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HONORING MY MOTHER | Perils of the home prison

LOCKDOWN. Now we know how it feels, or do we? After a lot of complaints from neighbors, our closest neighbor has finally agreed (though quite grudgingly) to lock her bitch-of-a-dog inside, instead of letting her freely roam about the neighborhood, and bringing home a pack of mongrel males afterward, to noisily fight it out outside their gate, with her as the winner’s prize.

The result of this is a non-stop, balanced, and stereophonic yapping and barking well into the night, even extending to eventually become our daily background score. As encore, this is often accompanied by her lone child’s bawling, which serves as an occasional arial treat. So, while Misha her dog barks out her protest and lament against the forced isolation, her paramours, who have refused to leave the front of the house, noisily bark out their sympathies, despite several attempts to hose them down by yours truly.

Alas, other pets, whether restrained by leashes or cages, behave protestingly in similar manner. In the case of cats (natural hunters that they are), they have been known to wreck curtains and furniture, even during brief periods of detention. Much like these house pets and other cousins in the kingdom, zoo animals have been known to exhibit signs of stress or boredom while in captivity; like rocking back and forth, walking in circles, plus other irrational forms of behavior.

Well, as it is for both animals and hoomans alike, I hope we can now agree that living under some kind of lockdown for extended periods of time can indeed take a toll on anyone. I have even been treated as arch-enemy by some distant acquaintances after telling them about this as we had talked about the wild animals they have begun collecting as exotic pets.

To sum it up, add a little quarantine to this, and people already affected, will begin to act in a wildly similar manner. Several studies have come out to say that, the already-manifested feelings of uncertainty, boredom and fear of the virus itself, will provide a lethal mix which leads to PTSD-like symptoms. These can even be made worse by logistical concerns and money matters, as the social distancing protocols extend on.

As a remedy, the studies offer no heavenly solution except a sound grounding, or having a better understanding of the benefits and reasons for undergoing quarantine. Aside from maybe actual psychiatric help or drugs, what else is there? We are, after all, more rational than our furry friends. As a civilized society, properly-disseminated information plus a unified action might prove useful. Individually, we have our intelligence. Barking into the night just won’t hack it.

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