ECQ: Encourage, cooperate and be quiet
BUSINESS AFTER BUSINESS - Romelinda Garces (The Freeman) - April 2, 2020 - 12:00am

The efforts of the government to control the spread of the disease is commendable. All the sacrifices of the front liners equally laudable. And the outpouring of support from people all over the world in both in-kind, financial or service assistance is a display of the core of our humanity.

Driving to Mandaue from Lilo-an has given me a tender experience. I guess we all feel that in these times when we have to depend on each other to keep safe, and the only requirement from each of us is to cooperate.

I see the men and women in uniform, lined up, some uncertain in what to do. Some purposive, and automatic in their entry protocols. But through all the gestures, mutual respect is palpable. 

I try, as much as possible, to stay home. Not just for me and my family but also for those who are risking their lives to keep control over this malady that has swept the world.

I try, as much as I can, to do the service required of me from home and sometimes feel at a loss when I can not move in the same way I would in ordinary days. 

I thought for a while, when I was still in the confines of the office, that those of us who stayed at home were having a more leisurely pace until the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) was put to effect and I too had to stay at home.

It’s not easy. Day one had me stuck to my phone that brought migraine with it. People calling from everywhere. Wondering how to get a pass. My lines burned ‘til midnight. Thought I could have an easy day.

Day two and I thought, today is where boredom will begin. But no. Lines still started to burn and with it, what I was cooking.

Day three, whew! Finally had the chance to look at the files I brought home for sorting.  But calls still came. Sporadically but always present in every hour. And on this day, conference calls began, which had me sunbathing, or moonshine bathing, depending on the call time for signals did not seem to cooperate.

I realized there are only areas at home where signal is good at this time. Maybe because connections are weary themselves. 

I found a particular spot at home where I could hang my phone on a branch of a plant since it had better connections. To my neighbors, I looked like I was talking to our dama de noche. But well, at least it was pleasant to smell.

I planned to clean, one room at a time in between work. For truly work is not as structured as it is when we are in the office. But until now, I have not even sorted my cabinets.  Well, I know in the length of time we are in ECQ there will be time to do those things.

I miss church though and seeing my friends there. But I pray all of them are in the best of health. I know when we meet we would have an added inch or so with all the stress eating and boredom coming to play. But I thank the Lord for helping those who have been afflicted to recover. And for those who He called into His presence, I pray that they entered peacefully.

In this time, every good news on recoveries builds my own enthusiasm and encourages me to do my share on a day to day to be of help or even just to listen.

Now on the fourth day, I feel I should do my own calls with my friends, who have long wanted to catch up with our stories.  Like my file pile, they too have been placed on hold.  And I am grateful for the depth of our relationship for us not to give up on each other.

Again I thank our government, for all the efforts they are expending.  And I ask for patience among all citizens because no one wants to lead in a crisis like this.  NO ONE.  And our government, doctors, nurses, police and barangay workers, are not God for us to think they can free us from this bondage.

Only God can and we have to be quiet in His presence. Pray.

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