Lessons while on Lockdown

Renalene Nerval
3 min readMar 24, 2020

Today marks the 12th day of the “enhanced community quarantine” for Metro Manila and 8th day for the whole of Luzon in response to the growing pandemic of COVID-19. Knowing that the lockdown will last until April 12, it is daunting to think that we are not even still halfway. There is also no assurance that it would be lifted after that day and of course, what the situation would be.

I have never stayed in my dormitory this long. Living here for a while, I considered it as home more than anywhere else in the world. But as an extrovert, I would still prefer to go out unless I needed a break or if I want to cherish my alone time. Being in an unusual time like this — we are required to stay at home is somehow a big turn. Seeing all the news updates and getting disappointed as to how the current administration acts against the pandemic, it pains me to just stay at home. I wish I could do more.

As I was scrolling my twitter feed two days ago, I saw a post saying that “so you know now the feeling of being an animal stuck in a zoo.” Yes, definitely! Right in the bones. I mean, you are aware of what is happening around you, however there is a limit as to what you can do. Crossing out these external dilemmas, you are even in a battle with yourself. It is hard to remain safe and calm being in such situation. I constantly worry about my family away from me. It is a challenge to focus on school because some topics can be learned best in the classroom. I am troubled by those who have no homes, no means to feed their families, and those who do not even know that this is all happening.

Being on lockdown taught me how privileged I am to have the means to survive. I still have the freedom to do whatever I want even while at home, to rekindle with my old hobbies and to catch up with my school works, which I am really grateful about. At the same time, this lockdown gave me the perfect time to reflect that we are not only living here for ourselves, for the acts we do ripple and affects others as well. Being always updated on the news, I saw the faults of the government, at which I spend a lot of time vexing on. This is not the time to be silent, and definitely not the time that I would ever forget.

I thought I could not do anything at all, but I realized that being aware and giving voice is an act itself. We should demand accountability to our government officials. We should call out the incompetent ones. We should be their meticulous critique. We have the right to shame those who abuse their power and use their influence for personal gain. We do not owe anything to them, since the power they have now roots from our votes. We entrusted our lives to them, the only thing that they have to do is their job! *my god*

And since we recognize their faults, we, as people should help each other to fill their lacks. If we have more than we need, maybe we can donate in cash or in kind. We would not survive in this situation if we only live for ourselves. Stop hoarding goods, others need alcohols and lysols too! Do your duty as a citizen to stay at home, but still be empathetic and always check your privilege. More importantly, stay healthy not only physically, but also mentally and spiritually. Check your loved ones if they are doing well, contact your friends. In pressing times, sometimes a simple hello would mean a lot.

I always believe that whatever situation we are at, this shall pass. There are things we cannot control, but we can manage our actions and perspective towards it. Our resiliency as Filipinos already made us reach milestones. Now, I have nothing but prayers and hope that our grit and resilience would help us fight against this virus as well.

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Renalene Nerval

my life in prose and poems | aspiring CPA, creative writer, ENTJ