Challenge Accepted!

Written by: Mabel Formigones
UTROS in Philippines Inc.


“What do I have?” Have you ever asked that question to yourself before? Or you just focused on the things that you do not have? People, in general, tend to focus on getting the things they want and forgetting the things that they already have. I, myself, are one of them. Until a sudden and unexpected eye opener came along and hit me in the head.

A disease named Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which originated in Wuhan, China hit, not just my country, but the whole world. A disease which frightens people around you just by sneezing or coughing instead of just saying ‘God bless you’. A disease so powerful that it paralyzed the whole world. An intangible yet so devastating enemy of me, you, our country and our world. It chooses no one, everybody is a vulnerable target. It would not pick someone from specific profession nor religion. It does not care about your nationality or language. It does not exempt you just because you are a businessman, doctor, lawyer, President, Christian, Muslim, American, Filipino or even an animal. It will not look for your social status. It does not care about you age. It will not discriminate you. Everyone is equal in its eyes. Everybody can be harmed. Everybody can die.

People all over the world were left defenseless. Even the first world countries has no power against it. The disease spread thru a close encounter, so they decided to implement social distancing. As of now, social distancing is the only and most effective way, not to beat COVID-19 in an instant, but only to delay it, while waiting for the vaccine. Social distancing was implemented all over the world. Most countries also sacrifices their economy and implemented a lock down. Implementing lock down can obviously harm the economy, but the leaders had an enormous amount of guts to still execute it. Leaders in different countries left with no choice but to keep their people away form each other. People were forbidden to gather at any place. No big nor small events, no couple dates, no shopping in the malls, no watching movies at the cinemas, no eating at the restaurants, nothing but your home. In a blink of an eye, our freedom has gone. The freedom that we’ve taken for granted has been instantly taken away from us. And unfortunately, it is only the beginning.

Everyone was forced to stay at home except to the admirable front liners. People must see the front liners’ sacrifices, they render service to keep us safe from the virus, so they do deserved to be respected. Some families were very lucky enough to stay in the comfort of their homes and enjoy their bonding time together while others were totally problematic because of poverty. Poverty causes them not to feel the comfort of their own home, but rather makes them suffer thinking of what will happen tomorrow or whether they will be able to eat or not? Along with it are some families that remains separated due to various circumstances.

This crisis teaches us many lessons. It teaches us that everybody is equal.
It teaches us that each one of us plays a huge role in the society and that a person’s movement can affect many. A person’s single mistake can have a disastrous effect for his family and the society. It teaches us that staying away, does not mean you do not care, but to show that you do really care. Sacrificing of not going home because you might be carrying the virus and infect your family is very commendable. That by looking at the homeless, made us appreciate all the things we have, how lucky we are and our capability to help. It teaches us to hope for the best, not just for oneself, but for the whole world. It teaches us that every profession has its own importance. That the people you look down on before, will be the one you look up to now, because they saved you from this crisis. It shows us the true meaning of altruism among people and teaches us to be thankful of each other’s sacrifices for us. It teaches us patience and endurance. It made us realize that the world will not remain as it is. It will surely continue to move. It helped us to open our mind to the real world, to be able to identify what matters most. It teaches us to live a new life and to stay positive because as long as we are together, nothing is bigger than us. There might be so much negative in our world right now, but one must not forget to always look at the bright side.

Let’s all stay strong, remain calm, take a deep breath and proudly say “Challenge Accepted!”.

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