AMIDST THE HYSTERIA OF THE
Together with my 16 y.o. son, we spent 12 days in the Philippines for the 2019 Christmas and 2020 New Year celebration. Members of my family, my brother and sisters, nephews and nieces, in-laws and I would even say grand-children from my nephews and nieces. Before flying back to Spain, we spent 2 days in Seoul, South Korea. Our trip was from 24 December to 5 January in my country and 6 to 7 January in South Korea. It was the most wonderful celebration I’ve ever had, and my son had the most wonderful first visit ever to his “half-country”. He’s half-breed (Spanish-Filipino).
And to tell you the truth, we missed Covid-19 by a hairline! We were very close to China, but we never had the slightest clue that Covid-19 was already making its horrid presence felt in Wuhan and has already claimed its first victim on 17 November in Hubei Province, where Wuhan is located. Although the Chinese government three weeks before announced the emergence of a new virus, critics we up to accuse the Chinese of an attempt of a cover-up the existence of such a lethal virus.
The number of people infected has already reached a staggering 81,000 in December, mostly in Hubei Province, but it was only on 21 January 2020, that the Chinese government had admitted that the virus can be transmitted between humans. The origin remained unknown, the symptoms was unclear, though it was announced as to have flu like symptoms or the common cold. But this time, Covid-19 was lethal. Many medical experts, virologists, medical scientists, infectious disease specialists,government authorities, other experts, have given their opinions about the Covid-19, but, there were tons of contradicitons and even speculations as to how the virus behaves and what Covid-19 really is.
But taking precautionary measures are what we could all fall back into. And without any single amount of hesitation, by following medical recommendations, the risk of infection could be reduced. These recommendations are:
1. To clean hands frequently with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
2. To cover the nose and mouth when when someone coughs or sneezes with tissue or flexed elbow and do the same when you yourself does the coughing or the sneezing.
3. To avoid close contact (1 metre or 3 feet) with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.
4. To self-quarantine, if you think you have the slightest sign of any one of the symptoms.
5. To always drink water to avoid dehydration.
These precautionary measures are easy to follow and in fact there isn’t anything “mysterious” about being hygienic. Being hygienic is not a mean thing to do. And it should be a practice by every single individual young and old alike. We have to be conscious on the fact that the whole situation is a “passer-by” so to speak, just like the ebola, SARS, HIV, crazy cow, etc.. and we all cruised over them because we followed certain health measures. In short, consciously heeding the recommedations for hygiene is not much of a job to do.
A lot of countries have in fact declared a state of emergency to stop the spread of the virus – and at least to contain it – and I think this is the best measure so far to avoid further contamination of the populace. Medical scientists, virologist and health experts have yet to concoct a vaccine to vanquish the Covid-19, so our “agony” remains far from over. We can only hope that with the lock down, it will at least improve the agonizing situation some countries is facing in the same token as those other countries who are suffering from this malign.
Meanwhile, we are left with a choice, either we stay calm and quiet within the bounds of our abodes, or be furious about as if we’re incarcerated for having “committed a crime” we’re not guilty of. On the other hand, there is much to do to take advantage of the free time – cleaning up, playing video games, watch movies at home, etc., etc., etc., be with the kids and wife or husband….make the most of what you missed on a regular unchallenging days when we’re “confined” within the four walls of our office work, or finding ourselves within the hearing distance of gossipers and rumor-mongers, or the boring routine of being scolded by our boss, or getting shoved by someone when getting in a bus or the train, or being caught in traffic jams, or being with co-workers who demean you, and etc., etc., etc., etc., so many other displeasurable moments that makes us think whether we are living in a sane society.
I could even venture on saying that we can in fact thank COVID-19 for having UNIFIED the people of various countries whether from the oppositions to the ruling party, families, estranged friends or even enemies, in order to embrace the fight against a common enemy. That being said, I am reminded of the Christian saying: “The family that prays together, stays together”. And this is that moment, this is a novel type of “prayer” (though a killer as it is) but, looking further from what it does, it is a unifying force blanketed in a different concept of how the people of this world should actually behave with each other. It is quite a horrible way of analogy, but, consider what has become of the world now, that I’d rather be confined and isolated with enough subsistence to survive. As we get out of this gloomy episode in our lives, we could start reflecting upon ourselves that our lives are “in borrowed time” and could be taken away without warning at any moment without us even knowing what hit us. This is a wake up call from the High Heavens….that no one could escape from. Let us all be more humane between us. We live in a single planet and there is no other place to go to.. We can run away but never flee. Keep calm and accept the goodness of being present in this world and enjoy life and face the challenges with a degree of composure and good behaviour upon yourself and others. And that is my angle.