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HONORING MY MOTHER: Throwback to September

THERE is this social media feature that appears daily on every user’s home page, and it reminds you of what had exactly transpired a year (or years) ago. It appears surprisingly complete with your pictures taken during the said year, along with adjoined text, all meant to enhance your said memories. Frankly, it is so well conceived that surely, the online gimmickry had never failed to bring out a smile in everyone.

Then, while you casually swipe up the screen to view what comes next, that senti think-back portion of your online viewing is suddenly jolted when you see an ad that unceremoniously slams you back to today’s stark and scary reality.

Plainly, it reads: EVERYTHING IN OUR WORLD HAS BEEN CANCELED.

Exactly. Two contradictory ideas, wherein one sentimentally plucks at your fragile heart strings, while the other rudely pushes at your eject button.

My mate reminded me this morning, FB showed her that same time last year, we had eaten durian outside one of Davao’s malls to celebrate the city’s yearly Kadayawan festival. That had been one superduper grand time indeed! I remember during that day, we had finished three large ones at the SM Lanang gardens, and then proceeded to view and sample the rest of the festival’s food offerings while there, and that these all extended through our lunch, snacks and din-din.

The bummer advertisement on the other hand, while it may have felt like rain on our festival memories, surely instilled in us the thought that indeed, the past is walled shut permanently because of the pandemic. The simple pleasure of enjoying durian in the park, along with a huge throng of festival celebrators, is one memory that will not be replicated ever again, at least for us, suddenly-turned germaphobes.

Not our fault, but we hoomans definitely take things for granted. The once-simple joys of eating outside for example, or going on weekend visits to family members, vacations, and other ordinary everyday things, felt as though we could have them anytime. Not anymore. Sadly, all these are now suddenly affixed with restrictions that qualify them as part of a new normal that everyone has to accept unconditionally.

In a sense, all these seemingly ordinary chores have become special in their own way. For one, you now have to consider having a special plan of action whenever you intend to do them. Visiting relatives? Plan ahead like a commando would. Check the city’s present quarantine status, prepare your shields and masks, check your disinfectants, bring contingencies and last, abide by the extra precautions consistent with the quarantine protocol. You already know the drill.

At present, almost all the cities have expressed a deep desire to finally open up, in order to jumpstart the economy. Please note, this does not mean our cities have finally become safer for us to go out in. Already, there are even some quarters who eagerly await the lifting of the liquor ban and the reopening of the food streets, as though these herald the much-awaited return to good old days.

There is a bitter pill in all these. Even with a flattening curve of the pandemic, make no mistake. Covid is still out there somewhere, like a sniper, and she’s singing Fleetwood Mac. Yesterday’s Gone.

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