IN THE long hours of doing homework or doing nothing at all in this pandemic, it feels like we are isolated from the rest of the world and even from the people in our homes, but a simple “how are you?” can mean so much and get someone back on track.
The Philippines has been in lockdown for more than a year now. Just as we thought things are getting better, we see another surge in cases in the country, and new stringent rules that limit socialization are being implemented again.
Some people struggle to cope with the isolation that they drown from pools of anxiety, uncertainty, and depression.
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), suicide incidents in the country rose to 25.7 percent in 2020 during the pandemic.
We may have been disconnected physically by Covid-19, but the use of social media has brought us closer with a few press and clicks.
However, even with the help of modern technology, it is difficult to reconnect or reach out to our friends thinking they probably have their own battles to fight with the pandemic.
But if you can manage to help and reach out, typing a short “How are you doing?”, “I hope you’re doing good” can save lives and bring solace to those who feel isolated from the world.
This is not the time to test friendships because all of us struggle in ways more than one, especially these times.
But this is the time to offer help when we can. To reach out when we can reach out. To bring comfort when can offer comfort.
According to an article from Beyond Blue, an Australian charity organization, there are 3 easy ways to check on someone in this pandemic.
First, ask. Some people may not be comfortable with opening up or receiving advice at times. Hence, it is essential to ask if they are okay with it.
Second, listen. Listening is just as crucial as saying something. If your friend knows that you are listening intently, they will feel more comfortable opening up and are more open to receiving help.
Lastly, support. The last thing we want to make our friends feel in this pandemic is being invalidated or ignored, especially when they start feeling better. The best way we can do is to support in the best way possible.
The pandemic may have brought the worst to our country. Still, there is hope that with each “Kumusta ka?” we can bring out the best in our humanity by offering solace in isolation.