The 5 stages of being a car guy stuck at home during ECQ

Hang in there, guys
by Drei Laurel | Apr 27, 2020
PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño

To be honest, we’ve stopped counting the days that we’ve been stuck at home because of the enhanced community quarantine period (ECQ). After all, what’s the point? Being down over our predicament isn’t going to help the days go by faster anyway.

Chances are you feel the same way now. But it wasn’t always this easy to get a grip, especially during the first few weeks of the ECQ when there were more question marks surrounding the situation than answers.

If you can relate, here are the five stages of what we believe to be an accurate depiction of what car guys have been going through the past two months.

ECQ day one: Denial

No public transportation? No driving out? They can’t do that, can they? Is this for real?

Nah, there’s no way. I give it less than a week before they backtrack on this Luzon-wide ultra-enhanced superior community—whatever it is they’re calling it this time around. That meet-up should push through next week, and I should probably get back to Mark to tell him the shoot on Monday is still a go.

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For real, though, they can’t do that right? Can they? Nah, there’s no way. Can they, though? For real? 

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I want milk tea. 

ECQ day 15: Anger

God f****** damn it. Turns out they could.

No Trans Sport Show, no car club, no fun runs—no nothing. I swear if Mr. Glass-half-full makes another witty remark about cheap fuel and open roads in the car club chat, I’m going to drive straight through every checkpoint I see just to get to his house and—never mind.

By the way, where the hell did all the damn bananas go? I haven’t seen a single one in the supermarket since all of this started!

ECQ day 25: Bargaining

My wife has hidden the keys. I don’t blame her—you can only mess up the weekly grocery run so many times before you’re forced to surrender household driving privileges entirely. Aren’t potato chips a basic food group? It is what it is.

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Maybe if I volunteer to drive her out I can get a couple of kilometers in circling the grocery parking lot while I wait. Or, I could barter three hours-worth of Netflix time in exchange for a quick “supply run” to the supermarket—I know she’s trying to catch up on the show she’s watching, so I like my odds here.

ECQ day 37: Depression

I have no idea what’s gotten into me. Every day I wake up, have breakfast, and end up sitting inside my garage for hours on end as a heavy feeling of worry and an unmistakable sense of dread slowly creeps up over me. Soaking in even the littlest enjoyments takes considerable effort now.

Frankly, it’s become a routine. I tear up at the thought of drives past, of twisty mountain roads and the sound of my car’s revving engine, and I break down at the prospect of another day without being behind the wheel. The fun run last month feels like it was last decade. Minutes feel like hours, hours feel like days, and there’s just doesn’t seem to be any end in sight.

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ECQ day 49: Acceptance

Another extension, but if this is what it takes to put this pandemic behind us, then so be it. Thy will be done.

It’s been a difficult past couple of weeks, but I’ve come to embrace the mindset that every day we’re all keeping ourselves from getting behind the wheel is another day closer to finally beating COVID-19. Keeping out butts home is the least we can do to help flatten the curve—especially when you take into account that a lot of individuals don’t have the luxury of doing so.


ECQ day 2,936: Survival

My name is Max. My world is fire and blood. A road warrior searching for a righteous cause. As the world fell, each of us in our own way was broken. It was hard to know who was more crazy—me, or everyone else.

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PHOTO: Jerome Ascaño
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