By James Veloso | Published: November 20, 2020
This will be one of those Christmases in the history of mankind where we’ll probably find nothing much to celebrate for.
The COVID-19 pandemic (which, ironically, also began on Christmastime) is on a rampage.
Vaccines are still months away from development, never mind distribution, and some promising variants have been stopped indefinitely due to adverse effects.
Cures are also slow in developing, and most recent studies have found long-term effects of the virus in mind and body long after the symptoms have disappeared.
Business and travel are still on the slow road to recovery, and even though restrictions have largely relaxed, we are still under strict health protocols.
This means no more outings, no more mass gatherings, no more big-ticket celebrations, and no more crowds at shopping centers.
Most recently, the Metro Manila Mayors’ Council even decided to ban caroling, a move that is sure to be followed by nearly LGU in the country.
Not even the festive display of Christmas decorations on homes and business establishments can disguise the fact that for many, this will be a very sad Christmas.
For COVID-19 patients and their loved ones, for those who are still struggling day and night to combat the disease, for those who lost their jobs and livelihood and are forced to penury – yes, there isn’t really much to celebrate for.
But I believe the “Christmas Spirit” and the optimism that has marked the Philippine psyche would win at the end.
After all, many businesses have survived (and even thrived), and new opportunities have opened up for those whose livelihoods have been disrupted by the pandemic.
Strict adherence to health protocols have resulted in a gradual slowdown of reported COVID-19 cases.
The province of Laguna, in particular, was recently hailed as a model in combating the virus.
Let’s not forget that there are still people who are struggling to survive this pandemic and the other calamities that had befallen our country.
Two strong typhoons have already passed through the Philippines in past weeks, causing heavy damage and casualties especially in the Bicol region.
And as of the writing of this article, another typhoon is expected to hit our province and Metro Manila directly. The anxiety and fear that had become part of the “new normal” has been heightened due to the typhoons.
The “bayanihan” spirit, fortunately, has been spared by the pandemic, and I hope it stays that way as we all once again commemorate the birth of the one true Savior of mankind.
“Remember, that to profit in the truest sense, we must give, as well as take.” – Arthur Hailey, The Moneychangers