That’s so far

I’ve stopped updating because I suddenly found myself busy with troubleshooting some work-related stuff. And I preferred to actually write some personal things with ink on paper. Covid-19 is still here. A vague idea of a quarantine has set in and life is slowly restarting. The vaccine is estimated to come sometime 2021, later this year at the earliest. Life is still a little dangerous beyond the front door but life goes on.

So that’s it for now. And, hopefully, I will write here soon.

Biking to Work

Che MTB
Preparing an MTB repurposed for commuting. I named the bike Che.

I used to bike to work more than a decade ago. I found it exciting and fun at the time. I considered it as a positive adventure at the start of each work day. After two or three years of fun and excitement, I stopped because there was an increase in the density in traffic combined with the erosion of discipline by a growing number of drivers and those reasons wasn’t making the ride fun anymore. We also moved to another building that did not have a shower (which is a bummer). Biking to work was getting tedious and stressful.

Commuting by bicycle is now being encouraged by government in getting to or from one’s workplace during gcq because there is a need. During the first day of gcq on June 01, there were no public buses, jeeps, and vans. I didn’t see any taxis on the road. The lrt is just letting 10% of passengers in per trip — that’s 100 out of 1,000 passengers. This only means riding public is much too unreliable and tiring. It’s either I ride a bicycle or walk.

I’m actually trying to prepare for both. I’m cleaning and prepping up Cherry’s former mountain bike (pictured above) which I previously converted for city commuting so It doesn’t have those knobby tires anymore. It’s old but it is quite usable.

I also will be cleaning and prepping my road bike (also old) which I prefer to use but it’s a fixie so there are no apparent brakes. But since it is a fixed gear bike, when you stop pedaling, it stops. But to make things easier I will be installing brakes on it.

I will be practicing on both bikes to determine which one is easier for me to use. I haven’t been on a bike for a while now so I have to practice for a couple of weeks to get back the confidence of riding on the road again.

And have started to actively do light exercise at first — morning walks, light yoga, light weights — just to wake up my system again and prepare it to be more active. It’s just a little more difficult because the weather’s a bit hotter these past few days.

Stay safe folks.

Plans

Watching a recent webinar had me giving a thought about my plans. People has been thinking and talking about what’s going to happen after the extended community quarantine, after the general community quarantine and after a vaccine has been found and readily and easily available to the public. I thought about my short, medium and long term plans and how these plans have changed because of the pandemic.

Circumstances has become so fluid now and making concrete plans seems to be so pointless. But I do know that plans still has to be made and they have to made liquid like the times. They have to be made adaptable.

Cash is king. In this pandemic, I’ve heard this phrase repeatedly in the webinars, in the news, and in chat groups often enough that I hear the voices in my head chanting them almost every waking day. Fine. Gather enough to live and live comfortably. Practice wiser spending — wiser than even before the pandemic, if it’s at all possible.

So save whatever I can even however small it may seem to be. Sell stuff that I do not need. Maybe it’ll help to pack the stuff that I’d want to keep just to help things be tidy. Get a job after ecq — if I still have a job. Maybe. Or just get something on the side for additional income.

Things will not go back the way they were because I believe it’s a mistake not to learn from this life lesson and go back to the way we were like nothing ever happened. I see the general community quarantine will continue in some soft form or another for the foreseeable future. Washing hands, wearing facemasks in public and social distancing has become a norm. Maybe a year from now. I expect to see lockdowns or enhanced quarantines but on a smaller scale — maybe on a barangay level.

I see myself more paranoid than usual. I would be more cautious and be unapologetically unsocial for a while and would travel only when necessary. My work is about 12 kilometers away and, as I see it, my best option to get there is by taxi, bicycle or walk, in that order. The bus or the vans still has too many passengers for my peace of mind.

Long term, I do not see myself living in Metro Manila. I was born and raised in the province and, with the exception of the quarantine period, I have been finding the city increasingly noisy, crowded and polluted. I must admit there are plenty of distractions both good and bad. But I know I can afford not to be overly distracted.

Preparations for the New

People and government has been talking about letting people going back to work when the ECQ is lifted and replaced by the GCQ on the 15th of May. The economy has to be restarted. To the small businesses, especially in the food sector, a number of the food services and it’s associated support establishments hasn’t really stopped.

But the move to get out of quarantine and start work in earnest is present and they want to begin efforts after the 15th. I am looking forward to a return to some form of normalcy concerning work but I am a little anxious about physically going to work. The virus is still around and there is still no vaccine to be seen in the immediate future. All we have are tests to see if we have contracted the virus or not. But the statistics also tell me that is that we do not perform enough of these tests. The the data so far gathered tell me that if one does get the virus, the chance of it being fatal is very minimal — 3.4% by WHO’s estimates — but no one wants to be included in that number.

I see myself going to the office soon after ECQ has been lifted or a few days after so either way I would have to really prepare for it.

Hello May

8:36a:
Its the start of a new month. May 2020. There has always been this hope at the turn of a new decade or new year or new month that there is some new development will arrive or something positive will come. I certainly hope it’s is positive because the world needs one right now.

10:28a:
I read this news that the Department of Transportation (DOTr) is or will be promoting the use of bicycles and personal mobility devices when we go into the general community quarantine (GCQ). This is good news and on any other time it would be most welcome. And it is still welcome but this time it has become a necessity. It’s back to basics.

7:47p:
I just noticed that he rate of getting results is more or less constant. Well it hasn’t gone over 300 except of April 2, 3, and 6. Most are between 200 – 300. Not the spike I was dreading but it also makes me think that our processing of tests is being the bottleneck. Maybe we need more processing centers or newer and faster test kits that give the results in hours.