Philippine Quarantine Day 12: Virus news

We are healthy. We are safe. We are not surprised by new coronavirus cases in this part of the world.

Three people in Aklan Province have tested positive.

Philippine Quarantine Day 12

Virus news

Two positive cases are in other areas of the province. One case was in Malay, which is our town.

However, that case was on Boracay Island, across the channel from us. So while Boracay is part of Malay town, it’s not exactly close to us.

Boracay Island is a tourist hot spot. It’s where we were trying to go when we were stopped on the mainland. There is no outbreak on Boracay yet, and health officials are busy with contact tracing.

The patients are: an 81-year-old man, a 65-year-old woman, a 37-year-old man. I asked the health worker who takes their temperature twice daily how the patients are doing. She said they all are expected to fully recover.

The test results of those three people took about 10 days to come in. There are some more “persons under investigation” and even more people under quarantine, like us, so we won’t be surprised if there are more cases near us.

New restrictions

This means new restrictions for movement around Aklan Province.

All public transport is canceled. No jeepneys (buses), no trikes (taxis), long-haul buses, boats, nada, nothing, zilch.

Essential businesses that are still open must provide transportation for their own workers. Local villages will be left to determine how to get people into town for supplies – through some type of community ride that has not yet been worked out.

Meanwhile, only one person with a pass can leave a home for essential supplies, while wearing a mandatory mask. Social distancing is also mandatory.

Indeed, it will be a different world once we are able to leave the grounds, one at a time.

And as Tedly wrote on Day 11, we could be here awhile.

New police activity

Today we saw police park their SUV at the end of our road by the sea. No one knew why they were here.

It was the first time we saw regional police. I’ve only seen the local barangay police, usually on trikes or motorcycles.

Officers talked to some people at a nearby home. There was pointing and nodding, but conversation looked calm. The officers wore face masks. Tedly said they carried guns. I couldn’t see that far. They left after a few minutes.

Contact tracing? Transportation ban check? Something else? No clue.

Community fishing

I witnessed a beautiful thing: many local men coming together at the sea to pull a huge net out of the water in a fish haul.

A few days ago, a fishing company donated fish to the locals, and there was a huge commotion on the beach with people from the area getting free fish.

This was different. It was people working together to get sustenance.

I could not see the catch, but I did see some people coming away from the group holding fish. And I expect to see more of this, now that taxi and bus drivers are out of work for the foreseeable future. That’s on top of everyone already unemployed from the stalled tourism industry.

Temperature checks, peace signs

Our daily temperature checks were normal. Mom and I played more Scrabble. I napped; read; waved to the local kids who yell up “Hello!” to me most afternoons from the street.

Today, I went downstairs and stuck the phone over the fence to take their picture. I asked them to give me the peace sign. They stood as far from me as they could, against the fence across the road.

The kids go to the sari sari at the end of the road near our apartment rental around the same time every afternoon and then return home.

I enjoy their smiles and silliness.

We had a finger-lickin’ good dinner! Fried chicken, rice, vegetables, Filipino sticky rice for desert.

My belly was full. And yet, I can’t help but think of the people who might be hungry around us, around this beautiful country, around the world.

Thanks for reading Philippine Quarantine Day 12: Virus news.

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Philippine Quarantine Day 12: Virus news

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