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It’s been a while since my last post. I was sick most of the time I was MIA. Thankfully it was before the Coronavirus pandemic. I was diagnosed with reactive bronchitis. It’s gotten better over time, but I haven’t fully recovered yet. Anxiety disorder, along with PTSD, bronchitis, and being panicky about COVID-19 got me so tired and overwhelmed.

In mid-March, I started to play State of Decay 2. My friend got me on steam as a gift. At first, I didn’t know anything about it. I thought it was a FPS game because my friends and I are fans of co-op shooting games. Turned out, it was a survival game. I found it pretty similar to This War of Mine, which I’m a sucker for, with zombies, more action, and more stuff to it.

I started to play it a few days before our partial lockdown in Bangkok. Since then I hadn’t been able to do anything else. Until last night, I didn’t write. I didn’t do anything productive. I barely moved. Some time before I got into State of Decay 2, I was hooked on Strange Brigade. But it wasn’t like what I felt about State of Decay 2.

I knew I needed to get writing. My manuscript wasn’t going to get finished by itself. But I’ve been dealing with mental and psychical illness since last year. I thought the new decade would bring hope and a new beginning. How wrong I was.

Since the city lockdown, I haven’t done anything productive, except for occasionally promoting my latest book on Facebook and Twitter. I played State of Decay for days on end. I followed the Coronavirus updates every day. I went grocery shopping at midnight at a 24 hr grocery store nearby. I ate a whole lot of junk food and gained weight.

Just last night, I picked up a manga I purchased months ago. I read it cover to cover, something that hadn’t happened probably since January. I got distracted easily partly because of my condition, maybe. It was just hard to concentrate.

After the Coronavirus first outbreak in Wuhan, I kept catching up on the news. It might’ve gotten to me at some point. I got myself updated to be informed and ready before it began to spread. Thailand is like another province of China in this day and age. I knew it would arrive eventually. And I was ready long before it hit Bangkok. But it still weighed on me.

State of Decay 2 just came in the right time, I guess. Last night when I was reading the manga, I felt it was just like a summer break back in the day. I was one of those kids who were bullied and never enjoyed going to school. I was also that kid who studied hard to win over their parents. Summer breaks were my happy days. While most kids at my school were bored to death, I was enjoying myself at home doing absolutely nothing.

My summer breaks usually included video games, sleeping until noon, music, comic books, and long hours on the phone with people I cared about. And it’s just like that during this prolonged quarantine. Well, except for the talking-on-the-phone part. We don’t use our phones to talk anymore unless something really bad happens.

Following the news all the time, I was losing my nerve at first. You all know how the Coronavirus pandemic gets us scared and panicky. We never expected anything this big of a scale to happen in our life time. But so it goes.

I’m usually workaholic (and it is a mental torment.) It’s strange that self-isolation brings me peace. It has brought me back a summer break. I know people are dying out there, medical workers are fighting for everyone of us, and it’s tragic. I’m not nonchalant. I’m just doing all I can do to help.

Staying isolated and calm is the only thing I can do, really, to help stop the spread.

It is healing. Both us and the earth. Maybe the whole Coronavirus situation is just nature’s way of healing itself. I don’t know. But lately I’ve felt the summer breeze again. Our skies are clear again when we stay at home and there’s no pollution. Isn’t that how summers used to be?

None of us want the pandemic. But how else are we humans going to repair the damage we’ve done to earth? I have no idea.

— Petra