If you've been following instructions, you would be on quarantine and staying home, at least for the last week or so. Though there's a lot you can do at home, having so much time in your hands all of a sudden could eventually lead to boredom — or not.

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As the enhanced community quarantine is still in effect in Luzon for at least another 16 days (for now), and couples continue to spend their days confined in the same space, the Population Commission (Popcom) gave a friendly reminder about being responsible parents. 

This stems from historical data that shows pregnancy rates tend to rise after a calamity, when couples are likely to stay at home.

"Every time may crisis situation katulad nung Yolanda, ang situation ngayon mayroon tayong epidemic and magkakaroon ng restriction or nako-confine 'yung mga tao sa bahay, there’s always a finding na tumataas ang reproductive health needs ng population," Popcom Executive Director Juan Antonio Perez III said, referring to super typhoon Yolanda which ravaged provinces in the Visayas in 2013.

He urged couples to remain conscious about planning their families despite having only limited activities at home. 

"Life goes on lalo na sitwasyon na laging magkasama ang mga couples sa bahay at limited ang activities. We realize na hindi naman maiiwasan na magkaroon ng ganitong activity. We’d like to caution in general all couples to be responsible parents and we’d like to offer them the opportunity na makapagplano pa rin ng pamilya kahit sa panahon na ito,” he added.

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There are also concerns that a "baby boom" may happen as people are quarantined at home and are unable to seek consultation from their physicians regarding their reproductive health, including the use of family planning tools like contraceptives and injectables. 

"In a situation na mayroong enhanced community quarantine, we feel na hindi makakalabas 'yung mga kababaihan na nangangailangan ng services para magpunta sa center or sa mga health provider, to get regular health services, the executive director said.

And anyway, it is not advisable to visit hospitals during this time because of the threat of COVID-19, especially if you do become pregnant. 

Perez said barangay health workers have been instructed to conduct house-to-house visits to provide consultations. There is also an official list of recipients of contraceptives for each barangay, who may get their condoms or pills from the barangay representatives. 

Similarly, health workers in Taguig continue to distribute birth control pills and condoms in their communities, according to Taguig City Public Information Officer Maricar Brizuela, to ensure that people are practicing good family planning habits despite the coronavirus pandemic.

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