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New Normal Typhoon

Brace yourselves; there’s more to come. That was the first traditional typhoon that thrashed the place locally in a long time. By traditional, I mean the type that rages on and ravages with rains and winds that howl for hours and leaves us all in darkness, desolate of electricity. Oh, the thrill and beauty of thriving in the typhoon belt.

What is interesting is that the typhoon’s tirades comes in this so-called novel normalcy amid the pangs of pandemic. We can be grateful that little school children would not have to run around with muddied and puddle soaked white socks and leather shoes, with rain drops on blue pants or skirts, striving hard to get a ride while overloaded tricycles and jeepneys whisk by and they are left to desperately wave for the next potential ride home, to be greeted with a watery welcome on the flooded path home. At least, we won’t have that scene. There won’t be children inside classrooms so evacuees could immediately occupy the classrooms without hassle. But if in the time of face to face sessions, classes would be suspended when typhoon signals are raised, would that still be applicable in distance classes? If typhoon signal number 1 would be announced, would Kindergarten pupils quit working on their modules? Would it not be frustrating for grade school children to still be reading modules at home safe from the rain, when they would have had a holiday had the storm hit in the traditional class setting? If Internet connection permits online classes while torrents tore through the skies, would not the instructor continue with the lecture unmindful of the weather? If landfall falls on the deadline of submission of a written report, would that not be a blessing/excuse if the report has not actually been finished? But since submission just like classes are done online through e-mail or messenger, no cramming student could take advantage of the rewards of heavy rains, but have to rush with that research work. On the other hand, this procrastinator has the advantage of the allowance of submission before 12 midnight; if he still has Internet connection at that time. Realistically, Internet connection may have to bid farewell long before the typhoon sets in.

If the typhoon throws it weight around during the office hours of physical reporting in an office, an employee would have the justifiable reason to leave earlier and would be at a convenient position to purchase some supplies such as candles, batteries, insect repellent and foodstuffs from the store or market near the workplace; then head home. However, in the new normal in which the office employee may be working from home, he/she may continue regardless of the nasty weather. What for? He’s already home. He just lost a good excuse to stop doing that boring task and go home early. Okay, maybe he could be excused to prepare for the coming storm. But instead of the one-way trip from downtown where the workplace and stores are, to the home, it would be a two way trip from the home to the stores to buy supplies, and back home. Would that not be an additional inconvenience? Assuming that the office employee had prepared beforehand and would not need to hurry to hoard; since he’s working from home on the laptop through the Internet, the boss could continue on giving tasks and/or conducting that conference. After all, the staffs are safe at home. Right? Well, that could happen only until wi-fi and electricity are still active.

Traditionally when news of a travelling typhoon buzzes over the airwaves, urban folk would hammer wooden braces on windows, cover them with tarpaulin, reinforce the roofing and whatever the house needs so that it won’t be blown off by the big bad wolf of the storm. But nowadays, there’s a new precautionary measure that the titos and titas do. That is to carry their little pots of plants inside the house. It would be a pity to see those little babies all messed up in flood water and gashed by the gust on the morning after. What’s with this sudden surge of horticultural hobbyists. It seems to be the latest trend to watch over plants on pots, as if they were pets. Maybe these are the people who could not stand screen time on computers and smart phones that they decided to google their gardens instead. Those things cost relatively expensive. Now who said that the economy is hurting? Well, you guys, better keep those pots inside. I heard there’s another storm coming.

Everyone seems to give their two cents on all this talk about old normal and new normal. No matter how we try to implement this so-called new normal, the old normal will find its way and seep through the cracks and break those new normal structures; because the old normal is the natural normal. One way or another, people will get together because that’s how life naturally is

“He got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.” Matthew 8 26

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