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Opinion

The fight against an unseen enemy!

READER'S VIEWS - The Freeman

Today is not a normal day not only for us Filipinos but also around the world. People from all walks of life, and of different demographics are already affected.

The Philippine government is doing their best efforts (I think so) to protect the nation and to spare us from the projected number of COVID-19 cases, 75,000 in the next three months based on the local & international experts projection.

We have our frontliners: healthcare workers & hospital staffs, uniformed personnel, personnel in the retail industry, and media personnel who in one way or another doing their civic duty for us and for our country. They have been trying, doing and working for us yet some of us are not doing our part!

As of March 24, 2020: The country recorded 501 confirmed COVID-19 cases, of which 6.5% is the mortality rate where 15% are doctors-who risk their lives in these trying times, higher compared with the recovery rate of 3.79% only. Is the figure not enough for us Filipinos not to heed the call of the government on the preventive measures (PSP: Physical distancing, staying at home, and personal hygiene)?

It is understandable that we need to work to meet our family’s need, but can we remind our family members and other members of the society who are no longer working that this is not a time to be hanging out with friends or going to beaches! Stay at home as the government mandates!

Have we not asked ourselves why it is only now that all sectors (public and private) are working hand-in-hand to fight against an unseen enemy? Why all social gatherings are prohibited and to name a few, 1.) Cancellation of Masses which should be our sacred duty as the country in Asia with the highest number of Roman Catholics?; 2.) Cancellation of schools commencement exercises --the supposedly much awaited part of our students’ life?; 3.) Malls and other establishments are ordered close resulting to thousands of displaced workers? What do you think are the reasons?

Simply because we are fighting an unseen enemy who greatly affect not only the Philippines but the entire world! An enemy that we actually don’t know who will be affected, when you will get affected and where will you be affected! An enemy that has been the cause of a global pandemic resulting to millions of individuals being affected.

Can we fight against this unseen enemy and win the battle? The answer is a resounding “Yes”! Do your part and do your part to fight this battle! Self-discipline is the key to win this fight! It is not yet too late for us to take control of this fight and do our part to heal our beloved country. Together we heal as one! Together we will win the fight!

Lee Mark Tejero

 * * *

To my friends in tourism

We are all badly hurt in this situation and this virus has brought tourism down to its knees.

The impact of this pandemic will be beyond anything we have experienced in peacetime. The tourism industry is one of the industries that is most affected right now — occupancies have taken a hit in all tourism-related properties here in Cebu. With the government, organizations and people stepping up to slow down and manage its spread—“flattening the curve”—resulted to closures of restaurants and businesses, travel bans and restrictions globally and workers out of jobs are well-felt in all tourism sectors.

For sure we all have different coping mechanisms, how we react on this varies from one person to another. It all boils down as to how we are brought up, the people we surround ourselves with and the outlook we have in life.

I think the question of most workers in this industry right now is, “When will this end?”

And if I were to answer that question, it is still uncertain but it will end. Life is not always smooth sailing but remember the 90/10 rule? Where 10% of our life is made of what happens to us, the remaining 90%? Is how we react to that 10%.

This virus had not just awakened us but it brought so many realizations to ponder on. I know for sure that “happiness is only real when shared” but COVID-19 reminded us that “isolation” is not loneliness, it’s a personal space that we need and it can’t be cured when you’re with someone else. And this community quarantine imposed in all cities? It’s not imprisonment but our chance to spend “quality” time with our families.

But the most important one and I think everyone would agree on this realization is the importance of proper hygiene and sanitation — how a simple hand washing can protect us from microorganisms that can’t be seen with our naked eyes.

In this fast-paced world we are in, where people have bills to pay, families to feed, selves to pamper, luxury goods bought for status and prestige, greed, and the lists goes on, we get so overwhelmed about the future that we tend to forget how it is really like to “live” and by live I meant “being present in the moment”.

To my friends in tourism, I know all of you are worrying of what’s going to happen after this crisis. Let’s not drain our energy of what’s still about to happen, to borrow a quote, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger”.

Gerard Apurado

Hotelier

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