Year 2020 seems to be a heavy year for me. The time our youngest brother left unexpectedly. This was followed by the declaration of COVID-2019 as a threat to the entire country and the globe as a whole. President Rodrigo Duterte placed the Philippines under emergency community quarantine with restrictions on movement of people. This affected the daily lives of government and private workers, churches and industries.
At the work level, new adjustments had to be undertaken. The usual schedule to move from the house early and work at the office until 5 PM had been altered. The concept of work from home, skeleton work force and other alternative work arrangements were implemented to address the situation that challenged all government institutions in the world. In the office, the restrictions on conduct of field activities and face to face transactions affected the accomplishment of certain targets.
At the family level, it challenged the ability to make use of whatever resources available. The routines of children going to school early and catching up with the passenger utility vehicles had been completely changed. Introduction of the school from home arrangement and use of modules and face to face through virtual platforms changed the entire set-up of the educational system that affected children’s behavior.
At the community level, it tested the preparedness of residents and local officials that initiated measures in coping with the changes in policies attributed to directives from the national government. It challenged all people to agree on certain aspects that resulted in setting up of standard protocols to be followed.
On the part of the church, it resulted in the adoption of livestreaming as a means of reaching to parishioners that were deprived to gather in their respective churches. Some churches were affected and closed as the sources of funds to run the services had been stopped due to limited or no collections from tithes, pledges and offerings.
People had to find ways in dealing with boredom. Some had adopted the plant, plant, plant program of the government especially in the production of vegetables for home consumption and ornamental plants for indoor and outdoor beautification. Others went online business.
As the year ends, I feel that the usual lifestyle of every Filipino had been altered by the declared pandemic. It might have negatively affected the social, economic, political, cultural and spiritual aspects of our daily lives but the hope of the Filipino to surpass the challenges of the disease had not withered. Instead, it galvanized the determination of each family to be resilient. The spirit of “bayanihan” had been displayed with the flow of resources from all walks of life. Farmers shared their vegetables; workers pooled their hard earned resources to buy food for those in need. Sacrifices of the health workers, front liners were noted and the prompt actions of local and national officials were observed. I do hope that whatever lessons we draw from the memories of 2020, we shall enjoy a brighter 2021 and sustain the resiliency inherent in us. Happy New Year!