Day 9 - It started early for me and my colleagues in the academe. A few hours before everyone leaves the workplace, we heard announcement from the City Government of Manila. Classes in all levels are suspended for one week. Admittedly, I initially felt it was a good break. I've been chasing deadlines the past weeks. I've been sleep deprived. I took it as an opportunity to get all the work done at the comforts of home. I was pretty sure, I will be productive at home. 

Before I parted ways with my colleagues, we even had dinner at the mall. My energy was still high, I was awake the entire night. I have pending targets but I figured out, I still have time next week. 

It started last Thursday. Social media friends keep spreading reports of an impending lockdown in Metro Manila. I felt the need to prepare. So off I went to the nearby mall to settle bills, withdraw money, buy medicines and ensure food for a week. Much to my surprise, everyone shared my plans. It took me five hours to complete everything. The announcement came on Thursday night and in a snap, everything became a nightmare. :( My panic hormones started to kick in. I started strategizing how some projects can be remotely done using online platforms. I figured out a way and with the help of supportive colleagues, everything is up and running. (Thank you!!!!) 

Suspension of work was extended to one month. I'm given a longer opportunity to work from home. I feel grateful but part of me feels guilty for fellow workers, who don't share my privilege. This is one reason why I will never support insensitive comments from affluent influencers. It's not like everyone has a choice to stay home. We have hardworking fellowmen, who live for daily wages. We have heroic healthworkers, who ironically risk their health and well-being. We have workers from the food manufacturing sector, pharmacies and supermarkets, forced to work in prolonged hours to sustain the sudden demand for necessities. We have senior citizens and families, whose means can only support their daily needs. Who doesn't want to stay home these days? If everyone has a choice, they will not risk their health to this extent.

I can't remember when and where I started hearing the concept of work from home (wfm). One thing sure, I easily bought the idea. I always wish that everyone will be given the opportunity to wfm. I hope companies offer options for limited reporting days. I also thought this was the long term solution for city congestion. With our current situation, companies were forced to embrace this system. Though it happened in the most unfortunate time, I'm happy to see companies are accepting this system. When everything gets better, I seriously hope this option will be considered in the long run.

While online mechanisms seemed to work in the industry, a different story is observed in the academe. Most private schools were forced to shift to online classes. While there are varied options like Google Classroom, Edmodo and Zoom, I think most teachers and students are still adjusting with the system. The leading constraint is the absence of fast and stable internet connection. Added to this, not all students are equipped with desktop and laptop computers at home. I'm handling a class of nine students and I'm aware how they are bombarded with online requirements from their other subjects. I'm still trying to figure out an efficient way to sustain our classes. But really, I can't find a substitute for our face-to-face interaction. :( 

I still have work to accomplish. Yearend in the academic calendar is also nearing. I'm not sure how things will work for me. I feel uneasy. It's all about a period of instability.  :(

I don't know how to properly end this post. It doesn't make sense but, I'll just leave my favorite photos for the week. Everything will be better. 🙏