Getting by

It’s getting tougher each passing day. As in the photo, it’s like praying for the heavy rainfall to stop and urging the sun to come out because the rusty, leaking roof can’t take it anymore and will break your house anytime. The irony that is life. We’ve been dealing with the pandemic for over a year now. How many times have you heard somebody say “COVID is real!” Perhaps they got sick and hospitalized and lost a loved one, or among those who believed the virus and the vaccines to be a hoax or scam. You’d think you’re lucky you haven’t caught it yet and still alive. Unfortunate that the new variants of the COVID-19 virus are now widespread, causing the health statistics to get broken again and lockdowns becoming the usual, vicious remedy. And our social feeds becoming an online obituary is not exactly helping.

How are you getting by? All’s well I’d exclaim with a smile but these past few days I couldn’t bring myself to have the same energy and positive attitude, not when the impact of the pandemic is in proximity. My sister, who were among the first to get fully vaccinated with Sinovac because she has comorbidities, is quarantined at home after testing positive. We’re praying for her fast recovery while her husband and daughters have been isolated. This after my niece’s whole family just got fully recovered. I learned of this when my sister messaged me one early morning, apparently to say goodbye should she not make it. I cried while sending my reply that “You’ll be ok!” It’s heartbreaking that I couldn’t even pay her a visit, I can only pray for her to get better. I never thought I’d say it, but I couldn’t help talk to myself about “COVID is real.”

It’s the breaking news nobody wants to subscribe to, it was distressingly quick and we’re always left in shock. I can no longer count with both hands the number of friends, former colleagues, and classmates who succumbed to diseases aggravated by the virus. What’s even worst is that these tragic news seem to bring long-lost friends together, becoming the new reunion of sorts, done over video streaming. While cherishing all these unforgettable memories, almost all were in agreement: “COVID is real.”

And then you hear an ambulance pass by more regularly now. The loud sirens that seem to amplify our fears and our worsening situation. A few streets near our place are on granular lockdown already as the positive cases have reached its peak. We learned that the whole family a few blocks away have been sent to a quarantine facility. Everyone at home is fully vaccinated, still we couldn’t dismiss the fact that we’re all vulnerable. There’s no remote work option in my current company, which means I go to the office on weekdays. I always remind myself and my team to be extra careful, because there’s no denying that “COVID is real.”

How I get by is accepting the reality that life goes on. It’s tough yes, and will be even tougher given the uncertainties that lie ahead. The new or next normal is not something to look forward to but we have no choice but to live with it. We may have lost friends and loved ones, but we’re still here fighting to survive. I’m pretty sure they don’t want us losing hope or giving up, in fact they might be cheering us on up there in heaven.

Let’s get that roof repaired so our house can withstand more typhoons that are about to come. Make sure to get vaccinated and observe health and safety protocols. Take care of yourself – exercise regularly, wash your hands, eat well, get enough sleep, quit those unhealthy vices, focus on boosting your immune system – if it helps, start a new artistic, indoor hobby.

Yes, COVID is real, and this rainfall of problems might take a while, but it will stop real soon, and we can’t wait to bask in the beautiful sunshine, and scream our lungs out with “All’s well!”

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