02AA9: Bittersweet New Year

New Year's Eve Dinner

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 657

It looks like we can finally confirm local transmission of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the country, which may explain the doubling of cases day after day leading up to nearly 3,000 cases identified today. Given this news, the government has announced that Metro Manila will return to Alert Level 3 on Monday, which at least doesn't mean a return to face shields, but it does mean more recreational spaces like O Bar getting shut down again. 

Don't get me wrong - I also recognize that some sort of a response is needed to the recent rise in cases, although one can't help but wish our government was more proactive with their solutions like more aggressive testing of everyone coming into the country instead of being reactive. But for now, we do what we gotta do, and that means being safer.

We still have plans to go to O Bar tonight to celebrate the new year, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I'm nervous about going out as well. But on the flip side, this may be the last time we can go out for a while as who knows how long we'll have to stay at Alert Level 3. And one can't help but want to celebrate things while we can. 

While this isn't the happiest news to take with us into the New Year, it sort of also reflects how this whole year has been, especially in terms of how our government has been responding to the pandemic. The strategy hasn't changed all that significantly and so we seem to keep falling back into the same trap. One can only hope that things will get better in the long term as we do have a lot more people who have been vaccinated and more and more are already getting their boosters. 

Happy New Year, folks. Don't overly dwell on what has gone wrong, but continue to celebrate the good things that we've still experienced and the people around us that we love and treasure. We hope for better things to come and we continue to do our best to stay safe and keep those important to us safe as well.