For our first blog post, I think it is relevant to talk about COVID-19 since most of us are inside our homes, maybe sitting on their chairs while sipping their coffee for breakfast or just in front of their mobile devices and browsing the latest news about the virus.

A lot of us got worried when the DOH reported our first positive case last January. Anxiety went all over the place especially that the case kept on growing. At times like this, when a virus like COVID-19 lurks pretty much all over the world, it is a must for us to be warriors in this battle. Here’s a little set of reminders to keep yourself and everyone battle-ready and safe against our invisible foe!

We have to remember that panic will never help ease our current situation. It spreads faster than the virus. Numerous cases were visible around the globe but it is a relief that most infected people are cured. Being alert with the current situation may help you and your family members safe from the virus. Do not stockpile face masks and panic buy. If you think you are exposed, do not touch your eyes, nose and mouth. Instead, wash your hands immediately with soap and water and observe proper social distancing. What our mind perceives has a great impact on how we should take this fight! Keep our composure, practice health measures and stay safe!

Self-quarantine may be a little more boring for those most of us, especially the less affected, but it is really for the common good. All we have to do right now is to stay indoors in order to mitigate the spread of the virus.

If you can work from home, work from home. But for those who really need to dwell outside to survive, pray for them. For students, use you time to be productive. Use this chance to bond and spend time with your family. Watch Netflix series or movies and chill. Do Tiktok videos. Try indoor zumba! What’s important is to keep your body healthy through eating well, exercise and getting enough sleep.

According to Director Erwin Tan of Health Thought Leadership, AARP, the elderly people are considered at a greater risk in having the virus. However, the virus does not only affect the old and sick, but also people with weak immune systems due to underlying health conditions. This is because of the gradual deterioration of our immune system as we age, making it harder for our body to fight off diseases and infection.

Therefore, multigenerational households like here in the Philippines must consider the risks of all its members. Families can institute minimal changes by not sharing personal items like food, water bottles and utensils. If possible, choose a room in your home that can be used to separate sick household members from those who are healthy. Also, choose a bathroom for the sick person to use, if possible.

It is always important to remember your health basics for a strong mind and body. This is a collective concern. With this, we can try to minimize the transmission of the virus in our country.

A lot of people feel that it is important to stay informed and it is understandable that the news you find concerning could produce stress and anxiety. But apparently, the way people get their news; coupled with the style of news that dominates today may not be good for mental and even physical health. There were times that these informations posted online were falsified or even exaggerated that create more fear and stress to people particularly the ones infected.

Exposing yourself with a lot of information is not healthy. There is a thin line between being aware and living in constant fear and anxiety. Anxiety is more contagious than the virus itself. You don’t have to be constantly seeking information. Get the facts, not the rumors. Staying aware and informed is a good thing, but when it comes to your health, too much news can spell trouble.

Social distancing and even self-isolation are some of the common terms in everyone’s lips at the moment. Even though we are under the implementation of the enhanced community quarantine, it is still important to stay constantly connected with our loved ones especially to those people who have relatives in the affected areas.

However, some people don’t have any access to internet and social media, or have the technology that allows them to take part in a virtual set-up. That is why you must find the platform that will allow the both of you an access to send important messages, even physically separated. Make things user-friendly as possible.

Reaching out can help you and your loved ones lessen the anxiety that everyone is feeling about this pandemic.

What’s spreading faster than the coronavirus aside from anxiety? Racial assaults! There were multiple online reports across the globe particularly in America that a lot of Asians have experienced “xenophobia” (dislike of or prejudice against people from other countries) as a result of coronavirus fears with several incidents that involves physical harassment. This is very alarming especially to us, Asians as it could fuel real-life acts of discrimination and may range from micro aggressions to incidents of racial profiling to hate violence.

We have to remember that the virus is not an excuse to be racist. Deciding whether to act is deeply personal choice. At times like this, we have to take care for each other and take a stand! The danger is if we do not speak up for each other, the number of people being targeted will expand and I think all of us don’t want that to happen.

To sum it up, I just want to reiterate that a virus is clearly an external threat; it is something that happens to someone through no fault of their own. We, Filipinos are still looking for possibilities on how are we going to overcome this catastrophe, but one thing that gives a light on this is that even though we face a lot of crisis (this pandemic as an example), helping hands do not seem to be in short supply as we quickly lifted back on our feet. Of course, with the help of our LGU’s and most especially the frontliners! Saludo po kami sa inyo!

As the virus marches around the globe, I don’t think either the anxiety or hatred for races will be a reason to limit our instinct for mutual care. This won’t be the last international health crisis, but hopefully the way we respond today will determine a more optimistic outcome in the future.

As what William G. Bacani stated in his poem, “Together, we can face any challenge ahead of us. We may stumble and fall. But we will bounce back, arms stronger with vision and faith, that after darkness, after pains and sufferings, the Filipino survives, the Filipino is resilient!”

This too shall pass. Lalaban tayo, Pilipinas!

Published by Cyrel Rodriguez

Sir Cy is a full-time college instructor at Cavite State University-Indang Campus.

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