Today’s Monday again, and I woke up to the same old plot: there’s sunshine passing through my window, the aroma of breakfast prepared by my mother filling the air, and I have to get up and do adulting duties. I checked emails. I brushed my teeth and washed my face. I treated myself to a cup of coffee to help my mind get in the right shape.
But today is not a typical Monday.
Day 8 of quarantine
I did not have to dress up casually. I did not need to check if my bag contained everything I need. Heck, I didn’t even need a bag. I did not need to go out before 9 to catch a crowd-less terminal that would bring me to the major highways of Rizal, where I would wait for PUV’s to bring me to my work in QC. There’s no traffic that awaits me. There’s no boss requiring me to show up in the office at a particular time.
For the entire day, I would just be staying inside the house. I would be eating bad news for breakfast, social media rants for lunch, and another surge of bad news for dinner. I would be working in a work-from-home setup. I would not go out, because there’s a deadly virus out there spreading like wildfire, forcing people to stay indoors for their own safety.
It has gotten so lame and boring. For the last couple of weeks, life has basically revolved out sleep-eat-work cycle, and if I am lucky enough I could spare a few hours for Netflix. And for once, I am finding myself longing for that stressful, messy Monday Grind.
“Only miss the sun when it starts to snow”
Life before the virus was pretty much wrecked. The daily commute was straight-up diarrhea. The 9-5 working cycle was turning us into corporate zombies, and our blood was half-parts coffee, which is not good for our health. The system wasn’t healthy for the general public, mentally, physically, emotionally.
But these things, no matter how stinky, were manageable. At the end of the day, we could come back to our families and friends and celebrate victories. We could pop a few beers and vent out as they sat across from our table, listening. We could get and give hugs. We could form a congregation and rally in front of a government agency’s office, with complete disregard of how distant or near you were at the people next to you. Life has always been tough, but for the many years I have been alive, I never had to worry about hugs potentially putting someone’s lives in danger.
We hate Mondays. At least, many of us think we do, and we’re very vocal about it. We wear T-Shirts that say “I’m a Friday person in a Monday world.” So the idea that Mondays are supposed to be dreaded has become some sort of universally accepted truth, and we are biting it.
But I miss the Monday grind, to be vulnerably honest. Heck, make it Tuesday grind, Wednesday grind. I long for the daily grind. I miss the normality of it all. The warm, smoky urban air disgusts the hell out of me, but I miss the assurance it gives me: that the city I live in is alive and kicking, and there’s another tomorrow to inhale and be grossed out by this vehicular fart. The demands, the expectations to become useful in the eyes of society gave us a persisting metaphorical headache, but we could hug and kiss and shake hands with one another. There was no life-threatening evil lurking in every corner of the street. We were stressed out but we were also chill.
The global pandemic situation is getting worse, and we have a long way to go before this ends, but if there’s one of the many things I have picked up, it’s that there’s way too much that I took for granted. When this is all over, I hope I’ll come out with a stronger appreciation of the world and the people around me.
What do you miss the most about life before COVID-19?