Confinement. Quarantine.

Same same, but different.

For the whole of March 2020, I’m on a 28-day confinement for my post-partum. A Chinese practice common for mothers who just gave birth in this part of the world. Other Asians, like the Malays and Indians, have similar practices with variations.

Anyhow, during this month, it’s as if God hit a pause or slow down button on the whole world. The government bodies in Singapore and around the world implemented many restrictions because of Covid-19 — travel restrictions, school closures, work from home arrangements, etc. Many people were ordered to go on strict 14-day quarantine, or on a more flexible stay home order. The streets became much quieter, even New York, the city that never sleeps, sleeps.

Singapore is taking Dorscon Red measures without officially pressing the red emergency button — encouraging work-from-home and social distancing. Just this week, the government announced all entertainment outlets to be shut until end April. Many may lament the boredom from these shutdowns, but it’s another big hit for business owners, especially the small businesses without reserves or deep pockets. As if the thinning crowd has not been hurting the finances. Now, it’s a complete shutdown. A friend posted on his Facebook about the wreck ball impact on his business and thus his breadwinner income. At such a time, one can only hope in the Lord’s mercy.

Personally, I haven’t felt the impact because I am cooped up in the house so far. It’s somewhat a blessing my confinement coincides with this period. I’ve got “company” as many are joining me in being confined at home. At least I don’t feel so alone. And with this confinement, I am already distancing from the rest of the world and hopefully the virus. Of course, other than the tiresome repetition of life, I have another layer that comes with being a mother of a newborn — being sleep deprived, having sore muscles, and feeling like a cow with sore nipples. Oh but another good thing for us is that we have no travel plans for these few months.

Many have described this as a weird time.

Many take it as a time to slow down and reflect. A time to regroup and refocus. A time to grapple what’s important or not in life. A time to spend more time with loved ones. And for those who can go out, a time to breathe fresh outdoor air instead of air-conditioned ones.

The emotions and reflections many people are going through right now are not new to me. I had them poignantly when I got tuberculosis a few months back. I just read that the rate of mortality is higher for TB than Covid-19. Thank God for His protection over my life.

The millions whys, I had asked. The tests that Covid-19 patients went through, I had similar ones, because of the lungs. I had a precursor, a preview of the current happenings. My appreciation for health workers when I was in isolation ward. Their selfless devotion in tending to contagious patients. The slowing down of life to shift my focus to the important and eternal things of life. The temporal things on earth suddenly seemed so frivolous — the material wealth, the endless to do list.

Being through these, I only wished that I nor my loved ones don’t get Covid-19. Isolation, tests, and uncertainty are not pleasant things to go through.