July 23, 2020
BY RICKY MONTECILLO
God it’s half the year already and our not-so-friendly ghost COVID-19 is still very much with us. The numbers are staggering, with than 14 Million people worldwide infected and about 615 thousand deaths.
Here in the Philippines we have more than 72 thousand infected and almost 1600 deaths, if we are to believe the numbers. However, I suspect that there are much more infected than what is being reported.
People are dying by the thousands every single day. Friends, family, rich people, poor people, mothers, grandparents, fathers, sons and daughters, everyone. Nobody is safe.
My family is fortunate, so far so good. We are all healthy and we are being careful. My wife and I still have work and my adult children are all productive, safe and secure. God has been very kind to bless us.
But I cannot help but fret and feel sad everyday, as I watch the news and read what’s happening around us, around the world. COVID-19 is really something else. What are you? Who are you? Are you the last of your kind? Where will this pandemic bring us?
The more I think about it the more I get distressed.
Driving along the Metro Manila streets, you see all those people walking under the sun wearing masks and going to work somewhere far without public transport. Notice the sudden increase of bicycles and the delivery motorbikes, too.
Try and look at people’s faces. You only see their eyes and they seem distraught and desperate. My heart goes out especially to the poor people. Life has already dealt them with inequality and a hard life. COVID-19 serves as a death blow.
You see our kababayans every morning lining up to the Palawan express, LBC or Western Union to get remittances from their OFW relatives to whom they rely on to survive. And then you hear of thousands of OFWs now stranded in foreign lands because they are being laid-off. Paano na?
Jeepney drivers are begging in the streets, while folks like me drive by in our SUVs. There is a news item about OFWs in Saudi Arabia selling blood to survive.
Like many, I also turn to our faith for solace and hope. I believe that things will improve because man is resilient and God is good. Filipinos are survivors, too, able to smile and find something funny in every situation. Thank God for K-Drama, Netflix and Tik-Tok.
It also helps that the liquor bans are lifted.
My take away at this point, is for us to be grateful if we are okay. Jack Ma says that “To survive, is to win.” This rings true not just for business, but for lives as well.
The silver lining for me is being able to spend close quality time with my family. Because we are at home, we learned to cook, clean-up the house like never before and wash dishes after meals. I also believe the young generation, our children, who are experiencing this pandemic will come out of it as better persons.
Already, many young entrepreneurs are spouting on-line. There is a revolution happening among our youth. They are adapting fast to this new normal of social distancing and working from home. With not many jobs available, many are turning into creative business ventures starting with baked sweets, snacks, home-cooked food, culinary specialties to the many items for online shopping.
The COVID-19 is bringing so much suffering, but those of us who survive, especially the younger generation will become strong independent minded persons who will make this world a better place in the future.
As for feeling sad in seeing other’s sufferings, let’s still be human and show our empathy and charity.
Haay COVID-19, sana mawala ka na.
Stay safe everyone!