LAST Thursday, the 2019 Bar passers were sworn-in to add to the roster of lawyers in the Philippines. The batch is the new lawyers in the new moral era. They are the first batch to have a virtual oath-taking organized by the Supreme Court of the Philippines. UNO-R School of Law produced 10 new lawyers. My congratulations to the new UNO-R Lawyers: Atty. Jose Jireh Alimon, Atty. Joseph Mark Antonio, Atty. Elijah Bactol, Atty. Jay-ann Ditchella, Atty. Leonie Vee Garanzo-Apuhin, Atty. Rene Jayme, Atty. Rovi Grace Mendoza, Atty. Junry Malagsic, Atty. Mary Rose Ann Tambanillo, and Atty. Amor Leilani Tayo. They were virtually joined by the UNO-School of Law Dean John Paolo Villasor and Associate Dean Mary Jude Marvel.
Last week, the number of Covid-19 positive spiked in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City. We thank the National Government for allowing LSI's to come home and improve the figures of asymptomatic Covid-19 positive individuals.
Late Sunday, after an alarming increase allegedly brought about by the LSI, the IATF, through Defense Secretary Lorenzana, temporarily suspended the travel of LSI's to Negros Occidental, Bacolod, and Iloilo for two weeks.
What does this mean? I do not understand. I thought the President and the IATF were after the rights of these LSI's and never mind the welfare and rights of the populace.
Anyway, let us try to observe some funny things being practiced in the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ). First, the uselessness of the plastic partitions in public utility vehicles. The plastic partitions are just simply giving us false security and worst, viruses could be swiftly transmitted through the railings and even on those plastic covers. Sorry, but I have never seen a jeepney disinfecting the passenger area after one trip. If there are those following these, my gratitude and congratulations. For the majority, you are not living normally.
Second, the simple wearing of face masks is adhered to by 70% of the populace. Congratulations. But is the percentage correct? Look at just a few meters away from you, are all the people wearing masks? Last Saturday and Sunday, I met a lot of people who were no longer wearing masks. I thought the new normal requires everyone to be in their masks in public. I understand those who wear masks but not covering their faces but those with no mask at all are not living the new normal.
Last Saturday, most teachers handling online learning had been into their virtual classes. Utilization of free Social Media platforms now becomes part of the new normal school. Teachers are now seen not in classrooms but on the computer screens doing their lectures and quizzes. Most teachers have rescheduled their on-line meetings to Saturday to check the well-being of their students. However, there are those who still would want to use the traditional face-to-face and keep on saying that virtual classrooms are simply a waste of time. So, if one continues with the old norm, he is not living the new norm. The name of the game in education is innovation for the good of the students and not of the teachers or the administrators.
Another part of the new normal is physical distancing. There is a need for everyone to be at least one meter apart from strangers and those who are not living within the same roof. I have really never seen anyone practicing such easy instruction. People tend to go close and near to one another. Social distancing should be the new normal.
Lastly, frequent washing of hands is an old norm but a new practice. We have to at least wash our hands with soap or disinfect them with alcohol as frequently as possible. This is not hard to practice but it is also very easy to forget. So, if one does not wash hands, he is not normal.
So, these are the normal new things in the new normal. Live new.