Tibaldo: Coping up with the unexpected new normal

Consumers atbp.

WHAT we are experiencing today like quarantined, isolated, locked down, constrained, worried and fearful of all the possible effects of the pandemic like no income, anticipated payment of loans, arrears or mortgage dues and worst, no food to eat is likely to be the current situation to many if not all.

As one who engages in communication arts and public information for over three decades, I also foresee the decline of print publications and fall of big networks as the playing field of news, public information and entertainment is now within the consumer level because of social media. This time around, big-time reporters can’t roam around or fly to areas of interest as they too are constrained in their respective areas which now makes netizens in all continents the opportunity to share what’s happening in their areas to the global community.

The past days, the touch-pad of my smartphone and the remote control of our smart TV became like a glove attached to my hands as I stay unproductive in the middle of a city where there is no space for gardening and lawn to cut grass.

Working from home due to the lock-down and occasionally going out to document our office related activities such as our price monitoring and rolling store rollout in the barangays, I admit that there’s a lot of idle times that often allows me to scan Netflix movies and YouTube offerings.

We have also become extra health-conscious with all the face masks, extra garbs, hygienic solutions like hand sanitize and alcohol in tow and some people are trying to be relevant explaining what the lockdown can and cannot do. People explain that the quarantine or lockdown is really meant to slow the progression of the disease but not to eradicate it by end of May which is why we should avoid mingling and physically interacting with a group of people who we do not know as they may have come from places where there is a Covid-19 positive infection.

In flattening the curve or slowing down the spread of the disease, hospitals and medical practitioners needed more time to cope with the sick and it does not mean eradicating the disease. According to sources, vaccines are still being tried and tested and may need at least a year for it to be proven effective for production and distribution and it is projected to be out by April 2021.

That being said, it seems that there is no going back to usual or normalcy in business and other engagements. For at least a year, the global economy will literally bleed with the lock-downs until an effective vaccine is found. I’ve heard scores of sad stories from the so-called poorest of the poor to multi-millionaires the likes of entertainment mogul Vince McMahon of WWE and XFL proving that this pandemic chooses no one and it practically affects all social classes.

Even when the enhanced community quarantine or lock-down is lifted, industries such as manufacturing, tourism, events, hospitality and many others, are not likely to recover for at least a year.

There is a popular post that is going viral that says “Next year I don’t wanna hear about the Oscar, Grammys, Tonys or Golden Globes. I don’t want to see a single pathetic actor, actress, singer, celebrity or sportsperson on any red carpet! Next year I want to see nurses, doctors, ambulance crews, health care support workers, shop workers and truck drivers, all essential workers, grocery store workers having free red carpet parties with awards and expensive goodie bags. If this doesn’t happen it will be the biggest injustice ever!”

As for me, there were opportunities missed that I’d like to take with a positive note. If not for the pandemic, my wife and I would have already attended two wedding occasions and the much-awaited film project of a notable film director would have scenes taken at my newseum-studio with me doing a bit role and by now, I would have already helped mount an indigenous musical instruments exhibit at the city’s largest mall.

For now, the best thing that each of us can do is to cooperate with the authorities by abiding with all the imposed protocols and safety measures relative to Covid-19. Let us also learn to discern and process all the information that we receive for there will always be flaws, imperfections and untruths to the kind of posts that we receive. Let’s be anticipative of this eventual new normal.


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