April 15, 2020. Today should have been my flight to Manila.
Or to elsewhere to visit ancient monasteries…
Or camp on the mountains…
Explore the Middle Finger…
Or repeatedly wait for 300 gallons of water to pour.
But the Coronavirus a.k.a. COVID-19 decided I should be at home to prevent further spread of the disease.
In the last days of February, during the peak of COVID-19 Coronavairus infection in the Middle East where most of the confirmed cases had travel histories in Iran, the Government suspended entry to the country for the purpose of Pilgrimage and tourism.
Upon receiving the news, I immediately cancelled my vacation leave originally dated for today, April 15, 2020. Not because the Government suspended international flights, I just worried what could transpire during my vacations that will hinder my return to the Country.
It turned out, I made the right decision.
On March 3, 2020, the Government announced it’s first confirmed Coronavirus case; with Patient Number 1 being a national who failed to declare travel history to Iran at the border. In the same week, the Government suspended schools, closed land borders, and suspends flight to and from 14 countries with high number of confirmed coronavirus infection and soon after, suspension of all international flights took effect, except for returning expats working in healthcare facilities.
The week after, the Government ordered temporary closure of all cinemas, shopping malls (except for supermarkets and pharmacies), and parks and other public gathering areas. Restaurant are no longer allowed to serve food except for deliveries and take-out orders.
Around the end of March, curfew from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. took effect in parts of the Country and soon after, 24-hour nationwide curfew took effect.
No one knows where this pandemic will come to end. Or whether social distancing will be our new norm remains unknown.
For now, I’ll continue dreaming for my next travel destination and while it remains a dream, I’ll continue writing.