I had always dreaded sitting in my science and technology class every Monday, but this lecture was something different. Our professor told us about a book regarding the crisis of the virus- the crux of the world’s concern. The book authored by Dean Koontz and titled, The Eyes of Darkness, mentioned “Wuhan-400”, a fictional disease in which humanity would be afflicted with, in one of its chapters. As this surfaced online, many other books appeared with almost the same context, which eerily produced chills upon my spine.
The jagged information that Monday kept me awake at night with the amalgamation of unceasing inquiry and mild-insomnia. I was never terrified until videos of people panic buying emerged from my screen: the stores running out of 70% alcohol solution that was once available at every counter, and the sudden disappearance of medical masks from the pharmacies. I was thinking of going home, and I was able to days later as class suspension was bound to happen. The proceeds of online classes came up in whispers, but in our country, the Philippines, not everyone can access the internet. And as social distancing is a growing rule, internet cafes will close their doors. Problematic indeed, with even graduation ceremonies not taking place until after the quarantine period or even until July.
Some people are not well-informed about the progression and enhancements the government worked on in the past days to fight this crisis, causing delirium. Transportation is the most incapacitated; land, air, and water transport are highly regulated, being the sole reasons why the virus immensely spread around the globe. Europe is overwhelming in numbers of cases as Italy is only second to China of most tested positive COVID-19 cases. I turned on the TV to show the surgeon general of the United States announcing that the goal is to “not become Italy,” with the headline projecting: 1000+ new cases adding to a total of 4000+ cases in America. The news then flashed an image of Times Square looking barren and deserted. U.S casinos and bars are indefinitely closing, and there will be no concerts nor sporting events to take place. What is of the most pressing concern is the fact that restocking supermarkets such as Walmart will become even more difficult. With this occurring, the attainment of basic needs could be in jeopardy, for it will most definitely take a couple of days for supermarkets to become out of stock. However, we should not remain quick-fired about it because we need to maintain confidence that the virus will be eradicated earlier than anticipated.
Millennials, who are expected to be well up-to-date, especially on the news, usually on SNS, should help to spread more knowledge, from a strategic standpoint. They should share news and updates about the virus on their social media and continue to spread awareness that will eliminate panic. With this, they must filter out the fake news from unreliable sources. For minors and students, now out from their classes, we should be more responsible and not treat this break as a vacation period and a chance to hang out with friends, but stay within the light of social distancing. We should give this time to our family and a chance to ponder all the events that have happened. We should not be irresponsible, for the situation is progressively becoming more severe, and we ought to help fight against the inevitability of the virus’s further dispersion.
We are not certain of the trajectory of this disease. Thus, we are bound to change our daily lives in the remaining days of quarantine. As the virus is now a pandemic, we have the whole world working together to free us from the fear of infection completely. The downplay of this pandemic is that the symptoms range from mild to extreme. In fact, some even perceive it as invisible since it’s symptoms blend with the normal flu. Test kits are of utmost importance, and there are significant donations of these kits from generous people. With our rigid mentality, we should not think that we are completely safe, nor should we believe that we are doomed. We should still keep ourselves safeguarded from the illness. A netizen posted “do not panic or buy in bulk, for you are just spreading the virus more by depriving others the chance to protect themselves. Stupidity kills more than the virus.” This fight is about us, our effort in saving not only our own life but maintaining the well being of other people as well. We must not sever our hope, “we should remain optimistic,” a medical professional from Spain assured with positivism.
This Project Ripples article was written by Maria Kristina Salientes and edited by Diana Benedicto-Jimenez.