INDEED, the pandemic which was spawned by the onslaught of the deadly coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID 19) has effectively changed the global social landscape. This developed largely due to the negative impact of the coronavirus disease in the economies of countries, thereby affecting the lives of peoples.
So much is the change that the pandemic has brought to the world that even the celebration of the most awaited holiday season, which is Christmas, now appears to be totally deviating from its usual ways.
We would not want to assume that people all over the world would just want to empathize with the grief of those whose loved ones may have departed because of COVID-19 infection. Rather, we would like to believe that the reason of people in keeping the decibel of their Christmas celebration lower and downgrading the activities they used to have on Christmas is because many have lost the capability to foot whatever bills the celebration will entail.
For who will have the money needed when most lost their jobs as their employer businesses were forced to stop operation?
And if one is lucky enough to have the abundance of money to foot the cost of celebratory activities, the next problem he or she has to hurdle is attendance.
What with the restrictions on the number of people who’d be allowed to attend any gathering? What with only so few activities allowed to happen in this era of the pandemic?
It is the reason why we suddenly found one convenient excuse for not holding any Christmas party, no giving gifts to godchildren and special friends. And sadly, some will use the current situation as one legitimate excuse of forgetting to give gifts to our own parents even if doing such has somehow evolved into an annual rite.
In fact, many are jestingly asking if there will still be Christmas to celebrate given that the present COVID situation in the country and the entire world.
As we said there are many ways to manifest our celebrating an important occasion in our lifetime.
But of course, it may be true that the celebration of the holiday season may have lost a good deal of its luster, no thanks to COVID-19. But still, the spirit of Christmas is very much with us–in our hearts and soul. So we would expect that we cannot just allow the pandemic to push us further down into the muck.
We have to raise our heads to show that we are not about to give up in this fight. That is, that we are out to show the world over that Christmas will remain with us and whatever it will take, we seek to remain afloat if only to protect our faith and to show the world that any pandemic is not one insurmountable problem that will force us Filipinos to simply raise our hands in surrender.
And it is for this reason that we are greeting every friend of ours that our ageing memory can remember.
Yes, allow us to greet a Very Merry Christmas and hopefully, a prosperous New Year to the following:
Our sisters and only brother out there in Cebu Province; our wife and children who are with us come hell and high water; our fellow local journalists who are trying to eke out a living in the most honorable manner; our brothers and sisters-in-law who are independently living their own full lives; our former officemates at our former employer, Davao Light and Power Co.; the leaders of Davao City who are trying their best to lead the city in the most admirable manner and bring all advantages to the greatest number of Davaoenos; our congressmen who are out there seeking to fully fulfill the covenant they have made with their constituents when they sought their support during the 2019 elections; and of course, the leaders of our nation who are in the thick of the battle to deliver the country and our people from the clutches of the pandemic so we will have a different Christmas in 2021.
We say to you all: Merry Christmas and a Happy New year, a year of deliverance from the unseen enemy that has made the world a different place to live in at this very time when everyone is at the mercy of the deadly virus and its effect in our lives.
And to all of us let this year’s Christmas be the launchpad for more health-conscious inhabitants of the universe and that if we learn to protect all other beings in this world that are existing with us side by side, we are unknowingly protecting ourselves.
As most modern philosophers are wont to say: Nature has its own unique way of getting back at its tormentors
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