Padilla: Hope, just that

Obiter Dictum

HOW should a column begin at a time of uncertainty? Where should the privilege to voice my thoughts begin? What more can I say that has not been said? Perhaps, none.

My mama, a survivor of WWII, grew up in Iloilo City one of the badly destroyed cities during the war. Her stories of survival always thrilled us as kids and now, I recall them if only to draw strength to be able to survive this battle with an invisible enemy, Covid-19. Strangely I remember her saying that they stored a lot of camote because it doesn’t spoil quickly, spill, easy to store, and can be quickly carried when they run to hide from the Japanese. But what am I running away from nowadays? I could not even hear the enemy coming? A cough, a sneeze? But I have camote, yes, if resources really run out.

My geeky and nerdy friends agree that we arm ourselves with evidence. So, we rummage the net for reliable sources and quell the enemies like fake news. We become science data junkies more than ever that private chats of food, selfies, shopping or paparazzi shots are replaced by statistics, news, etc. that overwhelm us with how much we cannot understand and at what risk other people are putting themselves in to fight a virus.

The religious and the spiritual remind me to pray more. The doctrinaire have identified saints and prayers providing rhythmic solace like the steady beating of a loved one’s heart when your heart flutters in anxiety and you are held close to their chest.

Then there’s music, books and movies. Gore can be cathartic and so can be mawkish Korean dramas. Arts are comforting at a time like this and no one fictional has yet to get the virus. Then Tom Hanks is infected and Wilson, the volleyball of hope gets real.

And then maybe this is where this meandering column is heading to -- hope and that we don’t lose it. We hope that the global community of science discover that code or plasma that will defeat the virus. We hope that extreme sanitation our parents nagged us about will keep the virus off our homes. We hope more prayer warriors storm the gods for deux ex machina. We hope that those who still have to go to work are kept safe. We hope -- because there’s nothing more that we can do while we are quarantined in our homes.


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