Extended Community Quarantine: Cabin Fever Edition

cabin fever

Cabin fever hits hard. I’m currently writing this on a Good Friday, 25 days after the country was declared to be under an extended community qurantine (lockdown, baby!).

Despite the fact that I’ve spent an entire year in pseudo-isolation just a couple of years ago, I still get the feeling of an abstract gargantuan distance from the world. I’m currently on my own (sister’s in Singapore, and parents are in the provinces), so I need to be on my A-game all the time. I’m, however, feeling the ill effects of self-isolation that my introversion cannot appease. The repercussions are pretty much the same though:

  1. Loss of sense of time
  2. A fucked up Circadian rhythm
  3. Rationing and consuming food with minimal nutrients
  4. A slightly lessened sense of hygiene
  5. Afternoon naps
  6. Nocturnal tendencies
  7. Bouts of paranoia
  8. A general urge to procrastinate
  9. A heightened sensitivity to surroundings
  10. A sense of shame from unrealistic expectations in productivity.

We’re currently in the middle of a crisis, and I cannot sway my thoughts away from being guilty of not being able to finish a single book from the mountains of tomes I’ve amassed during the Big Bad Wolf Book Sale. I have, however, gradually been able to catch up on the myriad of series that I’ve left behind when I started working 7-5. 

I’m also sporting a new fashion statement I call “ermitaño riche” where I let my beard and moustache grow in lengths that will never be exposed to the outside world. I plan, of course, to shave them before going back to work on the 4th of May (if the outbreak subsides).

ermitaño riche

We’re currently living in a strange time. I have survived two fires, numerous storms and earthquakes, water shortages, blackouts, and all other apocalyptic scenarios thrown in this quaint city of mine. However, this is the first time I really feel like living in an apocalyptic world. The only thing is that this time, it’s very real, and it’s not unique as countless cities are also experiencing the same predicament. The dystopia may not be severe, but it’s still quite haunting. No amount of meditation and sitting in “seiza” can calm my current anxieties (I can proudly say that I can reach the 15-minute mark in this sitting position now — a feat for beginners.)


I do my grocery runs every Monday morning, and it is like going to war. I need to gear up and take as less possible items with me because more items means more surfaces for the virus to innocently stick to and murder me. Dying alone in my apartment is not something I fancy happening. 

I would need:

  1. My quarantine pass – for when somebody checks the validity of my intentions of going outside.
  2. A cap – because it’s sunny.
  3. A grocery list – to save time. Less time outside means less chances of exposure.
  4. A grocery bag – to make shopping easier.
  5. Money – because no apocalypse can ruin capitalism at the moment.
  6. Light clothes – because there’s no need to cover everything if I’m going to shower immediately after shopping.
  7. A face mask – because it’s now illegal to go outside in my city without one.

The first few steps outside reveals an incredibly nice breeze and an amazingly blue sky devoid of pollution. There are also less cars and vehicles. The queue to the supermarket takes 1-2 hours of waiting with lax social distancing measures in place. However, as the cases increase in the past couple of days, more people are abiding by the rules more than ever. After a quick temperature check and a couple of hand sanitiser squirts, I’m free to roam around the store with plenty of shelves in need of restocking. Every trip is a gambit. This week, eggs are out of stock. Next week, it’s the bread that’s out. The week after that, it’s rice. And so on. I try to make my supermarket trip as swift as possible. 

After I get home, I throw everything I’m wearing into a bucket and douse it with laundry detergent. I discard my face mask. Then I wash my hands, arms, and face, and place my groceries near the sink to wash them individually (even the cardboards — everything). Afterwards, a thorough shower, here we go! I scrub every surface of my body that has touched anything outside. I also begin to pre-soak my clothes, which I will manually wash for the next couple of days, hang for three days after that, and use again next grocery run.

Because I’m constantly paranoid, I wash my hands every two hours, spray my keys, quarantine pass, money, and slippers with isopropyl alcohol, drink hot beverages despite the heat, and try to put a slice of lemon with every tea infusion I consume. 

During my previous trip to the pharmacy, they ran out of paracetamol, so I’m currently trying my best not to get migraines since my stores are low, and I cannot take ibuprofen. (Findings are unclear, but basically it’s not advisable to take it.) 


I make an effort to workout, get sweaty, and trigger some heavy breathing in order for my brain to get adequate oxygen as a form of preventive maintenance to my migraines. But as the days go by, I become more sluggish, and the will to do any physical activity is replaced with a very unhealthy urge to nap. 


Despite all of this, I still believe we can all get through this in one piece. Together (in spirit).


Only 20 days to go.