IT HAS been said that because of the pandemic, the rules of social interaction had also been changed. When before it is so easy to come into one place and enjoy the company of friends, now it would not be the same as before due to some restrictions. People are also becoming conscious that the more they expose to public places, the more they will take the risk of exposure to coronavirus.
The government though, encourages continued interaction through social media by connecting with friends and relatives particularly during the period of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ). This is to ensure that people will maintain their sanity as periods of uncertainty will have a negative effect on the emotional state of individuals.
Filipinos are actually noted to have close relationships with one another. Social cohesiveness is understandably one of the reasons why we fail to control the spread of Covid-19. We are a close society that our solidarity is our weapon to survive in whatever trial that would come our way, yet, there are also some disadvantages like in our ongoing fight against the pandemic.
Sociologist Emile Durkheim’s definition of mechanical solidarity seemed to be related to a kind of social interaction that we Filipinos possess. Despite the present modernization, we could hardly detach ourselves from the closely knitted solidarity that actually defines our society and people.
It made me think somehow about the role of coffee shops not only as a business venture for some but as places where people could maintain a balanced life. As one could observe the many new structures in the highland barangays of the city like Granada and Alangilan, where many of these coffee and tea shops sprouted like mushrooms. It is surprising that in the middle of this pandemic and many businesses like this were affected in terms of revenues, we have friends who decided to build these structures at places we don’t expect it to exist at present.
It made me ponder on the connection of our people’s resolve to also find ways to survive the pandemic and the functionality of these coffee shops. While the usual interaction process is not the same as before, we resolved to maintain it and find ways to bring our friends and family members to places we believe are free from the threats of infections. And these new structures in the highland areas are the happy hosts of our people who want to escape the toxic of city life and to maintain their defined social interactions. In a way, they still maintain a balanced life despite the imbalances of isolations and quarantine measures.
Aside from those walk-in clients, the coffee shops also serve those travelers and bikers as they stop for food and fellowship. Despite the low income of businesses in the city proper, we have seen that little by little, some areas in mountains are also becoming growth areas. This has become the situation at present, while we remain positive that businesses could thrive in these areas and our people will be able to find a way to live a normal life in the midst of these abnormal times.
Tourism could be one of our many sources of revenue, but we could not make it bloom now because of the uncertain future. But if this is the manner by which these places are started up, then we don’t know what coffee shops could usher into in the coming days. For now, this is to ensure that we have an option in case we want to go to places, at least we have them just near our homes.