0294C: Grocery Paranoia

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I think this might become a long blog entry. I have some time to spare to get things off my chest. Consider yourself warned.

One thing has led to another, and I've been accompanying Tobie during his grocery runs more. The main driver behind this is the fact that he's been too busy to escape to the supermarket during his lunch break during the week, so things have shifted to us heading to the mall after work hours when I am able to join him. We only stopped doing grocery shopping together because of the pandemic, so it's sort of nice to have this part of our routine back, even to a limited degree. 

Admittedly it's still better to squeeze in grocery shopping in the day since (1) the shelves are better stocked and (2) it's less of a health risk if only one of us goes out. But certainly, we can make some accommodations to have some greater semblance of normalcy. Plus it's kind of depressing to see my Google Maps timeline data show that I barely leave the Sietch for days and sometimes weeks on end. 

Mid-week grocery, even at night, is still better than weekend grocery. There are still relatively fewer people at the mall, although you just have to contend with the fact that your average shopper tends to ignore all the arrows on the floor that date back to when SM and other malls were a lot stricter about one-way people traffic. Now they just have guards near the escalators trying to remind people to maintain some semblance of social distancing, but that's it. I understand why - we can't expect to maintain a high level of stress and tension for too long. So now people are relaxing and going back to more "normal" habits, even if it isn't actually safe yet.

Going out to the grocery together is a risk. We all know that. I chanced upon some reminder from a US publication that if you wanted to minimize the risk of infection from the new COVID-19 variants, it was better that only one member of the household go and to minimize the time spent outdoors as much as possible. But obviously, people aren't actually doing that.

We all work with a different level of risk tolerance as we try to find ways to survive this pandemic. Some feel outing outdoors is okay for the most part. Others only leave their homes only if it's absolutely necessary. Some have started to meet up with friends again. Others barely interact with the family they happen to live with. I've read stories of people hooking up again via apps and even spas, which sounds totally crazy to me. Others content themselves with a LOT of online interactions, if you get what I mean. 

Barangay Fort Bonifacio COVID-19 Numbers as of 27 January 2021

It doesn't help my personal sense of paranoia that I continue to compile the daily COVID-19 numbers on the national and municipal level in order to be able to parse the date on my own when I so desire. And my current tracking shows that the local numbers in Barangay Fort Bonifacio have been steadily rising since the 23rd of January. I haven't seen reports as to why this might be happening but the trendline looks a little sharper at the barangay level versus the also increasing trendline for Taguig City as a whole. Watching these numbers closely probably don't exactly help my mental wellness all that much, but part of me just needs to know. And another part of me wants to be able to put better charts together.

Is there a conclusion to all this or some sort of a point to this blog? Not really. Just putting my thoughts out there, as usual, since that feels better than just keeping everything bottled up inside my own head. We continue to consider what risks we are comfortable with and which ones don't work.

We do miss our friends a lot. We miss hanging out with our friends. We miss going to the movies. We miss watching stage plays together. We miss having lives outside our homes. But we'll get to that point in time. It just doesn't feel like that time is going to be anytime all that soon. Or even within 2021.