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How to Prepare for Another Lockdown

From enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to general community quarantine, we’ve gone through different levels of imposed restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19. While vaccines are being rolled out and the government has been easing protocols these past few months, the threat of the highly contagious Delta variant of the virus remains imminent.

First discovered in India, the Delta variant is highly transmissible, with scientists saying that it spreads 50 percent faster than the Alpha variant. It caused spikes in cases in countries like India and the United Kingdom, and is said to have symptoms that are a little different from the original strain such as stomach pain, stuffy nose, loss of appetite, vomiting, and joint pain.

With the Department of Health reporting 216 cases of the variant and the increasing number of positive cases in our country, as of this writing, government officials are looking into implementing a “circuit breaker” lockdown, a form of lockdown used during a surge that involves switching from loose to tight lockdowns to contain the outbreak quickly.

Experts believe that by carrying out shorter lockdown periods, businesses won’t be greatly affected as they will be allowed to operate when the spread of the virus is contained.

Metro Manila will be under ECQ for two weeks in August, while other regions are put under different classifications depending on their number of cases. 

With almost two years of living under quarantine, are we ready for another round of lockdowns? It can be really exhausting, but if there’s one thing we learned from this pandemic, it is to adapt to changes. Refresh your memory and prep for a possible lockdown with heightened restrictions by keeping in mind the must-dos below:

Revisit your previous lockdown routine and prepare a game plan.

What worked for you and what didn’t? Chances are, you already have a battle plan when it comes to getting things done during enhanced community quarantine – from knowing where to shop for groceries, what time to go out, and the crowded places you need to avoid.

Sticking to a plan that works can help save you from the stress of running errands outside the house.

Get vaccinated.

Unvaccinated people are believed to be most at risk of contracting the Delta variant of COVID-19. If you already have a schedule with your LGU, don’t miss the opportunity to get your shot.

Any brand of vaccine can provide protection from the virus and keep you from getting hospitalized. Getting the vaccine made available to you will not only help stop the spread of the virus, it will also protect your loved ones and the people around you. 

Once you get the first dose, don’t forget to get your second dose as getting both means you get the full protection and effectiveness of the vaccine. Remember that full immunity doesn’t happen in an instant as it takes at least two weeks for your body to develop immunity. 

Don’t be complacent.

Are you vaccinated? Whether you got the first dose or you’re already fully vaccinated, you shouldn’t let your guard down. Wear your face mask and observe proper health protocols when heading out, and wash your hands frequently. Refrain from attending social gatherings and don’t leave the house unless necessary.

The Delta variant is more contagious than the original strain of the virus and following safety protocols can help stop the spread of the strain. Getting vaccinated is the best thing you can do to protect yourself and your family.

Stock up on the necessary supplies.

Under ECQ, some barangays might limit the number of people leaving the house to one per household. Check if you need to secure a quarantine pass so you can proceed with running errands smoothly.

As much as possible, keep seniors and kids from going out. If someone in the family is already vaccinated, he or she can be in charge of securing the needed supplies.

Avoid hoarding supplies and get just enough food that will last for a week. Take note of the essentials that sold out fast such as masks, alcohol, soap, and disinfectant wipes. Put these items on your priority list and don’t forget to purchase an ample amount on your next supply run.

Know which apps work best when it comes to deliveries.

Since you can pay bills online, why not shop for supplies using your phone, too? With tons of apps offering hassle-free grocery shopping, look into reviews and ask friends about which app delivers without a hitch.

Shopping online saves you the trouble of lining up and visiting a possibly crowded supermarket. To get started, you can review the services offered by Grabmart, Lazada, Shopee, Foodpanda, and MetroMart.

Level up your online get-togethers. 

Just because you cannot meet with your friends like usual doesn’t mean you cannot have fun with them. You’ve probably done different activities like parties and movie nights via Google Meet, Zoom, and Teams so why not step it up by enrolling in online yoga or dance classes together? Doing so will give you something to look forward to as well. 

Given all the online catch-ups and meetings, make sure you have a dependable mobile data subscription that can keep you in the loop. In addition, it pays to have a reliable Internet connection that can support not just video calls, but multiple devices, too. 

Rise above pandemic fatigue.

Living under quarantine for so long can get the best of us. Given the uncertainty, many often feel anxious, sad, and lonely. Reach out to a friend if you need someone to talk to. More importantly, don’t hesitate to get professional help when needed. Now more than ever, we need to care for our mental health, too.

The National Center for Mental Health offers free online psychiatric consultation sessions or you can schedule a teleconsultation with a private clinic. You can look into getting in touch with Better Steps Psychology, Prescription Psychiatrists, and Mindcare Club, to name a few. 

In addition to recognizing your feelings, it also helps to establish a realistic routine, making time for exercise, and practicing proper self-care. Take a break from the news so you don’t feel overwhelmed and try meditating as well.

Stay connected minus the hassle.

Since everyone will be staying at home, having a stable Internet connection is a must. How awesome would it be if you don’t need to step out just to reload your mobile data? GigaPay makes it easier for you to load up so you can keep tabs on your favorite shows, catch up with loved ones, and enjoy your favorite games.

With GigaPay, you can also integrate your other e-wallets so you can pay bills with ease. You can also earn rewards and benefits along the way. 

Living under quarantine can be mentally and physically exhausting. Stay focused on the present and look for ways to make your daily routine easier. If there are things you can do online using your mobile phone, then do so.

Given the heightened restrictions and the threat of the Delta variant of COVID-19, it’s better to stay safe and do things from the safety of your home. Sometimes, all you need is a trusty app with helpful features to help you ride out another lockdown.

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