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Editorial | At the front seat of a new world

Our lives have changed so fast. In a matter of two weeks, our economic and social life has almost come to a standstill, a situation we have never before even imagined after World War 2. The streets are eerily empty, government offices are quiet, the malls only have a pocketful of people going about their own business, trying to finish their tasks as fast as they can to return to the safety of their homes.

The novelty of this situation has left local government units and institutions scrambling for solutions and stop gap measures to mitigate the adverse impact of the COVID-19 at the local level. As the virus has affected more than 200 countries, governments across the world are under great stress on what to do to prevent the further spread of the virus. In the western world particularly, the contagion seemed to increase exponentially, still without a cure in sight.

With globalization, the economy is spinning exhilaratingly downhill. Businesses are closing, air travel is at a standstill, all means of transportation has practically ceased except for vital agencies and services. The whole world is facing a vicious and invisible enemy and, unfortunately, we are ill-equipped to engage in a head on battle. We have not yet mastered the weapon to combat the virus, the only thing in our arsenal is the power to keep out of sight, to be in the safety of our homes, so we won’t become carriers and infect others.

Out there are thousands of people needing to be tested but have no means to avail of this medical procedure. Even in disasters like this, it is unfortunate that those who are in power feel entitled enough to avail of testing protocols.

We still do not know what tomorrow will bring. We go to sleep tonight hoping that a breakthrough will happen on the other side of the world or that no new infections are reported. We worry about our elderly, family, and friends who are immuno-compromised, our very young who are vulnerable and to all those who still have to go outside and work to do their duties for humankind – our health practitioners, service providers, technical crew and yes, journalists.

We are at the front seat of a changing global landscape. While we do not hear the cries and sounds of war, we are truly in the midst of one – and all of us are called to act and to do our part in stopping the enemy from wiping out our home.

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