Life in the Time of COVID-19, Part 3

Posted on - in Life

I’ve lost track of time. How long have we been on quarantine?

May is coming to an end. So that’s more than two months, I guess.

The outlook isn’t exactly rosy: cases peaked at 15,000 as of this writing (May 28, 2020). And no, we haven’t flattened any curve, let’s be clear about that. Despite what the DOH secretary says. Still, Metro Manila is transitioning to general community quarantine (GCQ) by June 1 not because it’s safe, but because the economy is suffering.

I get it, though. Since the start of the community quarantine, many people have lost their jobs because transportation and industries had to be shut down. The company I’ve worked for, where I stayed for almost a decade, was forced to close down — my friends there had to accept the CEO’s decision based on nothing but “what’s best” for them (sad part is that they weren’t given separation pay, not even the ones who stayed there for more than 15 years).

Hubby and I still have work; we have a work-from-home setting but with reduced pay. Which is also understandable since clients are also suffering. Additional mental and emotional load is making it a bit hard for us. To be honest, I’m more stressed now than when I was still able to work in the office. For the record, not only because we have to tend to the kids but also because of co-workers who expect us to be on-call even after work hours.

If my current employer is reading this (I know he knows I have a blog), I would have to say that yes, I’m a bit pissed that your people send work-related messages at midnight or ask me to do work during holidays. My days off are sacred, dude.

Yeah, I call him “dude” sometimes. He knows that and doesn’t get offended. I mean, he calls everyone “dude,” too. So, quits.

Anyway, our mental and emotional load is expected to add up in the coming months because that’s supposed to be the start of the new school year.

So.

My kids’ school is currently opening the enrollment. No tuition fee increase and there’s a Php1,500 discount on miscellaneous fees. They’re doing the blended mode of learning. Still need textbooks. That means we’d have to shell out around Php40,000 per kid.

Too heavy on our budget. Our salaries have been cut and we’re going to spend on technology and electricity. The school has to understand that. I’m also imagining the scenario for households that have more than one kid but with only one computer. Or those who don’t have any apparatus or internet connection at all. Or those whose parents are working full-time and have little time to teach or assist their kids on school work.

It’s nice to find support groups like the DepEd Commons Facebook page where you can download worksheets for free. Still, there are those scenarios…

Some parents are considering a gap year for their kids. Hubby and I are not sure if we’re up to it since Eldest is supposed to be in Grade 6 this school year. But we’re hesitant on enrolling the kids to the school if we’re going to spend a lot. We’ve been looking into schools that offer home schooling or online learning programs that are more affordable. My sister thinks that that would be better, at least to lessen our expenses for the time being.

With what’s happening, it’s obvious that there’s going to be a huge change in how we live. It’s just so hard to transition when 1) you’ve been used to that “normal” your whole life and 2) there’s little to no support for the people.

Riding this wave pretty much sucks. Hope it ebbs soon.

Cover Photo by Jessica Lewis on Unsplash

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