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Realizations in the time of a pandemic

April 17th, 2020

I can hardly believe that only a couple of weeks ago, life was normal. People grunted upon waking up on Mondays. Restaurants were filled with couples, families, and friends cracking jokes and chatting away. Cars piled up on the roads at all hours. Kids went to school, parents went to work. It’s hard for me to imagine that now because we have inevitably entered a new kind of normal – life in the midst of a pandemic. The lives of people worldwide have been dramatically altered. We are all put on pause, confined to our homes. Even going out to buy essential things holds so much risk. Checkpoints separate cities, families, and friends. Relationships are strained. Life has ceased to be predictable. I’ve realized so many things, and I want to share some of them with you.

I’ve learned to be grateful. I shudder now to think of how much I’ve complained before COVID19 struck. It seemed like a knee-jerk reaction, as normal to me as breathing. Food delivery got delayed? Complain. EDSA traffic? Complain. A long line at the milk tea store? Complain. When I look back now, I realize how minute those things seem. I took so many things for granted – the ability to go out and not be worried about invisible viruses, the freedom to go to work, the ability to jog outside. The independence of it all. I never appreciated those before. I’m hoping that at the end of this pandemic, I will love these small inconveniences more because when you think about it; they make life wonderfully normal, don’t they?

I’ve realized that no matter how old or independent you are, you should never forget about family. The life of a twenty-something is so fast-paced. You have so many goals, so many dreams that you’re chasing that you do everything to get them. You move out of the house to live near the office where you spend almost all your time. You jump on planes to get to far places and breathe in new experiences. Doing all of these, we forget our family. We fail to appreciate our parents, our siblings. In pursuit of ourselves, we inadvertently leave them behind. But this virus has forced us to temporarily put down roots. We went home. We moved back to our old rooms. We now worry about our aging parents and grandparents. We are reminded of how much we love them. And hopefully, in the future, when we’re back out in the world, we’ll learn to love them even more and give them the time and care they deserve.

I’ve learned that to survive, we need to help each other. Everyone has a role to play in this crisis. It may be as simple as staying home, or as difficult as serving as a frontliner. We all need to do our part. We should set aside our selfish desires and look out for people who are more in need. Help out, in any way you can. Give what you can. Smile and be polite to our frontliners. Pray for everyone’s safety. Follow the rules; they are there to protect us. Don’t put our elderly at risk. Be responsible and be proactive. WASH YOUR HANDS! We can get through this, but we will need to work together.

This pandemic has also brought me closer to God. The Words I read in the Bible have never been more alive. Desperation makes you seek and see the power of God. Fear moves your feet closer to His protection. Helplessness makes you see how much you need Him. I’ve been a Christian all my life. I go to church on Sundays, I pray every day. But now, facing this crisis, I feel my dependence on Him growing deeper. I’ve realized that everything I’ve achieved can fall apart in a matter of days. But His love and His promises are still there. And I choose to hold on to Him.

I know that we have a long road ahead of us. Life as we know it may be permanently changed. There will be sadness, fear and heartbreak. But I hope that among these, love, hope and faith will shine brighter. Let’s show this virus how strong the Filipino heart is. We will fight and we will win together.

POP! Creators/ Eunice Loreto

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