02A6B: Flip-Flopping Sentiment

Tuesday Leftovers

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 605

I keep thinking about the possibility of meeting up with friends again. I tried to process my feelings through my blogging but the thoughts keep lingering and I keep running the numbers in my head. National COVID-19 case numbers are still about 2,000 cases per day. Cases in the city of Taguig are holding steady at about 50 or so a day. Fort Bonifacio is doing pretty well with our daily new cases per day in single digits - some days there have been zero cases in the area. So things are generally looking good, but we're not out of the woods yet.

I keep seeing social media updates from different contacts who are being a lot more liberal than we are. There were a lot of Halloween celebrations both in public spaces or this or that person's residence with a significant number of unmasked people gathered together. Some have posted about hooking up again - or in some cases just hooking up more than they have been versus the recent lockdown months. And when you see stuff like that, you can't help but wonder if you're being overly cautious or something because people are "getting away" with so much while we continue to isolate in our unit. 

I try to bury all these frustrations into the reminder that people have different definitions of what they feel is safe and that doesn't mean our level of safety is a bad thing or somehow wrong. We're staying prudent because we want to protect our families so that during the limited times we visit them for more important reasons, we won't risk bringing COVID-19 with us.

The news of movie theaters re-opening isn't the most exciting thing ever since it still means sitting in an enclosed space with other people for two hours at a time, but I'm still a little tempted to see the likes of Dune on the big screen. But I know we'd be a lot more open to things like O Bar re-opening, even if means crazy health and safety measures and very limited slots. I don't necessarily think this will mean we'll go to O every weekend once it re-opens, but we'll definitely want to support them as they try to recover from nearly two years of no income. 

I want to have friends over, but it's hard to consider friends who've been going out a lot or have been regularly interacting with their friends from other households without the protection of masks. But I know that should we invite a friend or two over for a game night, we probably wouldn't wear masks the whole time either. One could look at all this as some degree of hypocrisy, and that's valid to some extent. But it's really more about relative safety, trust, and determining who is worth risking stuff for. 

All this has resulted in a very weird exercise of repeatedly evaluating friends. Do we miss a person enough to risk meeting them? Are they important enough to turn a blind eye to their activities that we don't feel safe enough doing ourselves? These are never easy questions to ask since the value of a friendship isn't exactly a tangible, quantifiable thing. And so it's easier to default to erring on the side of caution and not inviting meeting anyone and just continuing to watch the case numbers and see how things are going to go. 

There's no point in getting reckless so close to the "finish line" - assuming we're actually getting to this point with respect to COVID-19. I know the national situation isn't exactly perfect just yet, but it does feel like Metro Manila may stabilize pretty soon. So what're a few more months of being cautious, right? Wouldn't it be better to wait a bit longer for when it's actually a lot safer for everyone versus taking unnecessary chances?

Will we all hold out long enough for that?