I did not go out, not even for a morning walk on the eighth floor. Instead, I watched a series of online videos, including great speeches by American presidents, like President Obama's address to the British Parliament. It made me wonder why our nation's leaders don't give good speeches anymore. I watched a video of former President George W. Bush during the unveiling of his White House portrait. It felt like a lifetime ago when decency, respect, and kindness were celebrated. I also finished Barbara Demick's Nothing to Envy, and devoured the third chapter of James Wood's The Nearest Thing to Life, a collection of intelligent, engaging essays.
In the afternoon, I did some online catching up with close friends. Mike, who is based in Australia, shared a photo of the sourdough he made. My initial response was shock, followed by awe. I asked if he made the starter himself; he said yes. I asked further if he had a Dutch oven; he said he improvised. It was a Pinoy oven, then. I also did some catching up online with former work colleagues-turned-friends, with the usual string of nonsense and updates regarding our future plans. "What will we do now?" was our main topic.
For the past 80 days I have written short entries in what I initially imagined was going to be a short Journal of a Lockdown, inspired largely by the writer Jessica Zafra, who did the same in her website. The lockdown evolved into many versions. There came a point after the first month when I stopped counting the deaths and new cases. I did not write about Covid-19 anymore. I was not disinterested; I just did not want to add to the noise.
If you can read this, it means you're still alive after the ECQ and MECQ. It is something to praise God for. What has the pandemic taught you?
In my case, it has taught me to trust in the sovereign purpose of God. My career plans are on hold. I don't know what will happen in the future. Will there be a second wave of viral infections? Will I be able to go home to the province to be with family? What will happen to our country?
There's this beautiful hymn we sing in church: "Because he lives, I can face tomorrow / Because he lives, all fear is gone / Because I know he holds the future / And life is worth the living / Just because he lives." I pray that the song will point you to Jesus Christ, in whom there is eternal assurance.
The Journal of a Lockdown No. 80 is the final entry of this short quarantine project. Thank you for dropping by.