philippines_people_icon_256AMIDST THE HYSTERIA OF THE

PANDEMIC COVID-19

covid-19 virusTogether 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.

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