Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 262
I've officially completed my annual reading goal for the year. In fact, as of the time of this blog post, I've read 369 titles versus my 365 book goal for 2020, which is pretty cool. My reading had actually slowed during the first few months of the quarantine and it took me some time before I got back into the right headspace to pick up my reading pace and get back on track.
To be fair, a lot of this reading was tactical reading including a lot of comic book trade paperbacks and focusing on shorter, easier-to-read novels in order to get my numbers up. With the goal now behind me, I can consider taking more time with my reading again and tackling some longer titles. That means a month of potentially more meaningful reading and then come the new year I'll have to get back on the whole reading aggressively mode. And let's face it - I'm never going to run out of things to read given the way I keep on picking up new titles and comics and other material.
It's a good "problem" to have.
Today is also World AIDS Day, an important time to remember that HIV is an ongoing threat that can only be dealt with through regular testing, consistent education, and erasing the stigma so commonly associated with the disease. Tobie and I still get tested on a regular basis (although admittedly pre-COVID-19) as part of our regular health checks even though we feel we are sufficiently safe and responsible. But the cases continue to rise and the fight goes on.
I'll always feel like the LGBT community was somewhat better poised to handle the likes of COVID-19 since we've been on pandemic mode for years when it comes to HIV. Then again, we do see how HIV continues to rise, particularly in the Philippines, so maybe we're not as good at it as we'd like to be.
In recent years, I do feel like more friends have chosen to reveal their HIV status to us as a sign of trust. It's an honor and a responsibility to know this about a person, because of that same stigma I mentioned that is still very much prevalent in the world at large. At times it feels like a heavy emotional weight to carry, but more because of feeling frustrated that people important to us have to deal with it at all. But such is the life we live and the times we are in. We can only be thankful that it is no longer quite the death sentence that it used to be and with consistent medication, these same friends can live very full lives. And I will do everything that I can to support them, be there for them when they need me, and to cheer them on.