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Quarantine Diaries: April 20, 2020

By Pebbles Mendoza

Life in quarantine is something that none of us ever imagined we would have to do.

Living on Boracay is a dream existence for most of us, most of the time. But this year has hit us particularly hard. The Christmas day typhoon hit our island community like we had never seen before. None of us expected such severity and damage to be caused.

Apart from the structural damage, the biggest loss was that of our communications. There was no internet or cellphone coverage for several weeks. It was dreadful.

But in some strange way it prepared me for what I’m going through now. Long periods of isolation.

I live in a small apartment compound here that is normally rented out to tourists. Now no tourists are anywhere to be seen. Just me here and my three cats. My landlord’s daughter drops by once a week to check things out, but is not so friendly. Just a quick smile and she’s off again on her motorbike.

I was given a quarantine pass by the local barangay permitting me to visit the shops for groceries. But no one is allowed on the streets, so I cant catch a trike. It’s a long walk for me back and forth from the shop. Especially when I have to carry my bag of shopping.

Getting water delivered is also very difficult. I am now becoming afraid what will happen when my gas bottle runs empty - will I be able to get another one. Everywhere is closed.

My little apartment is on the ground floor, so my internet is not very strong, but thanks lord for letting it still work. At least I can spend most of my day keeping up to date with news, as depressing as it may be.

One good thing has come out of this situation. My tiny little garden has now become home to six new herb plants. It never really was a garden, just somewhere for me sit and smoke. But now my herbs are growing and the basil and parsley are helping add some flavor to my daily dishes.

I think I’ll start growing some indoor plants when I can buy some after the lockdown. I really enjoy the time spent with them. I even find myself talking to them, encouraging them to grow - but maybe that’s just a consequence of being in isolation...


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