New Year’s Disillusion

Whereas, the year 2020 is ending; Whereas, the year 2021 is about to begin; Whereas, there has been a considerable number of failures which have been committed in the year 2020 as attested by persistent increase of Covid-19 cases which has ravaged economic conditions and other facets of previously considered normal social exercises, Whereas, the incoming year 2021 presents itself with opportunities to correct previous mistakes and improve present practices; Whereas, it would be nice if we all could do better next year; Therefore, be it resolved that we with all our mind and might, for the love of life, and in the name of common sense and logic, to strive hard to somehow do better this time. What do you think about New Year’s resolutions? You may resolve to quit smoking, quit drinking, lose weight, start exercising, cut down on sweets, submit reports earlier, be kind to your nosy neighbour or whatever. Maybe, you’ll be making the same old resolution you have been making for the past five new years because you end up violating the resolution sometime around the second or third week of January of each year. Maybe, you’re starting to think, what’s the point of making a resolution when there’s a very high probability that it would not be fulfilled anyway. So, why bother? We all might as well not resolve to change anything. After all, we’ll just be making fools of ourselves in pretending we can do it when we have proven to the world, time and time again that we can not. But on second thought, what would befall on mankind if we succumb to this sort of helplessness and abandon the ideals of development? Okay, so let’s make resolutions, anyway. In this year which is about to end, some of us freaked out in alarm, and some were fraught with apathy. It would later turn out that there was and still is reason for unease as the virus which some thought would not enter the Philippine islands, would die and dissipate in the hot tropical climate and would not beat SARS in the mortality score boards has shocked us beyond expectations. I can remember when the powers that be in the Health Department maintained confidence when a couple of Chinese tourists tested positive for Covid. The ensuing behaviour then seemed that the infections would remain with their compatriots. But then, not long after that, the first Filipinos experienced infection. Then it was downplayed to be international transmission which presumably should comfort the local Filipino. Then, the initial local transmission started creeping through the crevices of the capital. Then, came the domino pieces of deaths. Then after the virus had already forged a foothold of fortitude among Filipinos, after so much precious time had passed, like a dystopian futuristic film, the authorities finally decided to place Luzon on lockdown which apparently to allay anxiety. Was called a community quarantine, a fancy Filipinism for lockdown. After the Corona virus had had the open opportunity to enjoy the nation’s entry points, they were closed down, in the hopes that such an effort would still make some difference. Now, as we face a fresh new year of 2021, we are given a chance to reflect on past feats and failures in the faith towards a fortunate future. As eternity would always entrust us with a tomorrow, we have been given a second chance, a new day … with a new Covid strain. Now, we can apply the lessons that we have learned and try it out in actual practice. We have the wonderful opportunity to right the wrongs we wrought in the past year. At least, everyone agrees that a virus strain is really a seriously dangerous matter and requires resolute response. (But mind you, despite this damage in health and wealth, there are still a number of people who deny and refuse to believe the existence of a Corona virus disease, and think of it as a big elaborate hoax.) At least, now, the authorities knew better to close our borders to foreign flights. Although, the higher-ups incomprehensibly still dilly-dallied on whether to push through with the travel ban or not. However, with due respect to our fellow countrymen from overseas, restricting entry to foreigners and allowing Filipino citizens in may not do us any good. Does the new Corona strain choose citizenships? The Filipino carelessness and disregard for discipline have long proven far more powerful than any program or policy. As the cops get tough, the common people also get tougher in the fulfilment of their freedoms. We as a nation, also have the precious prospect to learn from what USA keeps doing wrong, and what Cambodia, New Zealand, Thailand and Vietnam have been doing right. The question is: “Do we have what it takes to do the same thing that they’ve been doing right?”. It is quite interesting that as the world gazes towards a silver lining with the advent of the vaccines, now here comes a higher hurdle. “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” Psalm 20:7