Despite having a year-long lockdown, confirmed COVID-19 cases in the Philippines are surging, with a record-high single-tally of 9,595 new COVID cases on March 27, 2021. And experts say that this tally could climb even higher. To curb the spread of the virus, the IATF has issued stricter lockdown protocols, imposing ECQ on the Greater Manila area.
Pre-COVID, the Holy Week would usually be the time where everyone would go out to do Visita Iglesia or go on out-of-town vacations; however, with the alarming increase in cases and risk of getting infected, it’s best to skip the non-essential errands and outdoor activities. Instead of going out during the Holy Week, here are some things you can do instead:
Hear mass online or on TV
Back in 2020, churches would accommodate up to 10 people only, and policies were eventually loosened so that up to 50% capacity was allowed just last month. However, the recent announcements of stricter lockdown policies include the ban on mass gatherings — including religious gatherings. It might’ve been a tradition for you and your family to hear mass in church during the Holy Week, and you can continue doing so this year — just at home.
Virtual Visita Iglesia
Pre-COVID, your family would travel even to the farthest churches for Visita Iglesia but in today’s situation, the yearly tradition would be a recipe for disaster and infection. With different people moving in and out of different locations, this activity would easily be a “superspreader event”. You might have seen virtual tours over the past years and fortunately, churches now have them too. You can safely go practice Visita Iglesia safely at home, without the added hassle of driving long hours. Go on a Zoom call with your family members instead!
Catch up with friends
We know how exhausting the remote set-up is. Most times, at the end of the day, you’d have no energy to even talk to your friends, and end up rescheduling Zoom calls to have extra time to yourself. And that’s okay! But now that we’ve got a four-day work holiday, these days off might be the perfect time to finally catch up with your barkada. These catch-ups don’t have to take up too much time, just tell them how much you miss them and go with the flow.
Work your way through your binge list
Your Netflix to-watch list might’ve accumulated new titles over the past months but you just simply didn’t have the time to begin watching them. New and exciting shows are being released every month and these days off are the perfect time to get started with them. Cut yourself some slack, you deserve to live the bum life for a few days.
Now that you have extra time on your hands, you can’t skip the linis days anymore – it’s time to spring clean and go full Marie Kondo. A cluttered room might make you feel suffocated; if that’s what you’ve been feeling lately, your space probably needs some cleaning. If you’re staying at your family home, you might find items around your house that would bring so much nostalgia! You can also let go of items you don’t need anymore and list them online. You know what they say: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Mimic a staycation at home
You might’ve canceled your staycation plans, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a “staycation” at home. Though you may not get that change of scenery, you can still have a good time. There are so many ways to create a staycation-like experience at home: enjoy a long shower, grab a book, and sip a glass of wine or a cold drink. Be lazy for a day, put on some beachwear, and act exactly like how you would when you’re on vacation. If you have space outdoors, you could even get a tan!
Treat yourself to a good meal
If you and your family have been strictly fasting and abstaining from certain food during the entire Lenten season, it’s time to treat yourselves to good a meal on Easter. Indulge in the food you had to forget the entire season – you deserve it. Don’t mind the calories or diet for the summer bod, it’s time to have a feast.
Simply enjoy the peace and quiet
Remember the Holy Week days from your childhood where the world would suddenly seem to go quiet for a few days? Streets would be empty and there would be little to no cars on roads – it’s the ideal silence we’ve all been dreaming of these past months. Your batteries have been probably running low from stressful workdays; you deserve peace and quiet. Appreciate these slow days!
Stay healthy and safe!