Coping during the COVID-19 Outbreak in the Philippines

This is a hard time not only for us Filipinos, but for everyone throughout the world. There are much more cases in other countries such as Italy.

Some people call this virus outbreak a “blessing” for various reasons such as less pollution, the opportunity to bond with family, the perfect chance to learn new skills at home… I know that these people are only trying to look at the bright side of things as they try to cope in this difficult time. Even I, for a moment, thought that it was somehow a blessing. But that’s only from the perspective of a person of privilege.

I am one of the privileged Filipinos who are able to stay at home with food on the table, with a roof above my head, not worrying where to get money the next day. That is thanks to the money I saved up through the years, and to the support of my husband. But outside these walls, many people probably have a difficulty sleeping at night, worrying where to get money to put food in the table on the next day. I used to be generous in trying to financially help people, but my financial status is terrible, also thanks to COVID-19.

Okay, I may be privileged, but not by much. There are things that keep me awake at night too. I have savings, but it’s going to be depleted soon. There’s an apartment unit that I’ve been renting for my baking business, and it’s become inaccessible to me since the COVID-19 quarantine. Before the virus outbreak in our country, I was still struggling to reach breakeven in the business. My expenses were greater than my profit. Despite not being able to generate any profit through the rented unit since quarantine, I need to pay my rent. My landlady couldn’t waive the rental fee because she also needs the money, which I understand. Each of us need all the financial support that we can in this difficult time with the COVID-19 virus outbreak. I’ll see if I could do any profit-generating activities from home…

How are you coping during the COVID-19 pandemic?

To me, the important things right now are physical distancing, eating nutritious food, exercise, getting enough sleep, minding our mental health, and a free mass testing for COVID-19 nationwide.

Physical distancing

Stay at home, and go out only if really necessary. Do grocery shopping only once a week or once every two weeks. Why? The COVID-19 spreads easily with so many people outside — you may be one of the unfortunate ones to catch it! And what if you’re a carrier of the virus? Think of the people you might pass the virus on to. Some people who carry the virus do not exhibit any symptom, and yet spread the virus to other people.

Eating nutritious food

Give your body the nutrients it needs to boost your immune system, and your immune system shall fight the infection for you. Try to eat fruits and vegetables everyday, but if you can’t, make sure to take multivitamins, ideally with zinc.

Berocca is a good example of multivitamins with zinc, but it’s out of stock in nearby establishments. If it’s out of stock, try Centrum Advance, which has less zinc.


Moderate exercise keeps our bodies healthy, and improves our mood. I know that for most of us, being locked up at home can get really stressful. Exercising helps release happy hormones, and it will help us maintain a healthy weight during COVID-19 home quarantine period. I know most of us have been eating extra, without moving around too much!

You don’t need any equipment to exercise. Try this exercise video that I frequently follow:

It’s from my favorite workout channel, BodyFitByAmy. She often has various options for all levels, whether you’re already fit or just a beginner in workouts. 🙂

Getting enough sleep and minding our mental health

Okay, I combined these two items because personally, I think they are closely connected.

Sleep helps increase antibodies and cells that can fight infections, so to me, this one will help keep us safe from COVID-19. Try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night.

When I get very anxious, I can’t fall sleep. If your anxiety levels are skyrocketing before bed time, try to address what’s bothering you during the day. Sometimes it gets overwhelming; we need to tackle a mountain of issues at the same time. The solution is going to be reach if you take one step back, take a deep breath, and begin solving one problem at a time.

All the bad things happening around us — people dying due to the virus, our frontliners (doctors, nurses, utility workers, grocery store staff, food prep staff, among others…) who are overworked and at most risk of getting infected, the unruly situation handling of the government, our personal issues brought on by the virus outbreak… these are taking toll on our mental health. Let’s try to keep in touch with family and friends through texts, calls, video calls. Talk to them about things that bother you, you’ll feel better. If that’s not enough, you may talk to a healthcare professional through the following contact details:

NCMH Crisis Hotline:

Mobile: (+63) 917 899 8727

Landline: (02) 7989 8727

Hope Line Philippines:

Globe: (+63) 917 558 4673

Smart: (+63) 918 873 4673

PLDT: (02) 8804 4673

Free mass testing for COVID-19 nationwide

My wish for the Philippines is a free mass testing for everyone, so we can pinpoint who are infected with COVID-19. Though I was in doubt at first, I believe that the current community quarantine helps slow down the spread of the virus. But it’s not enough! To stop the spread, instead of simply slowing it down, we need to know who are infected, isolate them, and treat them. What is holding the government back? Is it the lack of money? If only we still had the 10 billion pesos health budget, huh…

Stay safe everyone!

Stay safe, stay healthy. I really hope this crisis ends soon so that individuals and business may finally bounce back.

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A Filipino programmer with a variety of interests such as baking, singing, making up silly song/rap lyrics, K-pop, drawing, creating unique dessert flavors, obsessing about finding out how some things works, board games, anime, video games, and forgetting things that usually go in her long list of interests. Running small-time online dessert shops Cookies PH and Catzie's Cakery.

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