The country observes its second Holy Week under extreme quarantine conditions, this time due to a catastrophic spike in COVID-19 cases thanks to a woefully inadequate response that has, thus far, failed to address a public health crisis, arrest the spread of the coronavirus, and steer the nation on the path to economic recovery.
Over the next few days of this long weekend, and most probably beyond, Filipinos all over the country are left with no choice but to hunker down in self defense against the ravaging coronavirus where new cases have breached 10,000 per day. Those who have no choice but to man the frontlines will have to continue observing the health and safety protocols we have been faithfully observing for more than one year but feels like an eternity for most.
Quarantine fatigue is real and it most definitely set in at this point, but if we are to overcome these most challenging times, the trademark Filipino trait of resilience will have to be put to the test once more.
Catholics have traditionally spent Holy Week in prayer, reflection and isolation. These are activities most Filipinos, regardless of creed, have been engaged in for more than a year now as our society has been subjected to one of the strictest, longest, yet most ineffective lockdowns in the world.
As we start this long break to reflect upon the passion and death of Jesus Christ, let us channel our Savior’s strength, obedience and determination to find the ways and means to carry the crosses that we must bear in the coming months to do our part as our nation struggles to rise from the devastation wrought by the COVID-19 pandemic made worse by the apathy and incompetence of those could have made a positive difference instead of wasting an entire year.
We have already endured great hardships but unfortunately for us, there are still many sacrifices to be made. Leisure trips, vacations and gatherings will have to wait. The health and safety protocols that we’ve been religiously following must stay in place until enough Filipinos are vaccinated. As we are on our own, we will have to be more aware of the needs of the underprivileged who lack the resources to withstand the twin impacts of the pandemic and the inadequacy of their country’s response.
As we spend the next couple of days remembering one of the greatest sacrifices ever made in the history of mankind, let us gird ourselves for the sacrifices that we will have to make for the sake of our countrymen in the coming months.*