Feeling a little like Robinson Crusoe – Day 17 of Community Quarantine

Needing a beard trim and a haircut … or a coconut palm and a Man Friday!

Needing a beard trim and a haircut … or a coconut palm and a Man Friday!

Robinson Crusoe is a novel by Daniel Defoe, first published on 25 April 1719, so 301 years ago this month. It was one of my favourite novels in my late teen years but now I am starting to feel like Crusoe, and indeed look like Crusoe. 

We have just completed 17 days of extended community quarantine here in Manila where we are working from home and only permitted out to collect food, medicine, see a doctor, or in my case, walk to the office if there are machines that need resetting. My only exposure to the outside currently then is the daily collecting of a can of beer from the local convenience store and to collect dinner from the Grab food delivery guy around 6:00 pm. Funnily, it is very tiring in this environment but hopefully, once we get past Easter here, we will be able to get out and about more often as restrictions ease up. Hopefully also we will have “flattened the curve” and life will be safer for the elderly and those with medical conditions.

Now, all I need is a visit to a gentlemen’s hairdresser – or a beach, a coconut palm, and a Man Friday!

Two Weeks Locked Up, Two Weeks to Go!

Two weeks of extended community quarantine have now passed and while the daytime has mostly been taken up with work from home tasks, late night to relax I have been working on some 1/3000 scale Fujimi models of modern Japanese warships.

These are delightful models, full of character and detail. When compared to the humble Navwar models I painted a couple of years ago, well, there is no real comparison. Admittedly these are somewhat more expensive, maybe 1.5 times the cost of Navwar and plastic so lack the reassuring heft of metal models, but the final result of a little work, and they look absolutely wonderful.

The decals that come with the models really make these too, even down to hull numbers on the vessel, something that is far above my painting skill. 

I am becoming a big fan of decals for 1/3000 scale models and the flight deck decals that are produced for the 1/3000 scale Navwar aircraft carriers are brilliant, really making the model stand out, however, they are really only available for aircraft carriers.

The decals for these Fujimi vessels perform the same magic, marking the landing spot for the ships’ helicopter(s).  This box represent the first flotilla of the modern Japanese fleet, circa 1995. I have another box of Fujimi ships that represent the same flotilla several years advanced, including a full-on helicopter carrier, a DDH that is currently under conversion to become an aircraft carrier.

As for the community quarantine, it is tough residing in 42 square metres. In the afternoon I walk to the local convenience store for “food” – in my case, a large can of beer. It is my only outside time unless I am called into the office. I do hope that after the month that Metro Manila, indeed, Luzon, has spent locked up flattens the curve enough for us to rejoin the world outside, and safely for us old-timers.

So, for sanity’s sake, my late evening, after work, was spent adding just one colour to the models, followed by the can of beer then sleep. Last weekend was the first one off as well and that allowed me to finish the vessels. You can see the progress below:

Next task, in the late evening, tidy up my work/hobby table. Yes, it is a shared space. Then decide on the next painting project.

Prisoner — Inmate No. 6

The Statistics from 00:30 on 20 March (Philippine Standard Time)

With apologies to Patrick McGoohan – trapped, inside the idyllic Legaspi Village — actually, not entirely sure how idyllic, however this COVID-19 “community quarantine” is starting to get on my goat a little as we stretch into Day 5 here of the extended quarantine. Firstly, I find that I am becoming addicted to the statistics, and each morning before ablutions and breakfast, I check the stats.

Last thing at night, yep, check the stats again. I will also confess that I check the buggers at lunch time and dinner time as well (now, at lunch today, 12 hours after the stats on the left were taken, the total cases has hit 244,517 cases – with the US rocking up the charts, having overtaken the French they are now rapidly closing in on the Germans).

Legaspi Street these days

As the apartment I am in is a massive 42 square metres in size, and as the amenity area in the condominium building is closed for “disinfecting”, cabin fever* sets in fairly quickly. For those unaware, “Cabin Fever” (according to Wikipedia) refers to the distressing claustrophobic irritability or restlessness experienced when a person, or group, is stuck at an isolated location or in confined quarters for an extended period of time. A person may be referred to as stir-crazy, derived from the use of stir to mean ‘prison’.

To relieve that, each day I slip out on to Legaspi Street, normally a busy thoroughfare, and head to the local convenience store where I buy 1 can of beer. As beer is food for Aussie, if stopped by police or military I can claim I am merely outside getting some food!

Ayala Avenue – where the office is

The cable guy … sorry, network guy, from the office is stuck outside of Metro Manila and can’t pass through the checkpoints. This results in me heading up to the office from time to time in shorts and t-shirt, to act as first junior assistant trainee network engineer and follow to the letter his commands over the phone.

No air conditioning in the office, and basically the building is deserted except for a few people and the security guards so I feel safe from viral infestation. 

The “community quarantine”, a lock-down by any other name, is restrictive and designed to slow the spread of the virus so the medical system dies not get overloaded.

Ayala Avenue – the other way

The main conditions are:

  1. No public gatherings
  2. Remain in home and work from home where possible
  3. Metro Manila is closed to the rest of the world now with international visitors banned (except Filipinos and permanent residents and families) and no domestic travel in by land, sea or air. Police and Army are manning checkpoints at the entry points to ensure rules are followed
  4. Cities within Metro Manila may also close their municipal boundaries
  5. A State of Calamity over the entire country has been raised by the president

Emergency and front line services plus necessary deliveries can pass through the checkpoints (doctors, nurses, police, food deliveries etc) and grocery, supermarket, convenience and drug stores have been asked to continue operating. Shopping malls however, are closed. And all this is to last until 12 to 14 April (just after the Easter break). The bottom line is, stay at home and maintain social distancing of a metre (in Australia, 1.5 metres, 2 metres in the US).

Condo Management Assisting with Social Distancing

The condominium management, I guess they are living in now, have been assisting with social distancing. Last night I arrived back from my network support and beer run to see the elevators had been enhanced.

Not quite a metre apart and to be honest, I thought it would have been more efficient to have the foot prints all facing away from each other for that reduced social distancing to work … I have not heard of transmission from bum to bum bumping!

To break up the day, after shower and breakfast I change into dark shorts and t-shirt. When it is quitting time for the day, I change shorts and t-shirt again. sort of breaks the day up between work and me time.

Two modern Japanese Warships (Izumi and Kirishima)

For relaxing in the evening, I should be painting a pile of half painted aircraft however some small (1/3000 scale) plastic ships were delivered to me from Japan Hobby. The ships are kits, small kits I will admit, but are quick to build. The detail is superb so I am thinking of building them all this week, then paint, then sell my older metals hips.

Best, these ships are also quite inexpensive relative to other similar models. The image below will give an idea of the size and scale of these vessels. 

In the meantime, stay safe, take care and wash your hands … again!

Mag-ingat at tandaan na hugasan ang iyong mga kamay.

Japan Ship Izumi – model about 9cm long, fat thumb mine