This is nothing like we’ve ever seen before.
Metro Manila is currently on a one-month lockdown in a desperate attempt to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, this has disrupted the lives of millions of Filipinos who live and work within and without the national capital region. The economy, in particular, is well on its way to a state of doldrums.
Supply chains have been disrupted: logistics and supplies will either have to bear the horrible traffic near checkpoints or will be forced to look for alternate routes. That will, in turn, disrupt schedules. In big business, time is always of the essence. And speaking of business, profits are spiraling down due to low turnout of consumers. Worse, workers’ pay is adversely affected. Conversely, if there is panic buying because of the lockdown, there will be panic among workers since they will soon have no more money to buy for food and other basic commodities.
While it is true that nobody is safe from being infected, that both rich and poor are prone to the disease, the poor are the most vulnerable to its economic consequences. This is, therefore, the perfect time for the wealthiest sectors of society to share what they have to the needy. This is the perfect time to showcase their much-revered corporate social responsibility. May they forego EBITDAs and revenues for the meantime; they have enjoyed the fat of the land for decades anyway, and now society is living on the edge. But it shouldn’t be just them. If a household has extra food, hand them down to the nearest neighbor who doesn’t. Magbigayan tayo ng alcohol at papel higiénico (toilet paper) imbés na maquipág-agauán. Mag-abutan tayo ng ulam, gaya ng sinaúnang panahón. Ibalíc natin ang diuá ng bayanihan at hindî ang paguiguing macasarili. We’re all in this together.
If I heard him right, Fr. Jojo Zerrudo in his homily during yesterday’s online Holy Mass said that pandemics are of demonic origin. But we can also regard it as a test for humanity’s charity. “The best and the worst in us come out in times of distress,” a friend of mine said. Let us then give humanity a good name.
And while we’re at it: later, at 5:00 PM, let us take a moment to show support for our health workers who risk their lives to battle the spread of COVID-19. Let us go to our balconies, windows, or rooftops (if possible) and applaud them as loud as we can (share this and use the hashtag #FrontlinersPH for more details). Spain and Italy already did this. Why shouldn’t we? Our exhausted doctors, nurses, and other health workers need a boost in these troubling times. Let us send them a message of appreciation. Appreciation is help enough.
Keep safe, everyone. And may God bless us all.