… I’m still here on the island. I have been out to Male’ only once to get my dose of vaccine.
It was the 27th of March 2020 when we bid our last guest goodbye and closed the resort, waiting for the lockdown to be lifted.
April to July of 2020 seemed like a void period. It was like experiencing dark ages under the bright sun. It was pretty strange. Many things happened, some unusual ones, I’d never have done in normal times and some good ones too.
Like everyone else in the world, I looked for things to do during this period. I started journaling once again, and I am happy to say that I could keep up with it until now ~ filling those pages of my notebooks with scribbles and letters. I didn’t stop after a month like what usually happened in the past. I picked up the habit of drinking wine (for no reason, and I can put down half a bottle in one sitting, that’s 2.5glasses, and luckily I could stop it, and I am now sober, haha). We started eating expired snacks because we didn’t have anything else at that time (except the consumable form of alcohol). I’ve read books from the front office library; those abandoned by their previous owners found their way to me. I’ve played billiards for so many hours that I thought I’m better than those tambays sa bilyaran already. I tried documenting our days through videos, but my editing was really, average, so I stopped at one point. I’ve also finally known what Netflix was about found some K-dramas worth crying for and other movies worth watching.
On some afternoons, I slept under the palm trees. I gained friends and lost some of them physically. I also gained some weight but ignored it altogether. I got chased by a stupid Parakeet, and I discovered a color-changing fish. By mid-July, our operations started once again as the Maldives re-opened its borders to Tourists.
By November, travelers seemed to not care about the pandemic anymore and started traveling big time. Most of the country’s resorts were full, and we were busy as hell like a pandemic never happened.
Work helped me forget about the void period; however, now that I am still on the island a year after the lockdown started (not that I don’t have flights home but my visa renewal process is taking longer than usual), I could not help but reflect on what happened in the past year. It seemed like forever already. I felt like I’m one of the characters of ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ or ‘100 Years of Solitude.’ The year felt like a lifetime.
‘This too shall pass’ was quoted almost every day on social media the past year, but still, we can keep quoting it for the pandemic hasn’t ended yet.
It’s been a year of learning and many other things. A year that felt like a dark cloud has blanketed the world and didn’t let the sunlight pass. A dark cloud that didn’t want to leave. But everything has its start and end. Strong winds will come too and blow this dark cloud away into somewhere, far, far away.