Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 601
Late last night, the government announced that Metro Manila was shifting to "Alert Level 2" starting today, and the full implications of this relaxing of restrictions have yet to be fully realized. It opens the doors to things like live performance spaces such as theaters and clubs re-opening along with the clear statement that people from different households can once again gather in one another's houses.
In my head, that translates into two big possibilities - places like O Bar re-opening and being able to have in-person game nights again. Sure, there are other things like the possibility for live theater shows and other fun bits, but we have our priorities.
During the pre-vaccination months of 2020, we actually arranged for a few meet-ups here and there with different friends for limited gaming. This was definitely risky and we spaced such encounters more than 2 weeks apart just so we had a window for waiting for symptoms. But we also limited the invite list to very close friends who had limited risky behavior and were willing to take the risk with us. All that stopped when the cases started to rise earlier this year and it felt prudent to wait it out.
Since then Tobie and I have gotten fully vaccinated (for now) and we've been waiting for the COVID-19 case numbers to consistently stay below 10k to even consider this again and the recent trend that remains below 5k on a national level is pretty reassuring. Cases specific to Fort Bonifacio have been in the single-digit range as well, so hopefully, we've actually turned a corner.
I'd still much rather meet up with close friends to game in person than meet in public spaces at this point. We've seen how crazy all the open-air portions of Bonifacio High Street get busy during the weekends (as documented on social media), so that feels overly stressful. I'm not sure how we'd go about it and who would actually feel comfortable enough to game in person again. Our core gaming friends all seem to have gotten vaccinated, so that's reassuring, but at the same time, it's still not a guarantee of safety. Any meet-up will still be a risk that we'll all have to agree to should we push through.
But I have to admit, this is the first time in a very long time that I honestly feel like it might be safe to meet up with friends again. Last year's isolated encounters still felt major risks versus how I feel now. Things aren't back to normal yet, nor will they be for quite a while. But it does feel like there's a greater cause to be even just a little more optimistic than last year.