A matter of survival
ESSENCE - Ligaya Rabago-Visaya (The Freeman) - May 30, 2020 - 12:00am

One thing that pinches my heart and can't bear witness to is one's misery. A family that ends up having difficulty making both ends meet from the start, even before the pandemic. And the situation is getting worse now, after two months in quarantine. A family with five children, with only the head of the family working as a driver can hardly survive. Even with the efforts of the government to provide assistance, resources are rapidly depleting as the days go by.

During financial crisis, households often adopt coping strategies, such as changing household spending patterns; however, these can have a negative effect on education, health, and nutrition, which can lead to lifelong deficits, especially for children, and thus perpetuate the transmission of poverty across generations.

Many of our ordinary Filipinos are looking for ways to cushion the impact of the crisis. To become Grab drivers, professionals swallow their pride. Some jeepney drivers use their jeepneys as a makeshift abode because they can no longer afford to pay their rent anymore. These are just a few stories of coping with the hardships of life.

And that urge to survive is not only experienced by one or two families, for sure. With the same situation our poverty-stricken families are in, if the quarantine continues, we can only imagine the loud cry for help. And we definitely can't afford the worst scenario to emerge, chaos would be everywhere if they were to steal properties from others, perform unlawful acts just for their survival.

For others, on the other hand, it is not the virus that kills them but their inability to support themselves economically. This leads to numerous complications. Economic tension may have significant health implications. Stress in general, regardless of source, can cause heart attack, stroke, and many other serious health issues.

Studies point out that economic crisis is affecting the quality of life, particularly by increasing the incidents of mental disorders. We get anxious about how we can cope with such a harsh condition, and how and when we can get over and move forward. A significant protective factor may be the social support. The healing process can be complicated and lengthy if we don't have a support network. Support may come from our immediate families, but also from the community and institutions.

After this pandemic it will take months or even several years to bounce back. Yet it will just be a matter of time before we can get back on our feet, so even an initial attempt is in itself a victory. Resilience is the secret to embracing the new truth, even if it is less pleasant than the one we previously had. We are willing to fight it. We can just scream over what we lost, or we can accept that and try to bring together something positive.

We keep plowing ahead no matter how much falls upon us. This is the only way to keep the roads clear. Our main vulnerability lies in surrender. The surest way to succeed is to try just one more time. And no matter how difficult the time we are in, we should find ways of emerging as victors.

  • Latest
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

or sign in with