024A7: Mental Health Checks

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 155

We're mid-way through August and it's been a weird ride. I totally hadn't expected for Metro Manila to return to MECQ not because of the numbers but more because of how stubborn the national government is. I've gone from being frustrated that I'll be spending my birthday in quarantine to just being resigned to the fact that we'll be in quarantine for the foreseeable future and it's not just my birthday that has been affected by all this madness. 

I'm still undecided on how to "celebrate" my birthday, but recent online engagements have inspired a few new ideas. The low-hanging fruit remains to be inviting friends to join a video conference and play online-friendly party games like those in the Jackbox Party game series. Alcohol may or may not be involved, as is the nature of such things. But now I know we can also play a few other party games in a limited capacity such as Monikers, even though it means only Tobie and I will act out all the cards for everyone else connected to us in a call. It's not ideal, but it's at least an option. We played a game that way the other night and it was pretty hilarious. 

The longer this lockdown has gone on, it is interesting how valuable our online interactions have become. While we do "meet" friends on a regular basis to play different RPGs and other games online, what has become more striking ar the sort of conversations we have outside the game proper. Both before and after our sessions we end up taking the time to catch up on everyone's lives, swap stories from the week, and generally just socialize as if we were around the same table as usual. It may not seem like much, but these moments of just plain old human interaction are invaluable to feeling a bit more normal despite how crazy things have gotten. And it's something to hold onto amid the uncertainty and stress.

We're all doing our best to get through this pandemic as best we can and being denied most of our typical social interactions takes its toll on everyone in one way or another. And even the most introverted among us feel things are off by now as we approach our sixth month in quarantine. 

Geez, it's going to be half a year in lockdown soon. That's quite the sobering thought. 

We just have to do our best to get through things as best we can. We have to find ways to help one another while still keeping safe and practicing physical distancing and good hygiene. We can't quite trust the government to fully address this pandemic effectively so it falls to us as individuals to do our part. We'll get through this madness together.