7 months into this pandemic and people are already starting to go out & trying to live the way we used to before all of this happened. However, we can really tell the difference.
Before, we are carefree. We don’t care if we will ride on a jeepney cramped or filled with people and we can hardly move. We don’t care if we are in a middle of a crowded place. We don’t care if we are in the grocery falling in a long line of customers. In short, we don’t care if there are tons of people.
But now, it matters. Most of us may already avoid going into the crowd, will always make sure we are distancing from one another, or maybe not going out just to be sure.
And so, our essentials are changing too. Most especially if we are going out. So now, I will be sharing some of the essentials in this new normal. Feel free to add if you think I missed something. 😁
1. FACE MASK
Being a person belongs to a country that does not practice wearing a face mask, this new normal seems to be a big adjustment. Though I have cloth face mask that I used before when traveling so that my mouth won’t be seen open when I’m sleeping. But in most cases, I usually go out without it. I guess most of us here in Philippines are like that.
But now, the number 1 requirement when going out is face mask. In whatever establishment you’ll be going, you can not enter unless you have face mask. I am not just sure but I think there’s a fine too when you’re caught without it.
But why? Since the virus is transmitted through droplets from coughing or sneezing and it can get into your body through your mouth and nose, so it is mandated to use face mask to avoid this. Both ways actually. When you sneeze or cough, you cannot spread your droplets. And when someone does it, you can inhale or take their droplets.
I usually go out with a double face masks. The inner is the surgical face mask which has the higher protection then the outer is the cloth face mask. I recommend to still use the surgical face mask because droplets can still be transmitted with the cloth face mask depending on the material used.
If you don’t have surgical face mask, you can use also another cloth like hanky and place inside the mask. Just so that the protection is not too thin. And of course, what’s advisable is the use of N95.
REMINDER: Surgical mask should be used once or when it’s not wet. Once it’s wet, you should replace it. And it’s better to keep it well if you intend to reuse it. Also, make sure to dispose this mask properly.
2. FACE SHIELD
Just recently, Philippines have implemented a stricter rule with the use of face shield. Like face mask, this is also required when going out and going to whatever establishments.
Other than taking in the droplets through your mouth and nose, you can also have it through your eyes. So to prevent you from touching your eyes, face shield is a must.
It’s a little inconvenient at first. You can hardly breathe especially you also have the face mask. But you’ll get used to it though eventually.
There are different designs and materials used. But just make sure that it can serve its purpose.
What I usually do when I go out, I bring extra reusable plastic. When I need to take off my face shield like I’m eating, I will put it inside the plastic. Just to be sure that I won’t put it anywhere and prone to those droplets we are avoiding. Then once I got back home, I would either wash it with soap or I would spray with alcohol.
Why? It was exposed outside. You don’t know what’s sticking on it. So better safe. 😅
This is not new to me especially when going out. I always have either of these two. The more after my operation. Because my stomach reacts quickly to what I ate. Sometimes, after a few minutes, I need to go to the comfort room.
But now, everyone is advised if not required to have alcohol or a sanitizer that is alcohol-based especially when going out.
What’s the use?
Everytime you touch on something, rub an alcohol or sanitizer on your hands. Unless there’s a soap and water where you can wash.
For example, you touch on the escalator or on the push cart at the grocery. After all your grocery shopping, make sure to rub alcohol on your hand.
Another thing is if you want to touch your face even if not exactly your mouth, nose or eyes, rub your hand with alcohol first before taking off your face shield and face mask. And rub again before touching your face.
If we are not used to it, we might forget to do it. But once we know the importance and we get used to do it, it will feel like a habit.
You can buy a big bottle of the alcohol and just put it in a smaller bottle so that it would be handy. You can just then refill from time to time.
Again, even before the pandemic, I always have a wet tissue with me when I’m going out. I may need it to wipe something or when I go to the comfort room.
This time, your wet wipes serve the same thing. And you can also make use of it to wipe the table when you’re dining out, the grocery cart, the escalator handle. Of course, other than wiping your face when you have dirt or sweat.
This is really useful especially whenn you’re going to the bank to pay, to Palawan Pawnshop to send money, to LBC to send a package, and now, to different establishments that require you to fill up a form.
Though these places have prepared a ballpen for you to use, it would be safer to use your own. First, you can use without waiting for others to complete. Second, you are sure that you’re the only one who touched it.
6. QR CODE READER
I was quite amazed when I went these past few days. The grocery store. The clinic. The pharmacy. The restaurant. These places that I went to these past few days required me to do one thing – fill up a form for contact tracing.
It might sound usual for some countries who are already practicing since the start of the pandemic. But it is totally new here in Cebu or even in the whole Philippines maybe.
You have two options. First, you can fill up from the form they provided. Second, you can scan the QR Code and fill up the form from there.
The first option only requires you a pen. But it would take a little more time to complete writing it unless you write really fast. This is when you need your own ballpen.
The second option requires you an internet connection so that you can open the website where the form is. But it would take you quicker to complete unless you really type so slow. Plus, it would mean you don’t have to touch extra stuff like forms and pens.
So what I did? I immediately downloaded the QR Code scanner. Scan the QR Code, fill up the form, get the notification and they let me in. It’s more convenient with me especially I’m mostly in a hurry and I’m a paranoid. Haha
There are many applications you can choose from. They all work mostly the same though. So download now! 😂😅
7. JUST MONEY
Most of us would bring our wallet when going out. Of course, it is the most convenient thing to do. All your cards (ID cards, Credit cards, ATM cards) and money can be placed in one storage.
But do you need all of them?
This has been my guide question every time I go out. I only bring what I need. And put it all in my card case. I would bring money and put it in a pouch. Just enough for me to buy what I need.
Why? So that it would eat up all of my time cleaning them once I get back home. I usually spray alcohol to my pouch, case and cards.
But of course, it varies with people. 😁
8. REQUIRED PASSES
Last in the list of essentials is the required passes. Since the quarantine period, here in Cebu particularly, the government is implementing the use of passes when going out.
Establishments required the Quarantine Pass for a specific day in order to be allowed entry. Military officials assigned in checkpoints may require this too.
For those traveling to other city/town, travel pass for vehicles is required.
However, for those employees going to/from work, they may present their company ID and Certificate of Employment in lieu with the passes. They could cross border through that too.
Policy may change from time to time but it’s better to bring one for assurance. 😉
This list is just based on my own experience and what I’ve been following when I’m outside the house. Some may not apply for all of us but definitely, there is an item that all of us are commonly need.
And in addition to this list, always make sure to follow three things. 🤟
1. Always wear a mask.
2. Maintain physical distance with anyone.
3. Be mindful not just with yourself but with others.
The virus is invisible. But a little paranoia and care would make a difference. I am a certified paranoid. It’s hard. But I hope it paid off.
This is journey that we all need to work together as one community, one country, and one world. We can beat this virus. Let us learn to adapt this new normal.
Let’s all take care of ourselves and each other! Laban lang! 💪😍