I haven’t been writing. Well, I have, but not on this platform. I’ve been writing fiction. I’ve found that it’s easier to write about imaginary events that are creations of my overactive mind, than jotting down everyday happenings, a lot of which I’m sure my readers have read from other blogs as well.
I mean, how many ways can one describe the inner workings of life when you’re stuck at home because you’re afraid to go out for fear of picking up the dreaded coronavirus and bringing it back home to your family? That’s not a souvenir I would ever want to surprise my mom with.
Then again, since my last post, which was in June, one would say that a lot has happened. Not a whole lot, but events have definitely taken a turn in the last month when governments around the world began reopening their borders to “fully-vaccinated” tourists. In fact, I have pending tour package confirmations for this weekend, next weekend and the weekend after that.. and a fourth for June 2022. And we’re not even fully opened yet!
Although, I’m still caught between accepting the confirmations (if they do) and telling them outright to ‘call back in January’. I want to accept (God knows I’m itching to travel, even if it’s just part of the job), but a tiny voice in my head keeps saying to wait – that I don’t have to be one of the first – that I just need to be one of the safest.
Well, that voice certainly has a point.
The province of Camiguin reopened last October 25, 2021, nineteen months after it had closed. Exactly two weeks later, I received a package inquiry for November 19, with only a little over one week to prepare. Just like that.
I know people are antsy, and that they are just looking for opportunities to GET OUT! But that inquiry was ridiculous! It’s almost as if they believed that only they had been cooped up and that we were fine, enjoying ‘business as usual’. In any case, I was able to send them a reasonable quotation, considering the added costs the health protocols have imposed on almost everything the tour will cover. Thank God the guests decided to postpone.
I also have to consider my mom, who has Alzheimer’s. I can’t just up and leave her like I used to anymore. In my last description of her state (April 30, 2021), I mentioned she was very talkative, albeit repeatedly going over the same subjects throughout the day or night. Now, she still is talkative and repetitive, but she does it at night. During the day, she sleeps.
The thing is, I am still waiting for The New Normal to happen. Has it happened? It seems to have already because people are talking about ‘New Beginnings’ and ‘Revivals’ and ‘Starting Up Again’. How could I have missed it? I have been doing nothing except watching and waiting for it.
Was the year 2020 it? It couldn’t have been because that was when we were all shocked and just following orders without thinking about the long-term effects. I mean, to feel eternally grateful for receiving Php 8,000 ayuda (US$160, financial assistance) and then promptly spending it on a new cellphone while your family was starving.. yeah.. that was smart! No, last year wasn’t it.
Is the year 2021 it? Umm.. it could be, though, for an era to become ‘normal’, we should at least have the confidence to move about without having to ask, “What Quarantine or Alert Level are we at now?” So, I guess that would also be a No.
So, I therefore conclude that The New Normal hasn’t happened yet. I suspect that it hasn’t even begun. And yet, people are jumping to the next stage which is Starting Up Again. Well, good luck with that. I think I’ll wait it out.