The New Normal in Manila

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal

The world took a major hit due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is a given that it’s hard to fight a threat that you can’t see. There are no exceptions – everyone is at risk. This is why lockdowns and stay-at-home orders were enforced to at least contain the threat. Slowly, in order to save lives, every country in the world followed suit, but there were still casualties along the way.

It’s like a plot in a blockbuster movie but the only difference is we are living in it. That’s a scary thought. One would never imagine that this would happen in our lifetime but this is our reality now. From a hopeful start to 2020, it gradually became a terrible nightmare in a span of a few months.

In Manila, it was no different. Few days before the lockdown – or should I say quarantine – began, all of us were enjoying our normal lives. We were happily hanging out with friends and family, strolling through parks and malls, stuck in traffic, watching a movie in the movie house, and doing our errands. Everything was normal then but little did we know that all of it will be taken away from us in a snap. It was sudden and we didn’t see it coming.

It was hard to adapt during the first weeks. Despite the madness and uncertainty that ensued, I had faith that everything will come back to normal in a month. Little did I know that I was wrong on that front. It was difficult to sleep and waking up is no different either. Watching the news about the rise of COVID-19 cases added fuel to the fire. I can’t bear to witness the struggles of the people during the lockdown. Everything was too much to handle.

Weeks become months and hope turns into uncertainty. We are all living in unprecedented times and the struggle is different. Back then, during our normal way of life, everyone was fighting all sorts of battles but this pandemic took it up a notch. What I learned during all of this is it’s okay to take a step back and do something that can ease your worries. It’s also worth mentioning that we all cope differently, so take it easy.

From the gradual change of lockdown restrictions in several areas, it will be a while before everyone gets accustomed to the so-called new normal. This pandemic has caused a massive shift in everyone’s lives. I learned that it will be hard to adjust but it’s okay. The first step is knowing that you are not alone. We can’t fight the uncertainty but we do know that this is only temporary. Continue to create ways to find joy. In times of despair, it is important to celebrate the little things. ∎

Author’s Bio

picsart_12-04-09-1880520903.pngAeron Mer Eclarinal is an avid follower of the geek culture. After writing his first entry for The Diarist Projects, he used that as a launchpad to follow his passion to write stories about superheroes. As a result, he currently writes news and features for The Direct which primarily focuses on the superhero genre such as Marvel and DC.

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