Things are becoming routinary at home. Today is not a day for intellectual masturbation; internally I want to disengage. Externally, however, I keep making mistake after mistake and engage on people online. It grinds my gears when people describe public officials in positive superlatives, most especially after considering that the Philippines is an archipelago; this entire crisis could have been avoided with a piece of paper and a hint of common sense. It’s too late, the virus is here now, and when I see people thanking an irresponsible government official for their best efforts to contain the Coronavirus, the question of loyalty comes sneaking in.
To whom is the Filipino loyal? Are we loyal to a name, or to the nation itself?
I get on the treadmill to clear my head from questions that I’m not prepared to hear answers to. The choice is apparent: people are not loyal to the Philippines. #NotAllFilipinos, of course. When you think about it, there is no nearby border. For the country to catch the virus meant someone had to fly through the airport or dock on the shores before a virus spreads. Kailangan mo sadyain before knocking an entire country to its knees in two weeks. It’s avoidable and choices can be made; the road taken this time was the road to recession.
I open up these thoughts to Kim and Roselle: two of my high school friends, while we’re all socially distanced with work, looking for skincare, or trying to find some zzz’s. They’re there to remind me that things will be okay, and that this is temporary. Hopefully so, because while we’re all at home passing the time, there are people working night and day, pushing past hundred-hour shifts, saving lives and trying not to get any more people sick.
Outside, there is silence. The fight is not as large-scale as a war; the battle lies in the hospital room, in confined spaces where infection is lethal, and in some cases, deadly.
There is despair, but in doing our share of staying inside, it’s one less person getting sick before things get worse.