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HONORING MY MOTHER: Clearing your search history

THE coping mechanism in all of us who presently live under a covid cloud, deserves nothing else that is shorter than a rave review; much like the ones usually befitted and reserved for worthy champions and winners, because truth be told, that is actually what we all are at the moment.

For those familiar with the digital landscape, a regular online meme even celebrates each Covid lockdown month, and translates each month as though they were “levels” being played in the fictional board game Jumanji, made famous by the movie of the same title. Because the meme regularly, or rather sarcastically, congratulates everyone during each first day of the month, it had again done so recently, and we are now at super boss level 8.

Coping with uncertainties in the fight against an unseen enemy, has indeed clearly brought out a mean creative streak in everyone.  While most of these outputs (both online and real life) may be traced as our own personal cures to the boredom of self-isolation, others are pure gems in themselves.

One of the first to make a big splash had been Tiktok, a video-sharing social network app which, according to Wikipedia, is “used to create one’s own short music, lip-sync, dance, comedy and talent videos of 3 to 15 seconds, and or short looping videos of 3 to 60 seconds.” Developed in China in 2012, Tiktok’s worldwide popularity just blew out of control most especially through IG and Facebook, during the first month of lockdown, when almost everyone had been confined at home.

At least in this part of the south which is largely deviant from that of the rest of the country,  the online barrage of dance videos and the like may have only been close winner to a second phenom which involved posts of people enjoying quarantine moments in their inflatable swimming pools. When this eventually trickled down, the online pages had then become the most unlikely bulletin-cum-menu board for a bevy of online food services, which have continued on till today. Joke was, Mindanao generally had less water shortage unlike other areas, and then, being abundantly gifted in fruits, its people loved to eat.

All over, a multitude of challenges meanwhile have likewise maintained a firmer hold on the quarantined population. Ranging from the silly to the sublime, from environmental to others with much nobler intentions, but mostly focused on the silly, one has to actually search social media, using the hashtag challenges, in order to get the breadth and coverage of the many challenges that had persisted around the world during this pandemic.

At least, in the country, there had been a feverish panic buying of Kaang (flower pots) for a while, as the populace had turned to gardening. In turn, this phenomenon had segued to, you guessed it, the selling and barter of goods, both online and in actual and selected meet areas within each lockdown areas.

In the end, even as Tiktok, online food services, and the continually evolving challenges try to out-muscle each other for online space, which ironically had also been taken over by business and education, the worldwide web had indeed become the truest landscape where covid has herded everyone. Hopefully, it does not turn out to become a final frontier of sorts.

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