I never would have thought a virus could help us learn so much about how the governments of various countries, nations, and states would respond to a crisis. Thanks to freely-accessible news outlets, people can easily read the latest reports about how different people across different countries are trying to deal with the coronavirus. Many celebrities, politicians, and businesses have earned the respect of the public for donating their time and/or effort to help hospitals and patients, such as Angel Locsin, Risa Hontiveros, Vico Sotto, and Angkas. Others however have been denounced for breaking laws, preying on the collective panic and fear felt by the citizens, and promoting misinformation about the disease that may harm the public, such as Donald Trump, Koko Pimentel, and various price gougers that were found on online markets. The pandemic truly showed the voters who deserved the power granted to them, and who should have never been in power in the 1st place. Singapore and South Korea were 2 countries that come into my mind when I was researching about the best government responses to the pandemic. Sadly, the USA was a country that came into my mind for the worst government responses.
I’m quite active on social media. On most days, my social media walls are full of people who share news articles about the actions of the Philippine government and the privileged sector of the Philippines. As much as I hate global crises, they have a hidden silver lining: no one’s reactions to them are fake. It’s quite easy to filter through the news and list down people you want to resign from power, and vice versa. Humanity is diverse; it’s not erroneous logic that the responses would be diverse as well. It has only been 2 weeks since the lockdown in Metro Manila started, but I speak for all netizens when I say that we have been barraged by so many news articles. They seemed to have been written by frantic news reporters hungrier for anything to write related to the global pandemic than for food and water. Inquirer and CNN were reliable news sources that informed me of any news related to the global ￼pandemic. It was a rollercoaster of emotions as I read through the various responses of people, organizations, and governments. Disappointment and sadness were the recurring theme for reading Rodrigo Duterte’s, Salvador Panelo’s, Donald Trump’s, and other’s remarks about the pandemic. Reading the responses of various businesses pledging to donate supplies and financial aid gave me hope and joy. Ligo (a brand of sardines) donated money originally budgeted for advertisements as financial aid. Lately, their advertisements have thrown subtle shade at the government, such as promoting quality testing, and having easy-open lids on all products with the caption “no special powers necessary”. It was interesting feeling my hope for humanity go up and down so erratically.
Coronavirus has affected my mom in an unexpected way: my baby brother will have to be born via C-section to keep mom and dad safe from Coronavirus. I asked mom why that decision was made; she explained that delivering Galen (my baby brother) normally would lengthen her stay in the hospital and could potentially put her at risk of getting Coronavirus. Mom and Dad chose another hospital farther from us to deliver Galen in because the nearest hospital because there were less confirmed positive patients. Mom’s pregnancy was already complicated from the start since she was diagnosed with gestational diabetes, which meant a change of diet to prevent erratic rising and diving of her blood sugar levels. Coronavirus sadly made her pregnancy even more complicated by making it harder for her to gain access to medical appointments and medicine due to the policies enforced by the government to limit its spread.
2020 did NOT start out right. But somehow, I think we have a chance to END it right. We’re making baby steps forward in our fight against Coronaevirus, and that’s okay. The important part in this battle is the progress being made in the first place, such as mass testing of the public, flattening the curve by minimizing interaction in the 1st place, donating important supplies to households and hospitals, and practicing good hygiene. Stay safe everyone, and don’t forget to wash your hands.