Wenceslao: Normalizing

Candid Thoughts

THE new coronavirus has continued to spread despite the effort of both the government and concerned people to contain it. This is frustrating to many, who are now in a blame game of sorts as if this would help. The administration of President Rodrigo Duterte seems ready to throw the towel in the ring with the recent statement of Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque that the people should prepare to handle the burden of preventing the spread of the virus.

In our place, there is what can be described as a “creeping spread” of the virus, with the infections already around the neighborhood. That’s a far cry from months ago when those infected were mainly from abroad, specifically China. With the virus already in the vicinity, the threat has become real. Everybody should be extra careful and everybody should be a warrior of sorts against the pandemic.

The worries have doubled, even tripled, now because those infected are no longer faceless people. They now have faces some of whom are acquaintances, even relatives. What is tragic is that some of them have succumbed. Those who thought the virus could be treated lightly are starting to realize that, with the deaths, what we are dealing with is truly a dangerous foe.

Also, those who thought this will be over soon are revising their views. Those lockdowns and the admonition for people to practice physical distancing, disinfection and the wearing of face masks are mere palliatives. The real solution is when a cure and a vaccine against Covid-19 are discovered. Sadly, the discovery of a cure and a vaccine takes time. US President Donald Trump is egging on the scientific community to speed up the process but even then that process may take us to at least next year.

But miracles do happen. That is where prayers are also important. Some churches in Cebu are already open for the faithful to visit even if masses are still not being held. Maybe it is time for us to pay a visit to these churches, light candles and say prayers. Or we can do the praying at home like what we do nightly in front of our altar.

Meanwhile, let us limit talks on Covid-19 to the essentials and shield ourselves from rumormongering, politicking, fact twisting and the spreading of biases. Let us not obsess ourselves with the virus and in the process forget the other important topics of living. One of the ways to stop the worrying is for us to busy ourselves with the other facets of life.

Admittedly, there are now people who view the pandemic as a blessing in disguise. For example, the lockdowns have made those with entrepreneurial skills to look closely at the burgeoning online trading. My sister’s daughter, who is on Facebook most of the time, sold food at the side of the street in our sitio. The lockdown had her posting the items she was selling online. Now, some people in our neighborhood only message her on the items they would like to buy and these are delivered to their houses.

Instead of being obsessed with the virus and fretting and complaining, why don’t we start adjusting to this new normal?


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