Dear May 2020,
I skipped writing in March and April, the height of quarantine in the Philippines.
But tonight, I will document a bit.
I flew to Manila on 3rd day of March. With a two-kilo luggage excess I was fined for the first time! It was a first time in 12 years of working overseas. But when I got boarded, my jaw dropped seeing the aircraft almost empty for a popular midnight flight.
When Wuhan a city of 14 million people went on lockdown by January of this year, something in me said that China is facing something serious. At the back of my mind was a thought that an outbreak was about to happen soon. Since then, I started to read news and blogs about the virus and Wuhan as much as I can.
At that point, more than curious I was fearful.
One time in my working life, I with a colleague isolated a compound from mouse brain. After, physical and chemical treatments the cell went through, I was so surprised to see that the cell was still alive! “How can it be able to withstand that?”, I told myself while I peeped into it through a microscope. Science definitely has answer but my soul was awed by its strength. It remained alive until we decided to pour hydrogen peroxide. Deprived of oxygen, it died.
Witnessing that few years earlier shaped my mind that the next kind of a deadly bomb is by the use of a cell. Tiny. Powerful. Unwavering.
With fear of an outbreak to happen soon, I flew to Manila. “If ever my hometown would go on lockdown, I will be home.” was something I bear in mind.
Why I want to be home? I have read stories that when the virus spread in Wuhan that while many left the city, a lot of Wuhan locals too went home to be with their family and faced the health crisis with their loved ones. China is known to be family – oriented. And I want to be home, just be home and together with them will face a crisis.
So, pandemia was declared by WHO and the world experienced quarantine this generation will never ever forget.
The Sacred Gift That I Have Been Given
While the entire world is under the threat of the virus and I have been under the law to stay home and buy things for my family, this gave me the opportunity to realise the depth and beauty of one gift that I have been given – the gift of freedom.
At this point of life, it includes the freedom to hug, freedom to go out and experience life, freedom from illness, freedom to choose time to leave home and be back, freedom to get physically close to another person, freedom to worship, freedom to express complaints and disgust, freedom to mourn, freedom to visit a patient, freedom from name-calling, freedom to inquire, freedom to work, freedom from lust, freedom from sins, freedom from violence, freedom from impunity and freedom from lies.
Quarantine made me see that freedom is the greatest gift of God to mankind.
All along I thought it was life. But then the existence of an illness caused by a new virus brought to a question “what is life without freedom?”
Then, I remembered the cell we experimented on few years back and realised freedom was the power I saw in that cell had. It was fighting for its life, for its freedom to exist and multiply, freedom to be the cell it was created to be.
Freedom was the power I witnessed and it never left me.
On this night of Pentecost Sunday, I recognise immeasurable honor to be given freedom. We celebrate Pentecost because Jesus died for us, set us to freedom and to be never under again under the yoke of slavery.
Thank you Jesus. Thank you for Your gift, freedom.
This is all hair quarantine May photo with my furry housemate, Clarise, who is getting more comfy sleeping beside me.