BATANG MINDANAW: Challenge Accepted

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QUEZON CITY (MindaNews / 05 April) — The COVID-19 Pandemic has taken the globe by storm. In a matter of weeks, this lethal and contagious virus has travelled across the world, affecting many. People are dying. Hospitals are overflowing. People do not have jobs. Some cannot feed their own families. Businesses are closing. The number of those affected only increases by the day. This small virus is affecting all of us physically, economically, psychologically, spiritually. It is challenging humanity, our capability to involve ourselves into resolving this crisis. It is asking each person to take part in resolving it. It does not matter if you are rich or poor, black or white, old or young, as the virus does not handpick its victims.

The Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which causes the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Illustration courtesy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

With this crisis, we can observe the action or measures our government is taking. We have to take note on how much and how quick officials are involving themselves into creating and implementing protocols to avoid the spread of the disease. The government has implemented travel bans,  lockdowns, social distancing measures, curfew, and more. At night, I see soldiers in masks and riding on motorcycles scanning the area for people who are disobeying the protocol. Moreover, LGUs are handing out free goods to residents. I think that the government has done well in avoiding the spread of the virus. But, I think that the frequent addresses of the President and other officials are not exactly the best, especially that it has to maintain the population calm at this time of crisis.

Aside from observing the actions of the government, we can also observe the action each Filipino is doing to involve themselves in the resolution of COVID-19.

First, we have to appreciate the frontliners. The doctors, nurses, military, policemen, and other officials who are risking their lives to be of service to those in need. It is not easy to have your place of work be a hazard, especially since some have families to take care of.

Second, we have to take account the charitable acts of individuals, who may not be frontliners. Those who are making face masks and face shields for frontliners. Those who are donating money and relief goods to those who are having difficulty because they cannot earn a living. Those who are giving free alcohol and masks.

Third, we have to consider the acts of organizations, TV networks, and companies who are donating and handing goods. Whenever my mom watches ABS-CBN, I notice that they are encouraging people to stay at home, by providing entertainment. Similarly, the company Scribd has given free access to their book and audiobook collection to keep people entertained at home. It is really at this difficult time that we notice “bayanihan.” It is at this time that we can all come together to participate and help each other.

Lastly, I think that it is important to acknowledge the role our scientists have, especially today. They are working tirelessly on discovering and researching on a cure or vaccine to avoid COVID-19. This disease is entirely new and contagious, our scientists must work on resolving this quickly. We can see that in Korea, though many may have COVID-19, there are less people dying when compared to other countries because they have developed technologies. We can notice how essential science and technology is at this time. I hope that our government takes note of this and in the future will fund science and technology more.

We all can be victims to this disease. But at the same time, we all can resolve it. COVID-19 is challenging humanity to work together, and we have to step up to that challenge, even in our own small ways.” 

(BATANG MINDANAW is the youth section of MindaNews. Mariel Theresa G. Candelaria is a 14-year-old student at St. Paul College in Pasig who traces her  roots in Tudela, Misamis Occidental. She spends her summers in Misamis Occidental and Cagayan de Oro City with her uncle, Atty. Bong Montesa who works for peace in Mindanao)

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