TWO years marked by uncertainty, fear and regulatory measures may seem like a prelude to a dystopian setting, until they are slowly punctuated by millions of deaths globally. Is it time to ask, is it finally here then? Now, even as experts continue to keep in step with an already-reported thirty variants of the original covid-19 virus, their introduction of vaccines, however successful in stemming the tide, may have likewise created a placebo effect. True, vaccines may have eased apprehensions and made us believe that there is actually redemption from the virus, but why then does it still persist?
The same experts have on end announced that everyone is in on this for the long haul. However, their proclamations have fallen on many a deaf ears. Ironically, this is precisely just one of two reasons why the viral strain that caused the pandemic in the first place, continues to thrive no matter what. First, in spite of widespread information dissemination regarding Covid, reasons (or rather justifications) ranging from religious beliefs, political differences up to a number of conspiracy theories even, continue to dot the demography in this pandemic. The second reason and equally important, despite a glossy reportage of breaks and massive vaccination drives that have aided in flattening the curve, poor countries and communities remain deprived of such access. It is likewise quite unfortunate (but nevertheless expected), that this phenomenon has received little attention. As such, one could say, this bitter reality may have been buried under an avalanche of positive news related to the fight against COVID-19. Throughout all these developments and setbacks, what lessons have we, the common people at ground level gathered, as we approach the full two years of this new normal?
For one, being accustomed to quarantine regulations for more than a year may have had positive effect, in terms of being cleaner and sanitary-oriented. While others call it jokingly as always being in hospital mode, it is by no means not necessarily something that we cannot do without, considering the present situation. Another is being mindful of personal space in public spaces. The reality of contamination from whatever is out there may have been something that had already been imprinted in everyone’s consciousness, as a result of this almost two years of the pandemic.
It must be remembered that during the same duration, many among Filipinos have always looked questionably at people in the street who had face masks on as either sickly or overly snobbish. Now, we understand. All these, we’re already bringing back home. A common friend of my mate and myself once noted that in other countries like Korea and some parts of Asia and China, wearing face masks had been standard fare long before the pandemic of 2020. For good reason, she said, as air pollution in some areas are really that bad. In a rather adverse way, she had added that at least, we are finally in step with our Asian neighbors.
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