Day 14 - Caged outside

— 4 minute read


Feeling pretty tired. I did not sleep well yesterday (woke up at 4am) and my brain seems to be working half its capacity today. The working day was therefore slow. Trying not to push too hard and to understand that there are ups and downs, and the best thing that I can do now is to press the restart button and rest early. Tomorrow I'll be able to do better.

Now we are seeing a trend of Covid-19 hitting the poorer and further flung countries. Central African Republic has three ventilators for a population of 5 million, apparently. Other countries that have been mentioned on The Guardian's live reporting are Nigeria, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, and Panama.

I'm thinking that while rich and developed countries are in deep shit now, they will also be able to get out of the (health part of the) crisis relatively quickly, maybe through a couple of months of intense measures, and then things would get to a semblance of normality, even if there are severe economic aftershocks. But for poor countries, they may be in this for a much longer run, and may end up much further down the ladder than they were before, due to a longer disruption to their economies. And seeing how Europe itself can't decide to save the weaker countries within its own union, I doubt that there will be much aid being given out. Do we have to rely on China after all?

We're at 2,766 cases now, 43 deaths. Ramadhan is starting on 23 April and the government is signalling that if standard operating procedures are put in place we might still be able to hold Ramadhan bazaars, after the MCO (yes now we're calling it MCO again instead of RMO) ends on 14 April. On one hand a lot of people rely on these markets for income, and to buy cheap food. On the other hand, well, it sounds like a perfect recipe to get another spike in cases.


We went out today again to replenish our fresh food supplies. The wet market closed one of its entrances and there was military/police presence at the entrance to make sure that only a specific number of people was inside the market, but we didn't have to wait for long, perhaps because we were early. Things were orderly. Upon entry we were all hand-sanitised, and same upon exit. Food supplies seemed to be adequate.

Going out felt draining though. I must say that coming back home felt like a relief.

Ironically, outside, I felt caged. Buying becomes a value judgment - do I really need this or am I buying it because I'm afraid it may run out? Am I depriving others of this item if I buy it, or am I depriving myself if I don't? Should I splurge on this because it's nice to enjoy it while being at home all the time, or should I save for rainier days? Should I buy some takeout from the chicken rice shop (I do really miss chicken rice) or go back as fast as I can to hide in my safe haven?

Caged in a limited-period consumption window, needing to maximise my purchases so that I don't have to come out again until I have to. Ultimately, there is no slack in the buying process. I was very tempted to buy the last coconut available in the supermarket but weighed it against the difficulty of carrying it (too heavy, as I was shopping alone at that point and I walk, therefore having to transport everything myself) and the impracticality of getting something that had to be consumed immediately.

I got cans of tomato puree instead in the end. Sad, but true.