By: Stephanie G. Tizon / The Dominican Gazette
You open your eyes to see the busy street honking and various noises from the traffic enforcer. You hear people chattering around you, depicting emotions such as anger, sadness, tiredness. But despite it, there’s still happiness. Clock ticking and waiting for the bell to ring that can be heard across every hall and corner of the entire building, echoing as if it was alarming.
You woke up to the scent of pandesal and freshly brewed coffee as the warming light of sunshine met with your skin like a comforting hug. It was around the 1st week of March 2020, where various events happened within the school year. Group performances, Christmas carols, cooking activities, intramurals, foundation day, socialization night, and so much more. Final exams just ended, and you suddenly felt tired, wishing for a day off, a week or two. Your special tambayan is the place where you found yourself eating some freshly cooked hotdogs and siopao in the nearby convenience store. You suddenly darted your eyes to the incredible craving smell of street foods at the park. You felt exhilarated, as if you were on cloud nine, enjoying life.
News began to wander around the street. The uprising use of facemasks can be seen in some students. It started at a few, then became an alarming amount. A certain virus has broken through the world’s surface, according to the Department of Health; at Wuhan, China. At first you thought it was silly, that it was just a temporary problem that is solved immediately.
When you heard that there would be a 1-week academic break because of the so-called rumors of the virus, you thought that someone heard your prayers. You thought you could finally rest and have some time to bond with your friends, play your video games at home and watch your series without any activities to worry about. You don’t have to wake up early to get ready for school, you don’t have to be stressed towards a deadline, and you don’t have to take some of your quizzes that are supposed to be taken within that week.
According to the Worldometer website (2020), covid 19 cases are starting to rise rapidly, and millions of people are being affected day by day until the present date. An alarming amount of covid infections have brought attention to everyone. Being this said, there’s an average number of new cases of the virus being monitored each day here in the Philippines, falling by almost greater than 7,200 over the last three weeks and 34% of its previous peak. There has been a total of 2,772,491 infections and 42,575 coronavirus-related deaths in the country ever since the pandemic began, as stated by the Philippines Graphic Reuters Covid Tracker (2021).
Ever since the breakthrough, you suddenly saw faces of people distorted in pain and agony, stocks of foods and facemasks have been almost overpriced and are out of stock, you can hear crying and screaming, and all are starting to faze.
Until you woke up.
You woke up to the sound from your laptop, the only source of light in your dark pitch room. You felt your eyebags starting to form, your eyes felt heavier than usual, deadlines piling up, and an enormous number of activities and performances to finish. Your environment is not that friendly anymore; you feel alone. You felt unmotivated in everything as you scroll down your Facebook newsfeed to see a memory of yourself, pictures with your friends happily eating some street foods that serve as a celebration for the 1-week academic break.
Who knew that it would last a year? Who knew that in that specific moment, will be your last memories with them?