April 20, I Pray for The Front Line

By Cindy O CAGAYAN DE ORO, PHILIPPINES

I wake up at 6 a.m. in Cagayan de Oro, aka CDO, a highly urbanized city, and the capital of Misamis Oriental, hungry for some strong coffee. After, with clear eyes, I cook some breakfast for the family, today its eggs, sausages, dried fish, and fried rice. I love to cook for them because I dont usually do this when I have work. I’m more into drinking water than juices. I drink a lot of water to stay hydrated. Every morning is very silent, not like normal days before the lockdown, where everyone would buzz around preparing for work and school. The first hour of my day is the only silent time I get to think, sit with myself, and plan what to do today to be productive, and of course, what to cook.

I decide to go out for groceries, so I make sure I have a mask and alcohol and hand sanitizer. I prepare and leave my home with my shopping bags and a list of what we need. Going out feels very different because you can’t go anywhere with your friends, and you need to follow social distancing with everyone, which is for me very different.

Here in the Philippines, you can only go out if you have a quarantine, pass one person per family is allowed to go out to buy food or medicine. I believe than its a big help to decrease infection and stop the virus.

Walking on the street to the city is very weird for me because it feels like a ghost town. My busy city turned into a ghost town that feels so different. You can see people with masks, but I don’t see people here wearing full cover or eye protection because it is not available here. I guess people cant afford to buy it. It’s a good thing is people here act like normal and don’t panic.

I get to the grocery store, and there’s a long line. Every security guard has to check you and your temperature, so I have to wait for what feels like hours. I’m happy I have a mask, but not everyone else does. You cant do panic buying or hoarding, so everyone only buys limited food like, for bread, a maximum of two loaves, and the prices are increasing, which is very bad for this situation and I hope the government can do something about this, soon. Many people are suffering.

Home, later, I put away the groceries and relax before dinner. I feel sad and bored. Sad because I can’t work, and my flights are canceled. A lot of appointments are canceled now, so I’m trying to find a job online.

I’m a model and makeup artist, so my industry is on pause now. A lot of us have no income at all, and rely on our family or friends because the government doesn’t help us at all. Overall it’s sad and stressful for what is happening all over the world.

I hope I can travel by this summer, but I’ll wait for what the government says. It’s better to wait for the situation to be totally okay before we travel so that the virus won’t come back. I really hope that there will be a vaccine for this virus soon, but I think it’s not that easy, the best way to fight and end this virus is to … pray for the front line workers, follow the rules of social distancing, and stay at home! Don’t spread the disease, enjoy the time with your loved ones.