“Don’t panic. This too, shall pass.”
I got these words from my Facebook memory three years ago. It was the time when there were shortages of face masks, alcohol, paracetamol and other medicines all over Metro Manila. I reached Laguna to find the medicine that I needed to buy, since people were already in panic mode, some hoarding. Grocery shelves were beginning to be empty. Three years ago, it was hell.
On March 15th, it would be the third anniversary of Metro Manila and Southern Luzon lockdown due to covid-19 pandemic. While it is okay to say that it is good that we survived, there were people who died that left a lesson for all of us. The circumstances taught us that nothing is certain and life can be ended anytime. Even if it is basic knowledge that everybody knows, we still had to realize this truth the hard way.
We are often told to always look at the bright side. See what good a particular situation brings, instead of delving on its negative effect. However, it is also on looking at the bad things that happened that we get the message of taking extra care of our cleanliness and health. Imagine washing the hands as a measure to prolong life? This may sound crazy now but we who experienced those times know exactly that handwashing and bathing everytime that we go back home from being exposed outside must have helped save us survive! Of course, vaccine and booster shots helped for the most part.
Now, we remember the lessons. The virus is still in our midst but we can manage now. Unlike before that everything was new and research also helped us through. Indeed, the peak must have been over, but we are still careful and mindful. Even if face masks are no longer required in some places, we still follow health protocols and we still use face masks. Indication of how we value life. And relations.
Yes, those years that passed also made us realize that even family members, children and parents, and couples, had to be extra careful to the point of not holding hands, setting physical boundaries or distance. We were all hurt, and through those heartbreaking moments, we had to keep the distance because we cared for our family members. Now, we value life more than anything. And we pray to be blessed with life, every single day.