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Home improvements

I don’t know if I’m growing old or if it’s the eternal quarantine status that’s keeping everyone at home, but it feels like DIY home improvement projects are the rage these days.

In my case, our humble home has seen a lot of improvements over this past year alone. Because we’ve been spending so much time at home and the kids can’t even do anything in any public space, we improved the sound and seating arrangements of our home entertainment system. A sound bar replaced the dinky PC-speaker setup of our TV and a proper couch replaced the ancient and uncomfortable pull-out sofa we inherited. We won’t be going to the movies anytime soon so making the home movie viewing experience a little bit more enjoyable seemed like a worthy project.

Like so many others who had nothing else to do for months on end, my daughter got into baking over the quarantine. Our kitchen that didn’t have a proper oven before the quarantine got slow but steady upgrades over the months and now we are fully capable of making cookies, cakes and even try our hand at bread. If there is a bright side of the quarantine, the skills we have picked up and learned because we had no other choice would be it.

Even our internet service got an upgrade. Being the one and only connection to the outside world and becoming indispensable for school and work has made it a no brainer. Fast and reliable internet was once a luxury but now it is a necessity. My justification for bumping up the internet speed was that the months of social distancing and self-isolation meant that my mobile data plan could be downgraded to the minimum so whatever savings we got there were poured into the home internet bucket.

One activity that I failed to get into is the plantito craze. My siblings are all into plants these days and when we meet on zoom I tend to get lost when they start talking about their plants. They lost me when they understood each other even when using scientific names of plants.

Another talking point that made me realize how much we’ve been domesticated over the past year is my high school friends’ group chat. This all-boys GC used to talk about manly stuff like motorcycles, cameras, scuba diving and drones now talks about robot vacuums. This very intimate GC, with only five participants consisting of close buddies from my all-boys childhood, are now experts at robot vacuums. One year ago, nobody would’ve imagined this is what my buddies would be talking about these days.

Aside from the new stuff, our extended stays inside our homes have also led to many repairs and renovations. We tend to notice the fading paint and all the other little things that we would normally miss if we didn’t spend as much of our time at home. I am certain my ceilings need a fresh coat of paint and the window screens need major cleaning and/or minor repairs.

Home air conditioners have also gotten a lot of action and notice in the past few months. And now that we know the oppressive summer heat is just around the corner, it should be time to have these essentials cleaned and serviced.

Refrigerator capacities that have been tested during the lockdown days should also be another concern from many households. Those with extra budget and not enough space are probably considering getting units with bigger capacities just in case we need the space if we are somehow forced back into lockdown once more.

One thing is certain. At the end of this never-ending quarantine saga, our homes will be more comfortable and livable than they ever were.

My only problem is if by the time that happens, our country gets a new leader and those of us who have been considering migrating from this country that has steadily progressed into shithole levels over the past years will have to seriously think about that option once again. Won’t that be a waste of all the work that went into making our homes better?

The solution is simple. If you don’t want that to happen, if you don’t want to be forced to migrate to a country that has better leaders and a better future, do everything in your power to make sure our country’s next set of leaders are up to scratch.

If you come to think of it, what good is a great home if it is situated in a crappy country?

If we can invest so much in our homes over the past year or so, maybe it is time we started actively investing and working for the future of our country.*

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