March 2020 musings: Beauty and the beast

Dennis Puzon's "Rumor" for sale at the fundraising drive of the Davao Artists for the Frontliners. Check out thier FB page

We knew about it. Covid-19 caused devastation. With a snap of a finger it crossed borders and took lives, took livelihood, crippled economy across the globe. This shows how small our world really is. Making it smaller is technology. No other pandemics received this much publicity. Social media zooms to us news of all sorts, fake ones included. Links about the virus flood the public and private threads. It’s overwhelming. The bottom line? Stay at home, wash hands properly, eat healthy and exercise to stay safe and help flatten the curve.

Hearing about it is far different from being part of it. We didn’t know how ugly COVID-19 was until we came face to face with its monstrosity. The challenges came. As if dealing with the invisible army was not enough, government destabilizers added to the pressure. Healing as one nation takes a step forward and two steps back. 

Now, the silver lining. The planet is healing, the skies are bluer, the air is fresher and cleaner. At home, it’s bonding time with the people who truly matter, and those afar are brought nearer via video apps. Precious! 

Those yearning for a longer weekend have all the time in world now. The quarantine period, now enhanced, unfolds talents that can make Mari Kondo and Michelin-starred chefs applaud. Paint brushes, DIY projects, music, Netflix and Tiktok kept people sane (and insane).  Realizations come. 

These are roses to others who need to step out into the open and work for the sake of the majority. They are the frontliners who are put their lives at risk day in and out to work in hospitals, pharmacies, markets and supermarkets, food service, the police and military, and several more. We all salute you for your bravery and commitment.

PPE suits donated to SPMC for the hospital frontliners. Contact A Generous Davao on FB page to know how you can help (Photo- Michelle Seng Ang)

With risk of exposure high and shortage of proper medical gears in shortage, help came from the different sectors. Good Samaritans are sourcing out or creating suits, face shields, masks and alcohol continuously. There is food and vitamins for all these warriors, too. 

A group of Davao-based Filipino-Chinese businessmen brought in PPEs and PAPRs here to Davao, with the help of our Senator BG, Mayor Sara, and Chinese Consul Li Lin (From Erwin Tan’s FB post)

We may have thanked those who have posted their good deeds on social media, but to those who prefer to remain anonymous, our sincerest gratitude to you all. The battle is not over. Let’s extend whatever help we can. 

Joy and gratitude. Acts of kindness from private citizens (Jem Arboleda-Nacino’s FB post)

The good news is patients are recovering. We are together in praying that this beast goes away soon. When that day comes, I’m pretty sure we will view the little things we took for granted differently—the dried fish was a flavorful part of the feast, the bougainvillea brought color to our homes, election (!), and most importantly, how we should value relationships, human contact, the hugs and kisses. We weren’t really created for social distancing. 

COVID-19 has unmasked the good, the bad and the ugly. Which are you? What have you learned? I still have to understand how the toilet paper fit into anyone’s salvation.

Also published in the SunStar Davao newspaper.

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