I have always been vocal about my support for the lockdown because this is for everyone’s health and safety. As early as February when the first case emerged in January 30, 2020, I was among those who expressed our support for NCR’s lockdown (that’s why I was supportive of Mr. Salceda’s suggestion during the early days in March). To be honest, I did not expect that come March 16, all of Luzon would be put into an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).
I vividly remember that Monday morning when the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) team were discussing about the community outbreak and whether our company was prepared for it. After lunch, an officemate who was on leave and watching the news messaged me that there was a possibility of a Luzon lockdown. My daughter normally leaves the house early during Mondays so I warned her and told her not to go to Quezon City because of the scoop. She ignored me and went ahead; those were the longest hours of my life feeling helpless and praying that she would come to her senses. After two hours, her text message seemed to be on a panic mode, I advised her to return home as soon as possible. It took her 4 hours to come back home because of the checkpoints and traffic. One worry down, I won!
We left the office at 7 PM with engineers asking me on what to do. Being like a mother or an elder sister to them, I assured them that there was nothing to be worried of. That should they failed to go home, we have the company dorms to accommodate them. I reached home at around 8PM, just ate a little dinner and then me and my husband hurried off to the nearest convenience store to buy canned goods. One worry down again!
Then before I slept, I told my father about the lockdown. He was not aware of it. I told him that a senior citizen like him would be prone to covid infection so he better listen to us. The next several days would be like a daily attendance check up with my father if he was home or not. By nature, he was very outgoing so I knew that the ECQ would hurt his social life.
The lockdown allowed me to take care of my kids while working from home. Our last approved work from home was April 4th so I had more time to check on my father until the day that he did not pick up my calls. I would not elaborate the details as they were still fresh but the bottomline was, the lockdown did not allow us to GRIEVE in a conventional way.
Because of the ECQ procedures, Papa had to be buried as soon as possible while I was viewing them from my cousin’s video call. I nearly collapsed because of too much pain and grief. To be honest, I am still in shock but not as shocked as two weeks ago. Me and my siblings are fortunate to have the love and sympathy of our relatives and friends. May God have mercy on us on these trying times.