IF SYMPTOMS PERSIST
By ALEX M. EDUQUE
The thought that we have been home for ten weeks – seventy-plus days or three months, whichever way you choose to view it – is surreal. Especially for someone who would quite literally go home to sleep during the week. Never in my life would I have imagined such a situation. None of us for that matter. Unprecedented times indeed. The threat of typhoon Ambo loomed about us two weeks ago, and though it caused quite an unwelcome devastation most especially at a time of crisis in some areas, we have always been a resilient people – and now, I am convinced of that more so than ever. Looking back, while some days went by painfully slow and others turned out much grimmer than others, overall, I am in disbelief that it has already been ten weeks.
Undeniably, the first few weeks were the roughest. We were locked in to fight an invisible enemy, and thrown into an everyday that was so new for us. With many fleeting moments of anxiety and insanity in between, moments of meltdown here and there, disheartening thoughts and fake news causing panic, bouts of depression and frustration for some, we ultimately got rolling into the groove of things and eventually adjusted. Proof, that indeed, human beings, albeit quite naturally creatures of habit, are also adaptive to change. After all, change is the only constant, and that capability to adapt is crucial, and is perhaps, unknown to us, a natural instinct for survival.
We got used to our “new everyday” so much so that now that we were put on modified enhanced community quarantine, some of us were alarmed by the idea that malls and other businesses were slowly opening up. The “what ifs” raced through our minds, and a lot of preparation to equip ourselves and our workplaces with precautionary measures drove us to overthink some scenarios. It is time for the economy to slowly re-open, yes, but at the same time, in short, people are anxious and afraid.
The fear of going out is now real to some. Face masks and social distancing is the new normal, yet, it is not enough to make everyone feel safe. When we think about it though, ten weeks ago, it was our normal. It was the everyday life we went about without giving our every move a second thought. It was the normal we yearned for only a few weeks ago and some months back when we were antsy in our homes.
I rediscovered and strengthened my faith in the process because now more than ever, I realize it is what gets you through the most tumultuous and uncertain of times. And while we may not always (and sometimes never) find a concrete answer right away, just having that faith and knowing that we are in God’s good hands is enough. It is, in fact, the comfort that we seek. It is true. Life can indeed change in a split second, but ironically, it takes time (even never for some) to become in tune with change. The time has come, and it is now time to embrace change and adapt once again – with extra hygiene measures, caution, and sensitivity towards others.
We tend to resist change simply because habit and what we are used to is easy and comfortable. But really, in instances like this that we find ourselves in, embracing change is the only way to progress. So when you find your heart racing that very moment when you do have to step out of your safe zone (because let’s face it, we will all eventually have to) think back to ten weeks ago. Arm yourself with that very faith that has gotten us this far. And trust in your ability to adapt to get by. In just a few weeks, the groove of our new normal will be the new beat of our daily drums. Trust me.