do so. An elderly woman said to her husband, “Need to wear mask? Is it so serious?”

February 2020 –

My small community has transmissions. Wearing face masks becomes popular but not mandatory.

Some of us paid for getting flu jabs. The clinic in my neighborhood ran out of flu vaccine. We visited another clinic in a bigger neighborhood to receive our flu jab. We’re told it might protect us for one year, after which we have to get a fresh one and start the new countdown.

We have some faint clue that travel in and out of the country will be restricted. Families start to call back their members who are overseas.

Visitors to big buildings have to register their names and contact details for safe entry and exit records. They will be contacted for quarantine should there be a Covid-19 patient in their midst when they were in the same vicinity. It is decided that all who come into close contact with a Covid-19 carrier must undergo the test and stay in quarantine until they test negative and is deemed safe to live in their normal environment.

March 2020 –

Lockdown! Inbound passengers are limited to those who are citizens and those having valid work passes. Returning workers have to seek approval before booking tickets to fly in. Overland travelers from the neighboring countries are forbidden to enter. No more cross-border commuting for work. Suddenly these commuters have lost their opportunity to work.

Workers living in community living quarters have been infected with Coronavirus. WHO has named it Covid-19. The situation has turned bad. This small state has become the leading state with many thousands of Covid-19 patients. This will cancel medical tourism for a few years. Look at the state of your domestic healthcare!

Social distancing is the buzz. We are discouraged from gathering in groups.

Tertiary students in universities stopped going for real time classes. They tune in online for lectures. Suddenly, some universities announced they were postponing exam dates. This means students will wait longer for the new exam dates. This mucks up old schedules for the annual mid-year summer break.

We enter lockdown. Nobody is allowed to go out except for essential services like shopping for groceries, health service and other permitted dealings.

Logistics, delivery, and online purchases take over from old fashioned shopping.

No travelers outward bound nor inward bound. Flights are grinding to a complete halt, save for cargo carrying planes.

Travelers overseas are stranded. They have to endure this period of lockdown.

Everyone must wear their face mask when they are outside home. We must wear our face mask even when we step outside to check our letter box.

Many of us believe this disease will be batted down. We believed Covid-19 will be defeated by a vaccine.

University students sat for their preliminary exams online at home, in the safety of social distancing. They brought their answer scripts to hand in to the school the next day. By this time, students anticipated having their annual exams postponed.

We anticipate art exhibitions to be postponed or cancelled too.

More people stay home, work from home and spy on their neighbors. People who lost their jobs, were retrenched, or got furloughed temporarily, tighten their belts as they lose their affordability to eat.

Some families resort to sly methods to solicit food donations.

Many governments from the four corners of the world start giving handouts to help companies big and small. Employees, self-employed and the unemployed are all offered money to tide over this difficult time.

April 2020 –

We are tired. Prolonged isolation and self imposed lockdown are draining our energy.

We are all witch-hunters. We are afraid of people with Covid-19 symptoms. We are suspicious of neighbors who cough, sneeze, or talk about having a temperature above 37 degrees Celcius. We have a strange addiction to gossip. We want to know who’s sick, to avoid them.

Thousands of small businesses have closed.

May 2020 –

Residents and foreigners alike continue to go house-hunting like as if there is no tomorrow. People need to buy houses and Covid-19 is not going to stop them. Banks have lowered their interest rates.

June 2020 –

Statistics for attempted suicide in the US.

Before Covid-19 in 2018, only 4% of the total US population tried committing suicide.

By June 2020, a survey said11% of the general population of mixed ages tried suicide. And 26 % of this population of 18-24 year olds contemplated suicide.

July 2020 – Yet to be transcribed from handwritten notes.

August 2020 – Yet to be transcribed from handwritten notes.

September 2020 –

It becomes clear that Covid-19 is here to stay. We are not enthusiastic over early versions of vaccines.

Clinical trial of vaccine starts in some countries who have developed their own version of vaccine.

Students who are waiting for results received emails warning them to anticipate a delay in getting results. Covid-19 has affected the schedule for the grading of exam scripts.

Meanwhile, on the world stage, politics keep ticking on.

September 20 2020

It is now some six months into social distancing and fighting Covid-19. What is pandemic living like in my corner of the woods? What are the changes in my observations?

My grocery cashier mutters if our hands accidentally touch while bagging groceries. She’s afraid of catching Covid-19. I overheard her talking to a backend packer, about attending a job interview.

Two older cashiers from the X supermarket have quit because they don’t want to work where hundreds of customers stream past.

My doctor does not touch my wrist to measure my pulse now. He is afraid.

My neighbors eavesdrop for news on our health. They are afraid of catching Covid-19 from across the block. Some neighbors eavesdrop for ideas on what to copy to do to further their lives.

We’re in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic with no end in sight. What’s going on now? Some people have returned to work while others who have the option of WFH (Work From Home) enjoy the privilege.

People no longer do panic buying because the country has ramped up its production of essential goods to ensure a steady and constant supply in the retail outlets. Green vegetables sit in chillers waiting for customers. They wait for so long that they begin to yellow. Where have customers gone? The supermarket keeps up the facial appearance of decking its shelves full of produce, even after the crowds have gone. Maybe people go out for their meals and no longer stock raw food to cook. That’s why fresh produce are moving slowly out of the green grocer’s.

Hey, good news! There’s more toilet paper rolls than people now.

September 21 2020 –

Today is an extraordinary day. Its the day the plumber and waterproofing specialist come in to rectify some toilet problems. The waste pipe allegedly drips down. My neighbor’s ceiling has a watermark. My toilet floor has to get a chemical coating to prevent water leaking down. My plumber said simple maintenance work could be done during this second phase of our local area’s relaxation of lockdown measures. I’m lucky I have money to pay for maintenance. One or two decades ago, I would feel scared about spending money.

It has been drizzling cats and dogs since morning. The sky is crying.

November 2 2020 –

I have started typing my fiction. I actually bought some indie books to learn how to write like the novice I am. Classics are too intimidating and I can’t learn to write my own by reading classics.

WHY I AM ISOLATING EVEN WHEN THE RESTRICTIONS HAVE EASED

I don’t wish to catch Covid-19. I don’t want to infect my family members.

Note

The diaries may include writings, photos, comics and whatever else. I have more writings and potential comics for May 2020 onwards but I’m unsure how I’m going to present them.

References:

  1. Buy a book of writing prompts to help you write about Covid-19.

NYT 12 Ideas For Writing Through The Pandemic With The New York Times.

2. Here is the summary of the 12 ideas:

  1. Diaries/ Covid-19 Pandemic Journal. (can be a combo of writing, poem, photo, comic)
  2. Personal essays.
  3. Poetry
  4. Letter to editor.
  5. Editorial
  6. Review
  7. How to do something guide.
  8. 36 Hours to …
  9. Essay inspired by photo.
  10. Comic inspired by pandemic.
  11. Podcast.
  12. Revise and rewrite your works.