2020 and COVID-19

2020 looked bright and shiny in January - new stockists, better business partners, improved internal processes. Then COVID-19 hit hard.

In February, I reassessed stock count and checked my finances so I can place bigger orders for raw materials for Q2 of 2020. I just started with a new stockist and I was also reviewing contracts with the current ones.

And then it was March - Matenara's and my birth month. COVID-19 was already making its rounds all over the country and everything had to be locked down. My orders were already placed, but my suppliers had no way of getting them to me. They also had to stop operating in compliance with quarantine.

I have always been an anxious and paranoid person so, despite having stocks on-hand for some goods, I stopped shipping out orders even before the Enhanced Community Quarantine was announced mid-March. See, my Dad is an anaesthesiologist and, during surgery/intubation, was exposed to a patient suspected to be a carrier. He had to undergo self-quarantine as did we. He was eventually cleared (the patient was negative for the virus), but my anxiety level was waaaay up past the clouds; probably closer to the mesosphere, if I'm being honest. I think having three extremely high-risk elderly folk at home can do that to you. For the past few weeks, I've been sitting on my hands, unable to function. Dealing with anxiety day-to-day is hard enough, but having lost my main means of distraction was even worse.

Come April, I discovered that the checkpoint near our home has finally started letting couriers inside our community. Initially, they instructed any deliveries or transactions with couriers be made only via the checkpoint which was a couple of streets away. Aaand, you guessed it right, I closely monitor the going ins and outs of the house and fulfilling deliveries was least priority. It was only during the past week that I started shipping out orders. Each package is sprayed with Full Circle Philippines' sanitizer before they get handed over to the courier.

It's Day XX and I think I've stopped counting at Day 03. ECQ has been extended until the end of April but, by the way things are looking, will definitely go beyond. I can only hope the pandemic ends soon.