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A BAD DREAM
Have you ever had a bad dream from which you desperately try to wake up, only to find the dream is a reality?
I am having such a dream. And with me, the whole world.
Who would’ve thought this would happen? In a time of advanced medical technology, a seemingly unassuming flu virus brought the world to an almost standstill. The most powerful countries are down to their knees. Thousands of people from all walks of life—famous or infamous, rich or poor, young or old—are affected or killed. The world is in panic. Every day, the numbers are increasing. Every day, lockdowns and community quarantines are increasingly implemented by authorities of affected cities and countries.
People who have been unruffled by wars and natural disasters are now trembling in fear and trepidation—all because of a silent, invisible killer. It tirelessly roams the world. It doesn’t rest, nor stop for a respite. It isn’t picky in selecting its victims, throwing off the minds of medical experts as they scamper to find the cure and a vaccine against it. They’re still at it, as do the killer, which taunts them as it continues to wreak havoc, destroying lungs and breaking hearts.
As of this writing, there are 475,894 Coronavirus cases in the world, affecting 198 countries and territories. While there are people recovering, the death toll is still increasing. Spain now has more deaths than Italy. The number of infected is swelling, which includes prominent personalities like Britain’s Prince Charles and even high-ranking government officials.
Who would’ve thought we’ll see people wearing masks and protective gears just a few feet away from their own doors and even inside their homes? Fighting with one another to be able to get free food packs to feed their families? Glaring suspiciously at the person next to you as you wait in line in the grocery and thinking that he may have the virus which might kill you and wipe out your entire family? Begging for some kind of financial aid from the local government because companies have closed and salaries have stopped?
And still, sadly, there are people who don’t realize the gravity of the situation. Of how a simple act of staying at home can mean saving not just one’s own, but others’ lives as well. Of how the timely delivery of food can calm a parent’s anger and his children’s hungry stomachs. Of how not telling the truth can mean certain death to the hardworking health workers who give their time, energy and skills to take care of patients.
Tempers are flaring. Patience is tested. Emotions are running amok. Social media is burning. We are terrified of the silent, invisible enemy. And in our fear, we lash out at enemies our eyes can see. We defend the defenseless. We speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. We help out in whatever way we can to alleviate the pain and loss around us. We protect our family.
What a chaotic, dark world this has become, and there is no light in sight. But in the darkness, silver linings can be glimpsed, if we but try to see them beyond the black clouds.
A masked guard belting out a song while manning his post, while another dances to the rhythm of his co-worker’s off-tune voice. A message from a long-lost friend asking how you are. A smile, however, brief. A knowing nod. A tearful phone call.
Oh, what we would give to be able to go out whenever or wherever we wish. To breathe the air without a mask to filter it. To visit and hug a friend, a sister, a loved one without cringing. To go to school and learn, or go to work and get paid, despite the heavy traffic and suffocating pollution.
Simple joys which we have taken for granted. Simple joys which are now like a thing of the past, or a child’s wishful thinking.
The United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has declared that “COVID-19 is menacing the whole of humanity.” Words of doom which might come true if the virus will not be contained in the soonest possible time. This is the reason why Guterres stressed that a global approach is needed as the only way to beat CoVid-19. This means no one country will have to fight the virus alone. All of us—the whole of humanity, threatened by a cunning, unseen enemy—must fight back, together.
UN is fighting the CoVid-19 by launching a $2 billion coordinated global response plan to help poor countries. Medical experts are fighting by striving to discover a cure and a vaccine. Governments fight by locking down communities in an effort to prevent the spread of the pandemic. More and more doctors, nurses and health practitioners fight by doing their sworn duty at the risk of their lives.
You and me can fight, too.
You and me can heed warnings, obey rules, practice good hygiene and compassion.
The world is in a bad dream. But like all dreams, this, too shall come to end.
If we‘d only do our share.