Since lockdown began, time and memory seemed to have lost all meaning. Being forced to stay home for seven months made me think about all the opportunities I have lost.

         At first, I didn’t mind being quarantined as I didn’t feel any discomfort except for the endless boredom. During the past seven months, I attended classes via Zoom, an incredibly elaborate video conferencing service, and every classmate (except for those who are in different time zones) actively participates in the class with professional and enthusiastic teachers. Most importantly, Zoom was a platform where I could interact with my friends. In order to fulfill my boredom, I watched Netflix or Youtube, ate snacks or delivered food, and did some workouts at home that helped boost my mood whenever I felt stressed.

         However, I began to realize that everyone’s lives vary from other sides of society. As I observed how others are dealing with the quarantine, I started seeing society, as well as myself, from a new perspective. 

         This morning, I read an interview about an elderly who cried out of his loneliness as he did not have the chance to utter a word because he spent the whole day in his house alone. The article argued that elderlies who live alone are more prone to have Corona Blue - a new term that implies depression caused by a long period of quarantine - compared to other age groups.

         In the Philippines, a 14-year-old Aeta boy was featured in the news because he was a farmer who needed to buy a cellphone for distance learning. Setting aside the need to buy a cellphone, his problems didn’t end. Unfortunately, the neighborhood he lived in lacked access to adequate electricity. His community needed to have access to electricity first, but having a wifi connection installed in the village was almost impossible. This boy, who would do anything to go back to school, is now harvesting under the scorching sun. 

         For the past seven months, a large number of people have been hit by the pandemic, but the pain that people have had to deal with seems to vary by each individual’s status. While some people complain about not being able to go outside of their houses to meet friends, there are others who desperately want to escape from their houses, not because of boredom, but because of desperation.

         Like these events stated above, many people, including abused children and women, elderlies who are alone, or poor families, have been unrecognized and abandoned from society even before this pandemic. As the community quarantine starts, they are living in a more prison-like residence. Their pain, suffering, and despair are also being further submerged in houses. 

Community quarantine

BY julia rhee