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MY TURN: COVID 19 and cultural change

C means Corona, V means Virus discovered in 2019 or COVID 19. The virus looks like a crown so they called it corona (Spanish for crown). Families around the world found themselves staying together in their homes longer than usual when the lockdown began in March. The difficult months for parents, children, workers etc., were March and April. Papa who should be working and children who should be in school were imprisoned, preso de caballero, 24-7.
Papa discovered the wonderful mysterious sophisticated use of Netflix, Youtube, streaming Twitter etc. After food, the most must have items were TV, cellphones, computers, laptops, tables. House tensions and quarrels increased because Papa, Mama, the four children disagreed on what program to see and there was only one TV, two cellphones, no laptop, tablets, computer.

From March to April, the TV programs were mostly re-run teleserye garbage and old recycled news repeated six times a day.

Malls, Talipapa, sari-sari stores, home deliveries and street vendors were tightly controlled for health and safety reasons. There were few newspapers; church, social activities, movies, saunas, videokes, restaurants were closed. When Fidel Castro became Cuba’s president, Cubans “said” Cero Line, Cero Compra, Cero Cabaret (no movies, no shopping, no nightclubs).

From March 22 to April 30, the food supply chain crashed because nobody expected a national lockdown. In our house, I kept saying Mano man ni, awan, napukaawti mamoy, maca, manok, maktin, malasang. March 22-30 was the most terrible week because: 1. nobody knew what COVID 19 was except that it kills fast unlike flu and pneumonia, 2. It travels very very fast from one place to another and one person to another silently and unknowingly, 3. There is no cure, 4. The symptoms were not clearly explained, 5. the first government rules, notices were either unclear or incomplete, 6. The world’s easy, relaxed, happy go lucky atmosphere suddenly changed to something cold, uncertain and darkly mistrustful. It was worse than Hueves and Biernes Santo combined.

Each family became an isolated, sealed tiny boat aimlessly floating in a dreary, dismal, lonely, big ocean filled with millions of other boats also unceremoniously drifting along. It’s like the three Japanese monkeys, no see, no hear, no talk.

I am 79 years old so I feel the hopelessness, despair, despondency of seniors. When I buy pills, tables, medicine, vitamins I feel bad because I cannot greet, smile because of the masks, shields. I don’t know anymore outside. For the first time, I learned how a Kuto feels. This was the most depressing, degrading, debilitating, dehumanizing, humbling, humiliating, painful agonizing period for me. It hurts, man, hombre, it hurts. I survived March and April because of my very tight grip on the Lord; I knew I would go to pieces if I release my hold on him and because of the nearness of my wife, my family and relatives.

We can remove this miserable abysmal emptiness of despair and darkness if we put our trust in the Lord, pray everyday. We often go away from the Lord but He will never leave us. Time and tide waits for no one so enjoy yourself because it’s later than you think. When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you but when you’re crying, you bring on the rain, so keep on smiling though sometimes there’s pain. Your family needs a strong, happy God fearing Papa so they’ll not be demoralized to pieces. You owe your family this much. With the mercy and Kindness of the Lord and the love of your family, you are a rock of strength.


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