How are you? How are you holding up? These are the questions that you may have been hearing from people, and the questions that I hope you have been asking the ones you care about the most. With many uncertainties, what are your reflections on life in the time of Coronavirus?
I started the year 2020 on a high note and felt so thrilled on what lies ahead…then COVID happened. Today, June 18, 2020, is the 93rd day of the Community Quarantine in Metro Manila. In 93 days, I have not left my apartment aside from going to the grocery store. I celebrated my birthday in my place, I was not able to go home for my Mom’s birthday and for the Mother’s Day (and won’t be home, yet again, for the Father’s Day), I couldn’t go back to the province to get credentials from the university I graduated from, I had not visited my Dentist for my braces adjustment since March, I had to cancel some important plans, our company was affected big time, and I had to accept that my very first speaking engagement had to be canceled! This crisis really bummed me out.
But in the grand scheme of things, my setbacks seem trivial compare to those who suffered from Coronavirus, to the bereaved families and friends, and to those who lost jobs or businesses.
Of course, this is not the first time that humanity has experienced such abysmal upheaval, but something as deadly as this new pandemic is still difficult to explain. In the confines of our homes, we were all forced to pause and ponder, and these are some of my reflections on life in the time of Coronavirus.
Sometimes, we need to prioritize collective interests over our individual right to move freely.
I was accustomed to being free, to do anything as I like—to travel, to throng public places, to eat out, to hug family and friends, to have my hair cut or treated, and to go out anytime. But our government obliges us to lessen our activities outside and to observe social distancing, forcing most of us to be cooped in our homes, unable to do any of the things we used to do freely to flatten the curve and, ultimately, to help the society survive.
Today is a present
We were so used to planning obsessively for the future as if we all have tomorrow and the day after it, without realizing what we are missing out on today. This pandemic taught me to make the most out of the day and to focus on nothing but today because this virus makes us all vulnerable and it spares no one regardless of how healthy, rich, and invincible you think you are.
While you are stressing on how slow your internet connection for your work from home arrangement, someone just lost a job because her company closed due to the crisis. While you are getting crabby on how you missed your family, there are kinfolks who are grieving for their loved ones whom they lost to Coronavirus. And while you are complaining about how your life sucks, someone who contracted the virus just breathed his last. This pandemic slapped me—hard—by the truth that I have been taking for granted all the little, big, and everything-in-between blessings. When this is over, I hope we will all become the people who have so much gratefulness in our hearts.
Don’t just use this community quarantine to binge-watch Netflix shows, but also take this opportunity to speak about the pressing issues in our country, to stand for the minority groups who don’t have voices or are silenced, to help our front-liners who are still at war with Covid-19, to extend assistance to those who lost their livelihood, to contemplate over the decisions we are going to make once this is over, to take care of our physical, emotional and mental health, to say little “thank you’s” for all the blessings, to not stop working on our dreams, and to pray for better days.