BAGUIO

Gacad: Chess

Ziggy Zaggy

WE HAVE to think five moves ahead. But this is not a game. It’s for real. I sometimes wonder if I should still listen to the news or not. I also argue with myself about reading all the stuff that’s posted through social media. The instant experts and know-it-alls are all over the internet. Even the deranged fake news creators have been at it again, adding more confusion and panic to the situation. Information (and misinformation) overload it is, for sure!

Just like any Netflix series that some, or maybe a lot more, of us, are “hooked” into right now. There’s the season 1 episodes and then come the next seasons and their episodes. What happens next?

We have a high school batch group chat and we have a bro who has since settled in China. He has been sharing his experience with us so that we will be able to better deal with this pandemic. For starters, he was quarantined at home for 35 days at least. Not only him but his entire family, the people in his neighborhood, the general community for that matter. Last Sunday, he was “happy” to announce that starting March 23, there will be some “normalcy” already in their city—meaning their city government announced the lifting of the lockdown of parks, restaurants, and individual compounds because the people followed the rules of quarantine and stayed at home. He always reminds us to be cautious and not put our guards down even when, if and when, our lockdowns are lifted. Here are some of his thoughts which may also help us cope with, and survive, what is happening right now:

“After reading some news yesterday and today, I can see many are not prepared before lockdowns. What more after lockdowns? Ask yourself, what happens after April 14 or 15? Will your work environment change? If yes, what will you do as an owner of a business or as an employee? How do you practice social distancing inside your original setup? Are you prepared for the next phase of the coronavirus? It’s either we win the war or go back to square one? What happens if things don’t normalize? Are you prepared for it?

There are people paying rent, paying loans, have the kids and their olds to care for. Do you just want to waste the efforts done by the medical community and your actions during the lockdowns by not protecting and preparing yourself? What practical ways can you do to prevent any relapse? How prepared are you to protect yourself from things you can’t control? If you want the economy to be back, there are ways to approach this and life can go on, although not like before.

However, you won’t need to worry too much about payments and the people you need to care for if you’re well prepared.

I believe I am still way ahead in terms of coronavirus experience. What’s happening here right now in Shenzhen, China can help prepare you after lockdowns. The reason why other countries got so many cases were because of a lax attitude and they underestimated the effect of the coronavirus. Other countries had the time to prepare while watching China tackle the virus. Instead, they chose to not do anything except criticize China, blame China. By doing that, can you turn back time? Can it help people suffering and dying? Don’t forget, Chinese people are human too! What are human rights? What is freedom? What is existence? Will your hatred help human existence or eradication? Think again? Is this fair? What’s the truth then? What will happen after extinguishing 1.29 billion humans? Will it make you any better by proving your point? Is this now about you and me? Or what? What outcome are you after?

It is not about one’s interest in times of crisis. I just wish that when people say something, it would extend to a wide range of deep thinking rather than just for the sake of voicing out what others had repeatedly talked about. Voicing outcomes deep from your conscience and the implications it can bring about to others. Like what my mentor used to tell me, “never project your values to others.” Will East and West ever meet? Even halfway? Will it be either you win it all or none? Is that the mental attitude we want as an outcome?

Please be prepared after lockdowns, brothers. Please make use of your time during lockdowns. Don’t get off guard. It will hurt your own family’s economy, like it is hurting mine, for being unaware and not knowing anything in advance. To all my batchmates, “Be still, my soul: Your God will undertake to guide the future as he has the past. Your hope, your confidence let nothing shake; all now mysterious shall be bright at last. Be still, my soul: the waves and winds still know His voice who ruled them while He dwelt below.”


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