I accidentally smeared some gravy on my nose as I was taking a bite of my pork chops, and for a moment I fooled myself into thinking my taste was back. It was not. I just had a faint whiff of the mushroom.
Meals have been such a joyless, soulless experience lately, a routine of sitting on my bed with a packed meal in front of me. Once, it was even the floor, wary I was going to spill my cousin’s lechon paksiw on a mattress I don’t even sleep on (I have two beds in this quarantine bedroom—maybe I should spend a night on the other one).
I never minded eating alone, but boy does it get completely lonely when I can’t even enjoy the food.
I currently liken mealtimes to all the general assemblies I was forced to attend in school—strictly for compliance. My stay comes with full-board meals and there were supplements I needed to take after each one. I also wasn’t used to eating thrice a day; in our household, we only do lunch and dinner. Spacing them out is an adjustment in progress: One day, I woke up late and took all my meals late, and that resulted in me having dinner past nine in the evening, which is something I’ve never liked.
In recent days, I’ve been so fortunate to be sent food and refreshments by family and friends. Because I’m bored and living in this age of oversharing, I post them on my Instagram. It’s prompted many an amused DM, usually along the lines of, “Ikaw na ang pinaka-sosyal nga na-COVID.” 😂
Okay, fine, I bought the Starbucks myself because desperate times. My favorite Jai Ho salad from Saladstop sent over by my cousin Lynn, milk tea from Chennie, and the aforementioned pork chops with gravy from Kerbside, sent over by Joan.
But allow me this small, simple joy. Even if I can’t taste anything, it cheers me up to (1) take a break from hotel-provided food (which are okay, if a bit on the small side) in their dreary styrofoam containers; and (2) think of how people are looking out for me. Whether it’s my favorites from home or a restaurant, milk tea or juice, an extra study table or a box of art supplies, or even just messages to read while I’m eating, the thought of someone making the effort to send over something really brightens my days in complete isolation.
That makes me full. (But I still want to taste again.)
Cebu vs. COVID-19 Resources:
Numbers and details change often, so I’m linking to pages instead where you can check for updated information.