1. When I miss that time that I had an aquarium channel on TV
  • When this pandemic started in December 2019 in China, I was one of those people who immediately dismissed and minimized it. I didn’t think a certain flu strain could blow out of proportion as it has already become today. I remember Elle Jo Mondragon, being a Senior Medical Technology student and Jhois’ cousin who was living with us kept tracking the developments of this virus from WHO accounts. He started recognizing that this situation might get worse. The idea of a pandemic was something I could not wrap my head around. 
  • The sprawling news reports since 2020 were becoming more similar to watching a Hollywood science fiction film, to be more specific, a disaster and an apocalyptic subgenre. And, we all know how those films end, not everyone can survive. There were countless of times when we just wanted to catch our breath from the suffocating doom-broadcasts and to convince ourselves that everything could still work out just fine. It was like all media platforms were running amok and we thought that an aquarium channel on TV could be beneficial for these moments. 
  • Note: We found it on Youtube. This aquarium-watching for a few minutes has been useful in calming us down. I have a new favorite now and that is a train ride on YT. We do this, not to evade reality but to help us sit with it (sit with the fear and anxiety) and let it all sink in. 

Aquarium on YT

Train Ride on YT


  1. When we sometimes forget what day it is
It’s already weekend but today, still feels like Monday. 
  • I think our brains have a certain amount of threshold in absorbing a series of events that have happened in a day. Sometimes, our forgetfulness doesn’t really mean we have reached a premature senile phase. Sometimes, it signals that we’re having an overspill of what our brain can actually take in. There were days when each minute was beyond eventful that they felt like months had passed. Oh well, up until now, everything keeps changing fast anyway. 
  • It’s either we initially thought that a normal day has this much of a happening that concerns us or that we have just entered a new of era of hyper-awareness. There’s an ongoing barrage of issues coming out of the surface that we didn’t know how terrible it has been until covid made us pause, sit and watch. Gone was the era when we can opt out, look away and sedate ourselves using our daily “busy-pill” from all the scarcities, injustices, and sufferings of our people. We no longer have that luxury to be indifferent because we figured we’re all connected. If those people have experienced it, sooner or later we would, too. No one is immune to any kind of tragedies. Our best hope is to handle each issue as it occurs by learning from one another. 

  1. When I misheard what the other person was saying (or shouting)
  • Every morning, there’s always a mangtataho who passes by our street. He shouts, “tahhhhooooo” to alert kids or anyone who likes to buy from him. Jhois would often say that it’s the second nicest shout to hear in the morning. The first one on her list that no one surpasses yet is her Mommy’s voice shouting her name, “Jhois, gising na (wake up)!” combining an alarming volume and a life-and-death tonality of voice that could make you feel like there was a fire breakout in your house and you needed to vacate as soon as possible. 
Photo Credit to: Joseph “Jay” Suasin
https://www.flickr.com/photos/jahrock91/3478838277
  • There was this day that as soon as I heard him, I shouted back as a way of signaling him to stop by at our house. Taho is a must for our breakfast, and I don’t want to miss it. This is one of the perks in working from home. I kept yelling to assist him in locating us. When his voice sounded nearer, I rushed to our gate and figured that I have been shouting “tahhhhooo” back to Kuya who was selling (and shouting), “bukkkooooooo”. It was embarrassing. It was as if I was challenging him on a yelling tournament. He looked sideways, searching for his pal, the mangtataho, but could not find even a shadow of him. Oh well, sometimes our expectation plus our imagination gets the best from us.

  1. When jotting down notes is an essential 
What was the first thing he mentioned a while ago?
  • We got covid last March 2021. Jhois got hers on the 16th. I got mine on the 19th. At that time, all the seniors were prioritized to get their shots and Jhois and I were still in a waiting game. We encountered covid in its raw, feral, and untamed form. Mind you, we’ve been very careful. We thought all the information from the media was enough to prepare us from this, but we were in for a shock. We accepted the fact that the odds of dying from this virus is lottery. A person infected with covid can either be asymptomatic, with symptoms that are life-threatening or die from it. Luckily, we have survived. Occasionally, we can still feel some residual symptoms but not equally intense with the one we had before. Self-monitoring has been helpful for our recovery. 
  • One of the note-worthy observations we’ve had with ourselves was that brain fog is real. It was like we were literally on a buffering loop. I told Jhois about my discontent that never in my dreams would I want to cosplay Flash Slothmore of Zootopia. 

Flash Slothmore from Zootopia

  • Perhaps, that was a bit extreme as an example but when we were in it, everything felt like a blur. The compounding effect of our symptoms, the grief we felt upon learning that we got it, the unpredictability of how worse it could get and the undetermined timeline of when would this be all over make everything murky. There was no clear sight ahead. 
  • During our third week since we got infected, it was difficult to focus on something. We needed a piece of paper and a pen to write things down so we wouldn’t forget anything. We needed to have a touch of it (tactile), the act of writing it down (kinesthetic/bodily movement), seeing the list (visual) and saying it (auditory). This has eased our way to speed up our mental faculties.  
I got it all down. That’s a lot easier!
  1. When you have vitamins that do not just function as supplements but also your daily health maintenance against possible reinfection
4Life Riovida Transfer Factor Tri-Factor Formula
(Liquid Dietary Supplement: Acai, Pomegranate, 
Elderberry and Grape Juice Blend);
4Life Transfer Factor Tri-Factor Formula Plus; and 
4Life Transfer Factor Tri-Factor Formula (Classic)
  • This is not a sponsored content. Everything you can see in the picture, we paid up until the last centavo of our bill. Mommy Socorro recommended us about these 4life products last October because we have been “sukis” (frequent customers) of diagnostic laboratories. Antigen test was not an option for us. We kept getting RT-PCR for more accuracy. I remember during the surge last year how cautious we were not to be reinfected and not to infect anyone else. This type of test is gold standard because aside from its precision, it is pricey. 
  • We want to be more prudent in the usage of our resources. Instead of spending for tests alone, we delve into fortifying our immune system and fighting the infection using these supplements. So far, everything has been good. Of course, our recovery is a fusion of healthy diet, more physical activity and keeping a sound mind. 

  1. When we were yelling at the kids playing outside to go home and sleep, then we checked our clock and it was still 7pm
Source: @patintero on Instagram, UGC
  • We’ve just turned ourselves into our own version of Ms. Minchin a few days ago. It’s something that can’t be helped. Jhois and I are very protective of the kids in our block, just because not all of them got their vaccine shots yet. I understand the struggle of parents who are trying to get through a tricky balance of keeping their children safe and letting off their children’s steam from this pandemic through playing. 
  • By the way, the parents were with their children. We saw them at the side of the road looking at their children playing. It was a nostalgic scene seeing those kids in physical play of patintero (what an appropriate choice of game!) under a full moon while their parents took pleasure in watching them having fun. Covid cannot steal our capacity for joy. That is something innate in all of us that nobody and nothing could cancel.

  1. When we cannot do anything past 9pm
  • We started changing our sleeping habits. Before, I could stay up all night until the wee hours of the morning to finish all my deliverables and binge-watch a Kdrama or any TV series until I feel sleepy. On the other hand, Jhois preferred to play computer games until midnight. It’s different now.
Sleep tight everybody! Good night! 
Sleep well! Time to go to dreamland!
  • We tried forcing ourselves to sleep before the clock hits 9 in the evening. The first few attempts were difficult. We both have hyperactive brains. We’re two natural overthinkers enjoying the process of overthinking. What worked for us was listening to the sound of rain falling. Again, we found this on YT. We did this for a few months until we get the hang of it, no longer needing any background sound. 

Rain Falling Sound on YT


  1. When we prefer what’s comfortable over what’s fashionable
  • We just wanted to keep everything simple. We don’t want to give needless fuss about how we look each day just because there’s a line up of things that we need to concentrate our limited energy on.

 

Zoey, your hair is a mess! 
  • Whether we are inside our house or we need to storm the supermarket to buy groceries, we prefer to wear our comfortable clothes on (pajamas included). The long queues of waiting customers, the lack of full indoor air-conditioning (some stores try to save up their electricity bill by switching only a few ACs on), the irate shoppers complaining, quick changing of policies and varying implementation from different stores or businesses are more than enough stressors for each errand. The comfy clothes can be our only outlet from an already strenuous environment. 

I no longer fixate myself in measuring each aspect of my life. 
I just keep showing up each day with everything that I got!

How about you? How have you been holding up since this pandemic began? We hope things are getting better for you as well. We’re praying that the worst is all behind us now. May you all keep moving forward by deciding things not from a fear-based perspective but anchored on all those that you value the most. May your values keep you aligned. May the love in your heart sustain you and rekindle your fire for another quest that await all of us. 

Let’s get moving until we can’t stop grooving. The fun has just began!



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