Quarantine Chronicles: Surviving this Crisis

I was supposed to blog about how to protect yourself mentally and physically at times like this, but I think I’ll start with surviving first. Everyone needs some semblance of stability, before we can start protecting ourselves. (In a zombie apocalypse, you wouldn’t want to trap yourself in a location that doesn’t have supplies.) So this blog covers four basic necessities:

  • Food + Supplies
  • Medicine/Medical Assistance
  • Other living conditions
  • Budgeting

Food + Supplies

For food, we were lucky enough to have a water filtration system that allows us to clean tap water for consumption. I’m just hoping now that the filter survives until the end of quarantine. For food and other supplies (cleaning materials, cat food, etc.), I turned to Landers and LazMart.

Between the two, LazMart (NOT LazMall, please note the difference) delivered quickly. I was only able to schedule a week in advance for Landers. The problem now is that it’s getting harder to procure supplies because many of these are running low on stocks. For my cats, I was able to order from Pet Warehouse, but they will now be experiencing delays. So I’ve been turning to FB Marketplace for other options.

My husband is the one who holds our quarantine pass, but it’d be a cold day in hell before you can make him go to a grocery with a line that’s 3 hours long (which is the case for most groceries now). But we were able to source eggs because he found a market that sells them. He was also able to find hidden convenience stores for our other needs.

We’d order out from time to time (via GrabFood or Food Panda), mostly because it keeps us from getting bored from all the canned goods and frozen meals we’ve been eating. It also helps people keep their jobs. Many wait staff have been laid off from work because of the quarantine. We hope many more kitchens remain often so that kitchen staff and delivery people can still maintain their jobs.

Medicines/Medical Assistance

I understand that many people might need some medical advice, now that it’s difficult to get into a hospital for cases that are not related to COVID-19. Dale, a co-faculty, introduced me to the AIDE app.

AIDE app provides various medical services.

For prescription medication, I ordered from Watson’s PH Online. I needed meds and multivamins to keep our immune system up. For the prescription meds, you have to email them a photo of your prescription before they can process your order. I checked out my cart on March 21, and received these on April 1.

I was lucky enough to grab the last stock of Berocca from Shopee before the height of the lockdown and before Shopee suspended its deliveries. But now that all the multivitamins have arrived, it seems like I have enough stash to last us for a couple of months more. Like, if the quarantine gets an extension.

Other Living Conditions

One of my biggest regrets, though, when we moved back in Mandaluyong, is that we did not purchase a washing machine. We have been able to live our first three years as a married couple without it anyway. But one thing we never could have imagined was this virus causing all sorts of businesses to close down. That included the laundry shops.

Husband and I ended up washing all of our laundry BY HAND. Thank goodness he was able to find gloves from one of the convenience stores. But it seriously took me a little more than a week to finish washing all of my clothes. (He is still not done with his. He hates manually doing laundry, and I can understand why.) Now I’m down to washing only what I wore the day before.



I’m including budgeting on this post because right now, it’s been very difficult to pay bills if not all of your banks have efficient online banking systems. My payroll account is under UCPB and easy to transfer money for bills to our household BPI checking account and my GCash. Unfortunately, my husband’s payroll account is with archaic Chinabank. We tried to enroll his GCash and our household BPI checking account into it, but it involved calling the bank and no one was answering on the other end. So, part of our budget couldn’t be deployed because we were literally holding cash. (I implore employers to please move your payroll accounts into UnionBank. Chinabank is not pandemic ready.)

So the key here is to get as much supplies as you can, and whatever else you have on your pantry you can make hacks with. I’ve joined a Facebook group called Quarantine Cooking and Food Hacks PH. I haven’t contributed to that yet, but I’ve been learning a lot from it. Oh, and while we are in this topic, I do use a budgeting app called “You Need A Budget” (YNAB), and it has been a lifesaver. It constantly puts up videos that are very useful especially in these times. Their latest update is “5 Ways I’m Learning to Cook on a Budget.”

One important feature of YNAB is the Age of Money. But I’ve also installed an extension that shows me my buffer. Right now, it tells me that with our history of spending, we have about 60 days buffer. (That’s not very good, lol, because this pandemic might last for months, but it at least helps us prepare for the worst.)

As for the other aspects of my life, they’ve been put on hold. I’m thankful for the curly girl method because it keeps me from running out of shampoo and conditioner, but I have been putting my hair up in a bun most of the time. Classes and production were suspended, so you might have noticed that my blog has been a lot more active ever since the quarantine. I’d usually only be active for a few times during the first half of the year, but now I think I’ve written more blog posts in the first three months of 2020 compared to my last three years.

I’m supposed to be writing my research now, but even that feels like…I don’t know. I am not in the mood to write research, and I have gone into mental health conservation mode. I’ll blog about how I’m dealing with that in a couple of days. So if you’re in the same productive rut that I am in, stay tuned for that. 🙂

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