Nami-miss mo na bang pumunta sa mall with your kids, manood ng sine, kumain sa labas, magtravel, umattend ng parties, magbeso-beso o yumakap sa mga friends and family mo? Hindi ka nag-iisa. Halos tumigil ang mundo nating lahat dahil sa COVID-19. At ngayong one year na tayo since the lockdown, let’s do a quick review sa mga nangyari o nagbago sa sarili at paligid natin. Kamusta ba ang ‘new normal’? What adjustments have you made and what can we look forward to in the coming months?
It was March 17, 2020 when President Rodrigo Duterte placed the entire Luzon under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ). Sa mga panahong ito, maraming business establishments ang naapektuhan - including malls, theaters, restaurants, and gyms. Dito rin nagsimula ang work-from-home set up ng mga kumpanya para siguruhin ang kaligtasan ng mga empleyado nila. Pero marami ring kumpanya ang nagsara at libu-libong empleyado ang nawalan ng trabaho. Walang public transportation. Only one person per household was allowed to go out to secure essentials. Nagkakaubusan din ng stocks ng pagkain sa grocery. Walang mabiling alcohol at face masks. Kung meron man, halos umabot sa P250/500ml ang alcohol mula sa original price nitong P65/500ml at P1000/box naman ang face masks kumpara noon na P50/box lang mabibili.
Under the ECQ, people were also not allowed to hold social gatherings; everyone was mandated to maintain their distance in public places, to wear face masks and face shields, to sanitize often, and to never touch the mouth, eyes and nose when we’re outside. And as the days and months passed by, we slowly adapted to the so-called ‘new normal’. Hanggang ngayon, nasanay na tayong umiiwas sa maraming tao, magsuot ng protective gears, mag spray ng alcohol sa kamay o kahit sa mga pinamiling items at hindi makipag-shake hands o beso-beso sa mga kaibigan o kapamilya mo. It’s because the virus is still out there and we should never be complacent at all.
Opening of classes were postponed to August 24, 2020 as DepEd finalized the new method for learning. Dahil bawal lumabas ang mga bata, nagkaroon ng blended learning ang mga schools. Sa public schools, may mga modules na dinidistribute para sagutan ng mga bata sa kanilang mga bahay. Yung nasa private schools naman, may online at offline learning. Sa online learning, gumagamit sila ng gadgets tulad ng laptop, desktop computer o cellphone para makapag-video conference ang mga estudyante at guro. Pag offline naman, may mga oras na sasagutan nila ang mga modules on their own atsaka ipapasa thru email or other online platforms.
The pandemic has considerably impacted the lives of millions of people worldwide. Aside from physical health, other people’s mental and emotional well-being have also been greatly compromised. In an October 2020 press release for World Mental Health Day, DOH Secretary Francisco Duque said “The COVID-19 pandemic has evoked overwhelming reactions and emotions from people. Many have had their livelihoods affected, others are worried about keeping their families safe. There are many reasons why we need to take extra care now when it comes to mental health.” This is why more people are keen on taking more steps towards safety. In the Philippines, some Filipinos have become more inclined to review and improve their health and retirement plans. Now health is an utmost priority and taking measures to secure and protect it has become a necessity rather than a luxury.
COVID19 has indeed brought us many realizations about mortality and family. It has allowed us to appreciate the value of those around us. Natuto tayong dumiskarte. Pinilit ang sarili na mag-adjust sa WFH setup at online learning ng anak para lang maituloy ang buhay. Isinantabi muna ang pride at nagbenta ng kung anu-ano para lang may maipakain sa pamilya at mailayo sila sa sakit. We deserve a pat in the back for not letting this global crisis get the best of us. Pero hindi rin ito nangangahulugan na pwede na tayong makampante, especially now that the country has been seeing an alarming spike in COVID19 cases. More variants are starting to surface while people become less mindful of health and safety protocols. Last March 13, CNN Philippines reported that “The surge in COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila is pushing the capacity of several major hospitals in the region towards collapse, according to medical authorities. As of March 13, intensive care units of the Philippine General Hospital, the San Lazaro Hospital, the Philippine Lung Center, and the East Avenue Medical Center were operating at full capacity, the frontliners said.”
As we all continue to move forward, and now that the vaccine for COVID19 has become available, let us not be complacent in safeguarding our welfare. Read up and do our research about the vaccine. Whether it's a yes or a no for you, always make an informed decision. Ang mahalaga, piliin mo ang nararapat para sa kaligtasan mo at ng buong pamilya.
Choosing to purchase a solid health plan for you and your family can also be a smart move during this time. An insurance ensures you and your family’s financial stability as it provides cash assistance when an ailment strikes. The high cost of hospitalization and medical treatment can cause a significant dent on a family’s savings. Mahal magkasakit lalo na ngayon. Kahit may Philhealth o HMO ka pa, hindi pa rin ito sapat para ma-cover ang mga gastusin at bayarin sa ospital. That’s why you need a dependable and affordable plan that can protect your finances and help you with your bills when you get sick and require hospital care. Huwag kang mag-alala, pwede ka namang tulungan ng Paramount Direct dyan with the affordable and reliable insurance products. Sleep better at night knowing that you have peace of mind.
Sabi nga nila, nothing lasts forever. Darating ang panahon at matatapos din ang pandemic at magagawa rin natin ang mga bagay na dati nating nagagawa. Makakapasyal ka ulit sa mall at makakapanood ng sine with your kids, makaka-attend ka ulit ng parties at makakapag-bonding with your friends. Ang importante, may natutunan ka from the pandemic at na-realize mong may kailangan ka palang i-#redirect sa buhay mo, one way or another.
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