Stuck in the Pot!
Like the T-Rex in the photo, we seem to also be stuck and not going anywhere. We have been living on Guam now for 3 years and 7 months. We have made 4 trips back and forth to the Philippines during that time and we would have been there twice more except for Covid19. Our plans were to arrive there last April and spend the summer there and we would probably now be making plans to return for the holiday season. But, we are still on Guam. It seems like a millennium has passed!
The biggest reason we have not returned is of course due to the imposed travel restrictions into the Philippines. Because Teri still has her Philippines passport and I have a permanent 13A Visa, we would be allowed to return, but because of the overly draconian lockdown measures taken throughout the Philippines, we chose to stay hunkered down on Guam in comfort. Here we are still in a declared “state of emergency,” and in Pandemic Condition of Readiness 1 (PCOR1) with bars and restaurants, theaters, bowling alleys, and gyms all closed. Golf-courses have reopened and restaurants are open, but for take-out only.
Back in the Philippines, some places have relaxed restrictions, other places have not. Some reverted to stricter measures, while others locked down even tighter. Movements of senior citizens are still strictly enforced in many areas and a two-week quarantine would still await us in our own barangay… outdoors, under the village’s covered basketball court (the Plaza). Neither my wife nor I will subject ourselves to being lock-tied with other (potentially infected) travelers surrounded by plastic tarps with possible dengue-infected mosquitos, for two-weeks in the heat and humidity, with absolutely no creature comforts. Nope, nada, not going to happen. That does not register on my “Quality of Life” meter. Ha, it doesn’t even move the needle!
Yesterday I read a post from a local group in Calbayog City that indicated the city seemed alive and bustling (almost back to normal), with most stores open, and people even eating inside at Jollibee’s. When the pedicab (padyak) guys get going again, that will be a sure sign that things might be moving in the right direction, and this [nonsensical] lockdown might be coming to an end. Based upon the information we have gained, only two Covid19 deaths have been reported in Calbayog, and hospitalization rates are not that bad. The Philippines in general, looking at the current graphs above, looks like they have turned the corner and things are looking more positive than it has for months.
If this trend continues, and we can be reasonably assured that we won’t become trapped there in the event things turn sour, we would think about packing a few bags. And if we could just skip the covered plaza adventure, and get to the house (one block away from the plaza), I would even volunteer myself for in-home quarantine… as long as the AC, Cable TV, and the internet are all working… oh yeah, and the ref stocked with food and San Mig. I think I could handle that.
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