I LOST another friend today. And the most impassive reaction yet, from people outside my circle, had been ‘it happens’. It’s not that they mean to be dismissive, and I totally get it. Sure, your world might have stopped a bit, but outside, their worlds just ramble on as usual. A little voice directing traffic may whisper ‘keep up’, but you fend it with a smirky ‘easy for you to say, I’m stopping a while’.
Just a few years ago, on this exact day (and morning), my dear sister too passed away, yet I remember the world had rambled on. Same thing happened with my blues friend a couple of years ago and another former cultural worker buddy a few months ago. One begins to wonder, does the world ever lose sleep over all the loved ones that have left us? Or is that question just a waste of time?
This could just all be a result of that spotlight effect, where we think we are all conscious of being observed, when in fact, everyone feels the exact same way, and do not really care at all about observing others.
Or could it be that we just like to believe that bad things only happen to others? At least, that attitude of lacking empathy is so common, it might as well explain the goings-on in the recent spikes in Covid cases today.
I know “It only happens to others”, may have been the title of a 1971 french flick, which also dealt with death, but just the same, that phrase had always reminded me of the prevailing attitude of people towards each other, especially during those tumultuous times in Davao in the 80s. Sadly, what I thought had long gone, had come back with a vengeance.
As always, we can be outspokenly- critical of anything, as long as they did not concern us. Then, when it eventually does happen to us, we become resentful of the others who opt to look away, just as we had originally done prior.
At all these, I just hope that my friend Pia’s passing can become one of the grim reminders against this kind of mindset. While we celebrate her quiet strength and full life, then treasure these with love in our memories, let us impress on others that COVID-19 is indeed very very real, and that it is indiscriminate and can happen to anyone.
As it is, the common atmosphere has become so centered at reviving the economy so much that we have forgotten to be careful. Meanwhile, this growing sentiment of throwing caution to the winds is often met on the streets by people who say they are pro-life, but at the same time practice anti-mask actions.
Just thinking out loud, could it be rude if one were to wish that perhaps all the wrath of covid could befall them, instead of at the good, abiding citizens? Perhaps, that could be a good lesson ya, but then it just isn’t proper. Even if that happened, the medical capabilities of the world wouldn’t be able to accomodate them all. Of course, idiots do not know that.