THE first half of 2020 can be best described as tumultuous. It is safe to say that to date, this could be the craziest start for a year in the 21st century. Looking back, we can't think of any year that started as chaotic as 2020.
January kicked off with the Australian bushfire and the Taal Volcano eruption in the Philippines. The worst has to be the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. Globally, over 10 million people have been infected with the Sars-CoV-2, the virus causing the Covid-19. Recoveries are now at 5.4 million while those who died from the disease are already half a million.
Since the virus and disease were discovered in late 2019, scientists and the medical community are still struggling to fully understand the disease. However, there are already numerous papers on the disease but these are still initial findings. Just like any other existing diseases, new discoveries are made about the Covid-19 every day.
The effects of the Covid-19 is beyond health. It has affected the socio-economic scene of the entire world. With lockdowns, the movement of people has been restricted. At the same, businesses have either temporarily, totally, or partially closed down due to a slowdown in the local economy.
At the local level, we are seeing homegrown small and medium enterprises (SMEs) closing their shops due to being unable to meet operational costs and to save whatever savings they have. Some event organizers, caterers, and SMEs have set up a garage to sell some of their things. This, in turn, has resulted in the retrenchment of employees. As of April 2020, data from the Philippine Statistics Authority showed that 17.9 percent of the workforce in Davao Region are unemployed.
However, there is a glimmer of hope as we enter the second half of 2020. The race to find a vaccine or treatment for Covid-19 is moving at a much faster pace compared to other vaccines in development. However, it is also a reality that it will be a while before the vaccine is made available for everyone.
What else can we expect in the second half of 2020? We don't know for sure. Even though it is the last six months of the year, uncertainty abounds of what is to come. Health experts have warned that this is not the last of the Covid-19 as they expect a second wave to enter.
For now, let us ensure that we survive the year and adapt to the new changes that are yet to come.