An unforgettable event of 2019 was the encroachment of life threatening pandemic called COVID 19. Its impact was really huge affecting all genres of life. It has affected all levels of social classes, as if nature forces an arrest to all in their own homes on guard of everyone coming close. Everyone around is a threat that needs to be suspected for no reason but COVID 19.
COVID 19 is like a destiny that could change lives unexpectedly in no time. COVID 19 is like a curse that leaves victims isolated before their loved ones in times that they needed them most. COVID 19 redirect lives beyond what a person used to be.
COVID 19 forces change from the old normal to the new normal. When we say old normal, man’s usual ways, activities and practices have long been adopted year after year. New normal are new sets of ways, activities and protocols deemed necessary to mitigate the impact of this global outbreak.
Now, let us consider some key areas why we need to leave the old normal and tip toe as we set foot to the so-called new normal.
- HEALTH SAFETY
COVID 19 has contaminated millions of individuals all over the world. It has recorded thousands of death cases more than the recorded recovery. For the past few months, this global pandemic crushes down the world wide economy to an alarming level. Companies have forced closure because of the quarantine protocols that have affected their manpower and production outputs.
COVID 19 is rapidly spreading all over the world by way of people’s social mobility and contacts. Countries need to lock down borders to mitigate contamination with the hope of containing the virus till extinction in the earliest possible time.
The first and foremost concern is the health and well-being of the populace. The national government under specialize task force agency set up levels of quarantine measures to mitigate and contain the spread of this novel virus with the hope that one day a dramatic tweak would come and get to settle like the way before.
The presence of corona virus is not to be understood as momentary instead be considered as part of the existing nature of man from this generation onward so that appropriate adaptation should be taught and learned. In other words we need to acknowledge corona virus presence and co-exist by developing physical and emotional resilience.
Daily activities must be carefully structured with high regard to the possible threat of COVID around like crawling serpents in the dark waiting for the right timing inflecting the prey.
The pre-existing ways and usual ways of doing something is the old normal. The presence of corona virus will push us into the discomfort of the so-called new normal which leaves us no choice but embrace. Yes! the way from the old to the new normal needs to be bridged seamlessly by gradually settling by embracing the new ways without leaving time honored values with a Filipino imprint.
For health and safety reasons, we need to practice physical distancing, not the so-called social distancing to pártially preserve time honored values and practices that made our culture richer than that of the other till today.
When talking of physical distancing is to avoid overcrowding in any form, be in the workplaces, physical transactions, social functions and other related activities that would probably result in unattended convergences. Physical distancing is about an individual space volume requirement in compliance with health safety measures and protocol to reduce or even avoid chances of contamination. Social distancing perhaps is not an appropriate term for at this time people can be socially closer via social media platforms expressing usual gestures in live meetings and other social media gathering. Being involved does not require at all times physical presence but could be done via social media with the click and power of technology.
1. SOCIAL FUNCTION
Everyone knows that humans are social beings. Men are not used to living on their own instead prefer to be with their peers to talk with, to laugh with, to go out and eat with. But with COVID physical closeness becomes less intimate.
The work places are now re calibrating change and preparing a seamless continuity plan mitigating the impact of the pandemic to the general public most particularly the client. Extra-ordinary preparations were done like conducting surveys and others related data sourcing with the hope of coming up with an informed decision. The emerging decision shall be made as a basis for careful planning, reassessment and pre-implementation to further assess the possible impact of the program once it will be implemented.
3. PHYSICAL DISTANCING
Physical distancing in the workplaces, public places, schools, markets, malls and in the community is highly discouraged for health safety. Likewise to our usual handshaking, hand kissing, etc.
4. TIME HONORED PRACTICES
While the restriction of physical distance is in effect, we need not disregard our time honored values and practices that make us unique as Filipinos to other nations of the world. We need to keep it with a little tweak rather than leave it with COVID in control. We have the hand gestures like hand wave, hand on the heart, namaste, hello!, what’s up nod, peace sign, the bow, and the what a year huh! which became a good substitute to handshakes, hugs and high fives upon meetups. By this substitute gesture we would be able to bring forth time honored values and practices within the presence of pandemic.
5 TRADITIONS AND CELEBRATION
Traditions and celebrations are considered as the powerhouse of the society emanating from the different smaller communities which became subject for trade and commerce. The common example of these are the fiesta celebrations, wedding, birthdays, christening, etc. These are the things severely affected but could still be managed by complying with the safety protocols mandated by the DOH, IATF and the OP
6. RELIGIOUS GATHERINGS
The conduct of religious activities/ gathering should follow the strict guidelines of the DOH, IATF and the OP. And the possibility of conducting live streaming using the different social media platforms. Teaching could also be facilitated by pre-recorded video lectures to continuously proclaim the gospel of God. Allowing the Holy Spirit to work inside the person while going any further into this corona virus crisis.
In search of daily living, no one could avoid the risk of COVID while on the road riding the public transportation facilities. Present modification of the public utility vehicles in regards to the passage of law seems impractical considering the very nature of corona virus which could easily get carried by the air movement from one person to another living many in the danger of contamination. As seen, drivers could easily go into technical violations while compliance is practically non-sense among field implementer. It is the hope and prayer of the public that proper adjustment and practical prescription should be sought for the greater benefit of the general public while they are too busy looking for the job who is a casualty of the COVID 19 outbreak as a painful impact of this pandemic.
While the stigma of the old to new normal transition is clouding the new direction of the department upon the proper implementation of the Basic Education Learning Continuity Plan as an antidote to the impact of the pandemic, the implementer ( teachers in every school) are facing a huge challenge upon the adaption of the Learning Delivery Modalities deemed appropriate and practical to their own local setting. Teachers’ scope of work is expanding dramatically trying to accommodate the new demand of this new normal setup.
The pressure is very evident but the worst of all is the unavailability of the school funds base from the approved national budget for the fiscal year 2020 to 21. The plight of education for this school year is shaky and unstable depending on the initiative of the school leader and manager to the external stakeholder.
The business world runs timid. Many were forced to shut down because of the possible losses that may happen for their continuous operation. As a consequence many of the workers were displaced which became the subject of LGU new programs in aid of the jobless majority.
One of the bold realities of life is change. Change is the only permanent which in most cases is uncomfortable and even exhausting. Denial for change in the event of pandemic is not practical instead must work on how oneself may accommodate new adaptation while going into the fine-tuning process in the occasion of bridging the old to the new normal brought about by the encroachment of corona virus into the human race.