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Honoring my Mother | Sacrifice and betrayal

A night photo posted online of an empty highway devoid of cars and people, taken from an equally-deserted overpass, all but understates the gravity of our present situation. As it is, we only read about the growing number of fatalities in the city, the region, the country and the world.

Still, these statistics can lie, and in a sense, they can never accurately present us with the total picture and magnitude of what faces the whole of humanity.

For one thing, the situation inside hospitals all over the world are only hinted at but never really shown in graphic detail. This subconscious yearning for such may perhaps be borne of our society’s already-desensitized eyes, through years and years of reality TV, streaming news of war, violence, pestilence and then entertainment. As such, when we finally catch a glimpse of the real horror of COVID-19, through a few testimonials coming from heartbroken caregivers who could not hold it in anymore, it doesn’t faze us. Thus, we treat the threat lightly, as if to say, it can’t happen to us.

Even with the steadily-growing reports on the stampeding rate of the virus spreading, some leaders and countries even, still manage to downplay its gravity, and choose to be cavalier, despite the overwhelming evidence. It looks more like whistling in the dark, while the population is whittling by the numbers.

Is the threat of COVID-19 really serious? However lightly a facebook memè addresses the situation, it nails it nevertheless:

“The churches and gambling casinos are closed. When heaven and hell agree on the same thing, it’s pretty serious.”

Defiance, in this year of COVID-19, has revealed its many shady facets. Stubbornness for one, often bordering on extreme sociopathy, is the most common. It has come to the point that front-liners, in the persons of doctors and nurses alike, have time and again pleaded with everyone to 1.) stay home and 2.) most important, provide a truthful medical history and contact trace whenever checked for COVID-19.

With regard to the latter, it seems lost on the “liars” that by giving the medical front-liners false information, they are actually endangering their saviors, the other patients and ultimately contaminating the hospital facility as well. Reports of frontliners contracting the virus and dying because of this sad fact flood the news constantly, but it still persists.

I have relatives who are nurses and a lot of friends and classmates who are doctors. Talking to some, one detects a slight hint of betrayal in the midst of their being at the forefront of the battle. Compared to them risking their lives, and not being able to be with family, we, the direct recipients of these sacrifices have it so good. Feelings of being betrayed, mixed with that of hopelessness in the fight to save lives and losing some, plus hours and hours of work under extreme pressure, all these do not deserve the attitude that they get from some of us.

In the end, while it uplifts their spirit that the rest of us appreciate their continued sacrifice and praise them as heroes, with some of us even singing it in the roofs and balconies, their one fervent wish remains: that all this be over soon, so they can return to their loved ones unscathed like the rest of us, entitled ones included.

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