The New Normal: New quarantine rules

The new 'general community quarantine' rules for Aklan

Last Updated on May 28, 2023 by Ellen

The lockdown restrictions have eased in our part of the Philippines – just a tad. Just enough so that I can go into town, starting May 1.

About noon today, Aklan Province went from “Enhanced Community Quarantine” (ECQ) to “General Community Quarantine” (GCQ). The GCQ is also known as: “The New Normal.”

Essentially, the new rules mean the province on the island of Panay is now considered medium risk for coronavirus spread. Precautions still must be taken to prevent that. In comparison, Manila and other metro areas still are considered high risk, and they remain on ECQ through May 15.

‘General Community Quarantine’

Our ‘new normal’

In real life terms for us, ‘the new normal’ means this: I can soon go into town for supplies, as long as I wear a mask and practice social distancing. That’s about it. Nothing else changes too much for us visitors.

Previously, under the ECQ, only Tedly could go on supply runs with an official pass.

This is the longest I’ve stayed in one area in my life. I haven’t left this lovely little resort and it’s street to the attached beach since March 16. Six weeks, one day, as of this writing. Two more days until my new (limited) freedom on May 1… but who’s counting?!

Related: What a supply run is like during a pandemic in the Philippines

‘New normal’ for locals

Some businesses can reopen in this new normal, such as the brewery – much to Tedly’s delight. But other businesses must remain closed, for now, such as gyms.

Large gatherings of any type still are prohibited. No rallies, or parades, or religious services.

Tourism is not yet open for business. There are many people hoping the tourism industry can restart — as soon as it’s safe. It will be a ‘wait and see’ approach until May 15, when a reevaluation of the GCQ rules will determine the next move.

‘New normal’ details

For anyone following along who wants more detail about the GCQ, I found a news story that explains the new rules in detail.

We still plan to stay at the Hangout Beach Resort for the foreseeable future. Good thing we want to!

The only plan we made before all hell broke loose was to get to Penang, Malaysia, in July, as Tedly wrote yesterday in an update with our former Airbnb hosts. We shall see…

News from the Hangout

My mom always calls me a “free bird.” I kinda feel like these chicks I’m about to show you — because I don’t have feathers to fly in the lockdown.

My friend Edenia showed me a bird’s nest with two newly hatched birds. I went to take a picture and frightened them! Good thing Edenia was quick enough to catch them.

This was definitely one of the highlights to my day.

birds next with chicks burrowed in
Edenia holding baby chicks
tight shot of the baby chicks
Edenia and Ellen and the bird nest on the day the new 'general community quarantine' rules for Aklan came out

They don’t even have all their feathers in yet! The nest and chicks are hanging in a safe spot on the Hangout grounds, and I heard momma bird had returned to the nest.

After some blog work, I swept up and did a light load of hand-washed laundry. It’s easier to manage if I keep up with the never-ending pile. (Lisa, if you’re reading, I might do your awesome idea sooner rather than later!)

After the laundry, I jumped into the ocean. The tide was super high and I had a few small waves. That’s unusual – it’s normally calm. So that was fun.

Another highlight of my Tuesday: a tough win at Scrabble against Mom Diane this evening. She’s the toughest opponent I’ve ever had. It was a great game.

scrabble board

News from home

I continue to read a lot of news from what’s happening in America. It’s pathetic. To read that there will be food shortages — and see the ad Tyson Foods put in The Washington Post and The New York Times — is sad. And, sadly, not surprising with the lack of national leadership.

Anyone who thinks things will go back to “normal” anytime soon (if ever) is living in a fantasy world. The social unrest hasn’t really started yet.

Despite what feels like a looming doomsday as the death toll rises to near 60,000 Americans (!), I still have hope things will eventually change for the better on the other side of this. And hopefully, ‘the other side of this’ isn’t too far off.

Thanks for reading, “The new ‘general community quarantine’ rules for Aklan.”

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Ellen or Tedly post something every day during their lockdown adventure. Come back to see what they’re up to in paradise.

6 thoughts on “The New Normal: New quarantine rules”

  1. Glad to see you will soon be released from quarantine jail Ellie and Tedly can back to drinking good beer.

    Joe Z

    Stay safe
    Stay healthy
    Stay happy
    Enjoy life

  2. We discovered a fun way to play Scrabble that is not competitive.

    You build words just like you do in a normal Scrabble game.

    However, with each word, you have to come up with a story. Then, each additional word has to build on the story.

    So, the first word is the seed to the story. For example, if it’s farm, you could start with “Ellen and Tedly lived on a farm.” If the next work is massive, then you could continue with “As they were harvesting their crops, they discovered a massive bug.”

    And so on. We liked trying to paint each other into a corner with the story. We had a blast.

  3. Of course I am reading…one of the highlights of my lockdown every day is reading about your lockdown, lol! Sweet baby birds & happy shopping (soon)!

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