Tibaldo: Embracing new normal with all health and safety protocols

Consumers atbp.

WITH this global reality that shook the world with a life causing pandemic by the thousands, we should now consider all things with extreme precaution noting that the air we breathe and the public places we go to are laden with the unseen dreaded coronavirus.

During my lockdown as coronavirus-positive, I was practically detached from all outside activities and the only means where I can interact with close family members other than the delivery of home cooked food to a designated portion in a common walkway was through digital means and social media. On the third day, after my 14-day home-quarantine period, I woke up early to consolidate the two weeks of thrash that wasn't brought out and I had to use a pull cart to bring it to the collection area about 200 yards from our compound.

There are several learnings that I got while I was on a 14-day isolation and I was reminded of basic hygiene protocols that we constantly practiced in Baguio during the Meningococcemia and Foot and Mouth Disease or mad cow outbreaks in the past. Back then, we were told to not to touch our face, avoid touching our eyes, nose and mouth and refrain from coughing or sneezing into our hands. We were told to cover our mouth and nose with our elbow or handkerchief when coughing or sneezing and maintain a distance of at least one meter from people outside our households.

We must make it a habit to wear a mask in public places and this reminds me of a lot of people wearing masks in Japan when I had my six months scholarship there many years ago.

It helps to monitor our health condition daily and we must be alert for any symptoms of Covid-19 like having dry coughs, loss of sense of taste or even smell and further, seek early medical help if symptoms develop.

It is true that among the best lines of defense is through constant washing of hands with soap and water for at least 20-30 seconds or by singing the full happy birthday song twice. If using a hand sanitizer, we see to it that it contains at least 60 per cent alcohol and we also rub our hands for at least 20-30 seconds until hands feel dry.

For the past three weeks that included the time when I waited for the result of my re-swab, I basically did what we refer to as 5S, a methodology developed in Japan that implements five key steps which simply means "continuous improvement."

Since I was in isolation at my media newseum and art studio, I started from cleaning up, removing cobwebs, organizing things, de-clogging items and organizing my exhibit materials that up to now I still haven't fully accomplished.

I was also reminded of my basic training of HCCP or Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points, a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product.

Though this is basically meant for the food manufacturing industry, we as homeowners can actually observe or implement some of its measures by having a well-organized kitchen, clean cooking area and items like plates, knives and cups in the right places away from trash bins and cleaning devices.

Other than cleaning up and shaping up, my days in isolation also gave me ample moments of self-reflection and planning of what to do especially that I'll soon be among the city's retirees and senior citizens. I look forward to being a full-time visual artist with plans of establishing an art-hub where I can brush my skills on carpentry, landscaping, metal-works and even masonry to some degree. I thank all those who offered prayers, wished for my recovery and gave words of encouragement. To Sunstar Baguio, the publishers and editor for releasing my Covid-19 journals. Thank you.


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