This global crisis we are experiencing now seems to transcend far any other global crisis in the past. We never expected this will happen and be confined to our homes for the past weeks. All businesses halt and people are told to observe social distancing and strict observance of frequent handwashing and even to be extremely careful to santiize whatever we touch. The world was leveled off; both rich and poor countries, people from all walks of life were all prone and exposed to the risk of being infected.
This can take months (hopefully not ) but even if we surpassed this thing, many believe the world will never be the same again. We now realize that a battle against a virus is far worst than a combat battle against human enemies. Powerful countries invested heavily on arms and ammunition and military power to reign supremacy in the world. But when coronavirus struck the world, everybody seems helpless. We are all not prepared for this and we now begin to look for experts on how to strike down this number one enemy of the world. Suddenly our frontline warriors are not soldiers but medical and health workers. Other diseases had struck before such as SARS but after it was contained no country was serious enough or had the foresight to anticipate that another virus can shock the world again. And this time far worst and had become pandemic.
Polarization was broken down and all countries unite to find ways to defeat this enemy. If the government is not careful to handle a possible recession or depression, the economy will likely collapse and social unrest is inevitable with millions of jobs lost. The people are looking to the government for support and an economic plan that is well-thought-of and helps mitigate the risk of a falling economy and social upheaval. This is no time for mediocre minds and corrupt officials to handle an immediate and long-term economic plan to avoid the collapse of an economy that is hit by the crisis in any country in the world.
Our Congress passed House Bill 6616 which was amended by Senate Bill 1418 last March 23, 2020, authorizing President Duterte to allocate the funds approved by Congress to address the COVID-19 problem. We are crossing our fingers that the allocation is well-planned and properly implemented with the necessary systems in place for checks and accountabilities especially as this will be distributed down to the local government units (LGUs). This is a serious matter we have at hand and can spell life and death for many or the collapse of an economy if not properly handled.
On the other hand, as an article in Politico magazine said the coronavirus will change the world permanently but not everything is bad. It goes on to acknowledge that in every crisis, there is an opportunity and one of those is that people begin to see positive side of technology. It mentioned that Congress, for instance, does not need to convene in a physical place anymore. They can be with their constituents and be able to be more conscious of the needs of their people since they can anyway hold a session in Congress remotely just what they are doing now.
People will now prefer talking through computers and social media rather than a face-to-face meeting. This crisis enables us to maintain closer relationships even those who are far away because of technology. We talk more to those who are far away from us because it is easier now to communicate than before. The importance of social media, broadband connections and being technology savvy is now being treasured more than ever before.
In Metro Manila when traffic is one of the worst in the world, some people now realize they can work from home even more efficiently than having to go to office and spend a great bulk of time caught in traffic and pollution though not all are applicable to this kind of system. People will continue to be conscious of taking care of their health even after the crisis and will make extra effort to increase their immunity.
It also opened the eyes of the world that market-based models for social organization fail and politics will be reoriented with substantial new investments in public goods – most especially for health – and public services (source: Politico Magazine). We will realize that we are interconnected all over the world and what could harm one country will have a domino effect on other countries.
These and many other benefits/opportunities can come out of this crisis but I cannot mention them all.
And most important, we now have time to appreciate the beauty of nature around us and make us realize the more important things in life and enjoy its simple pleasures. People now were jolted to the brevity of life and that anything can happen when they least expect it. There is a need for a strong faith foundation. The realization that we are all finite here on earth makes us think deeply about the real purpose of life and how we can live the remaining years of our lives in a more meaningful way.
(Wilma Miranda is a Managing Partner of Inventor, Miranda & Associates, CPAs, Adviser of the Media Affairs Committee of FINEX, Treasurer of Negros Outsourcing Services, Inc. and member of the Board of Directors of KPS Outsourcing, Inc. The views expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinion of these institutions.) [email protected]