A GLOBAL Culture of Fear--this is what daily news on Covid-19 has engendered. Are we passed the first wave and now into the second wave? Or is it the third wave unraveling now? Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III stirred a hornet’s nest in the minds of millions of Filipinos and fanned calls for his resignation. To me, his confusing statements were no mere blunder, but part of Covid-19 script designed to keep the “fear factor” in place.

With this pandemic we are crossing into a new era in our 21st-century civilization. It is becoming clear to a growing number of people that there is no going back to normal, although many still continue to wish for things to go back to former things before the pandemic. The reality is, things will not go back to normal --no not like before. Trade and industry have definitely changed. The former things have come to pass--crowded public transport systems, group tours and full house hotels and resorts, mega-churches, mega-malls crowd, “shop till dead” sales, wild mass gigs, etc. Departed specialists, surgeons, young doctors, nurses, and other medical health workers cannot be brought back to life. On the other hand, because of the pandemic, digital marketing, buying, and selling of commodities, and the exchange of goods have come to life and are thriving.

The new culture? Virtual reality reigns. Celebration of life, hallmarks, and expression of kindred love are through space and screen. Love on the Net, touch through the TV or android screen. Sharing of information, professional consultations and conferences like that of medical practitioners have taken the form of webinars and ZOOM. Families with members all over the globe have become interconnected, real-time through various internet applications.

Surviving new world order

Adaptive strategies for survival are the keys to being able to navigate through pandemic times. Set ways, resistance to change, and fear--these are stumbling blocks to surviving pandemic times. This column has the following tips for living in pandemic times:

Construct a blueprint for living through the new era. This blueprint for life can be drawn as “wheel-like”, divided into parts or “spokes’ --as in a wheel, each spoke representing spiritual; physical-mental and emotional; social; and economic revolving around “the hub.”

Under physical mental and emotional dimension, one must take time to invest learning and mastering the use of the digital world, for herein lies a major key to the new world order. Personally, I have retooled myself and tapped into social media marketing that has opened new clientele for our natural food products--heirloom organic black and aromatic red rice, sundried pure black peppercorn, fruits, lamb meat, etc. Meaningful intellectual discourses and online courses in Coursera are great for orienting oneself to pandemic management skills.

Top priority in these radical times of change and cataclysmic occurrences, is to look up and turn to EL SHADDAI--God Almighty, the all-powerful living God. Praying from the heart and meditation are ways of hearing from Him, as well as reading the holy scripture. There is an excellent Bible App available even for cellphones (YOUBIBLE) that can be downloaded with different meditation/devotional guides, and versions of the Bible in Tagalog, Bisaya, Ilocano and other languages, all for free. I have been using this Bible App for close to three years now.

Make sure to eat a variety of natural food, less of highly processed, deadly delicious food like canned goods, instant noodles, and 3 in one coffee drinks. They are all cancer causing if taken daily, and in large quantities. Natural food is medicine, and you can grow some of them even in urban areas through container gardening--alogbati, amplaya, kangkong, onions, etc. can grow this way.

Deadly viruses like Covid-19 will not go away, more will come. Vaccines have yet to be produced to effectively contain them and ward them off from taking over our bodily system. The best way to fight diseases in pandemic times is to beef up our auto-immune defense system through drinking plenty of clean water, getting enough sleep, exercise, as well as sound and balanced spirituality.

More adaptive strategies and reflections during this pandemic time in my next column.