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Editorial | Year of mourning

The start of the year did not augur well for us, especially as we were already burdened with the anxiety and troubles of the series of earthquakes that rocked our region as 2019 moved to a close. There were high expectations that 2020 will be better and more secure, especially to those who remained in evacuation centers with their family. This failed to happen. We have no control over the misfortunes we are facing today, all we can do is ensure that we are safe and believe that in solidarity, we can forge on and triumph over these adversities.

Last Friday, Mayor Sara Duterte issued Executive Order (EO) No. 25, effectively placing the city under a period of mourning and vigilance for the remainder of 2020. This means that all festivities within this period will be canceled and that the focus of the city will be on responding to the impact of COVID-19.

Our medical frontliners whose lives are imperiled as they perform their daily tasks are not forgotten. Many have already succumbed to the virus and others face discrimination and abuse in the hands of narrow minded individuals. We would like to add to this mix other frontliners who leave the safety of their homes to make our lives comfortable. We would like to mention here the security guards, sanitation crew who do not even have proper equipment, the sales people, the police manning their posts, and the technical crew that ensures that we do not lack water, light or cable.

The mayor acknowledged that with the stricter implementation of the quarantine, people have to bear its impact, especially those who are already economically disadvantaged. The government has tried to mitigate hunger and poverty in the next few months but the assistance is not enough to meet the needs of the poor.

The times call for creativity and reflection. For many who have never seen this kind of suffering, we hope that there will be a shift in their hearts and gain empathy for those who suffer most. The world as we know it has changed. We are at the cusp of a whole new world.

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