Since we can remember, we have had the luxury of enjoying freedom, liberty, and mobility. Waking up one day with the nationwide order of community quarantine and social distancing is a hard-blow for many Filipinos who are known for being warm and highly sociable.
For most people whose businesses and jobs are far from home, this situation is horribly disgusting. No business no profit; no work no pay! In addition to that, since this is summertime, well-to-do families who could not go on planned vacations and escapades are appalled. The poorer families who normally wait for this time of the year to be able to see their parents and relatives, this pandemic could seem unbearable.
What more for those whose wedding dates have to be forcibly postponed? I could not even touch a little on how disheartening it is for the families and loved ones of those who got infected by the virus. Apparently now, we can see that somehow money has become less relevant and thus economic status has become less pronounced.
“Flattening the curve”
These very factors that have stratified many societies including ours have somehow stopped doing so because all people have become immobile. “Stay Home Stay Safe” rallies our government as it desires to flatten the curve. Consequently, those who have for the most part built their lives and found enjoyment outside the home have after the longest time been forced to look inside. Apart from hanging out virtually, which could also be tiring and boring as the entertainment industry has just like all other industries drawn back for the same reason that we all have, we have to intentionally make this quarantine period significantly productive to truly experience the essence of living.
Apparently, staying together can feel extremely strange for most families whose members spend most of their waking hours outside the home and individually prior to Covid-19. The keyword for this season is ‘together’. And the challenge is: How can we take advantage rather than be awkward of this forced togetherness? I would like to give three suggestions: Discover things together; Do chores together; and, Dream together.
Discover things together
Discovering things together could be fun. From watching DIY videos on YouTube to reading the Bible, being together offers more perspectives on certain things. In our case, since community lockdown has deprived us the chance to acquire some baby must-haves, we discovered from YouTube a few suggestions on how to create visual sensory toys for the baby. We also watched cooking videos on no-bake cakes such banana cake, Milo cake and chocolate moist cake, and a whole lot more. Thanks to technology — now discovering things has never been made easy! Moreover, we have also enjoyed a longer time for morning and evening family devotion which includes reading one Bible chapter a day. Where we used to read our Bibles individually, now, we have been doing it together.
Do chores together
On top of our regular house chores like doing laundry together, we decided to that what we’ve learned we would also do together. After buying the most affordable material cloth coming in the primary colors plus white, I and Hubby helped each other in the making of our DIY visual sensory cast for our three-month-old baby. And the reward was priceless! Our baby had never been as excited in staring at the five stars suspended above him. A few days later, we together purchased the ingredients available for our banana cake and cooked it. It wasn’t perfect since it was our very first try. But the most amazing thing about it was we were able to share it with neighbors.
Finally, being together has given us an opportunity to rethink our previously made decisions. Having been given a much longer time to talk and pray together, we had discussed the pros and cons of our choices as well as the possible alternatives thereof. Fortunately, there is definitely no limit to the pleasures of dreaming together as a couple or as a family. As a result, we now have more concrete short-term as well as long-term plans and more vivid reasons for why we choose which.
Being productive during Covid-19
In this highly individualistic society, Covid-19 has been used by the Lord to get us back to the basics especially of the family life. Yet again, we have to begin with good intentions — the intention to be productive despite obvious limitations. And then perhaps, when the forty (quarantine) plus fifteen or even another forty-day extension is over, we have hopefully made sense of what it truly means to be family again.
About the writer:
A teacher by profession and by heart, Joy is a former college instructress and preschool teacher. A staunch supporter of exclusive breastfeeding (EBF), she just recently decided to explore virtual possibilities through freelance writing and proofreading to ensure more time for family. Her passion for biblical lifestyle and parenting has made her a local hit speaker in varied school occasions, leadership and parenting seminars. She is happily married to a ten-year younger husband Jovanie and a dedicated first-time mom to a three-month-old Eivan Dion (Chadie).