July 22, 2024

The Covid-19 pandemic has taught us many lessons. This war has taught us that soldiers can change uniforms from fatigue to white or, a combination of both. That enemies are not just ones we can see, but enemies can also be invisible. That weapons are not always guns, bombs, and nuclear but an invisible virus that can move stealthily, catching everyone by surprise especially those that do not believe or are too slow to respond. That the war is not about country against country, but countries uniting to help each other. Instead of open borders, borders are now being closed and are called lockdowns. That the best containment and victory is through discipline, adherence to instructions, cleanliness, washing hands, and staying at home.
While it has brought negatives, it has also opened our eyes to many positives. As Bill Gates, one of the richest men in the world and others are sharing: that what is happening is something spiritual. It has given us time to reflect on God; that we are all equal – whether we belong to different culture, religion or financial hierarchy; that we are all connected – what happens to one can affect all, so we should think of others; that our health is precious; that the young should take care of the old and the senior citizens; that our mortality is more pronounced now more than ever; that the material world is not all that matters, but essentials like food, water and medicines; that family and relationships are important; that we should keep our egos in check – greatness is nothing compared to the help you can offer to the needy and to mankind; that we must cooperate and support each other. That we should forget political colors; that we must be patient. Being quarantined at home for so many days is good for us; that we should not panic; that it is time to offer help to the students and workers who were stranded in the midst of this crisis; that it is time to help the homeless; that it is time to be considerate of our renters.
In my review of my national defense studies and according to military definitions and to John Devlin of the University of Alberta, “To flank a position is to attack it from the side instead of head-on, and a flanking maneuver is an attempt to move troops into a position where they can attack a flank. In military tactics, a flanking maneuver is a movement of an armed force around a flank to achieve an advantageous position over an enemy.”
As I see it, in today’s parlance our frontliners now, are our doctors, nurses, medical technicians, hospital staff, our soldiers and the Philippine National Police, emergency responders and civic action groups, food providers, bankers and other people who keep life and limbs moving and alive. The flank is us, the people. We must move in step with government. We must follow its direction and be good soldiers. “Obey first before you question.” Arm our frontliners with weapons like test kits, personal protective equipment, masks, alcohol, test kits, gloves.
James Clavell in the “Art of War” by Sun Tzu mentions that, “All warfare is based on deception. It is of vital importance to the state. It is the enlightened ruler and wise general who will use the highest intelligence to achieve the greatest results.”
In this Covid war, there are many deceptions and misinformation – people who instigate panic, animosity, fear and chaos. We should not listen to these things that cause us to worry and be fearful. We must believe in our leader. Above all have faith in God – that He is in control. We should be thankful that we are led by Mayor Benjie Magalong, a general whose strong leadership is giving us the much needed guidance. If he tells us to stay at home, please… stay at home. Walang pasaway. If he asks for our help, please help.
We salute him and all his men, all the generous hearts who are pulling the resources of the city together. We salute our frontliners. Whether you are wearing white or wearing fatigue, blue or red uniforms. We salute all the non-government and private individuals and corporations who are doing their anonymous contributions sans publicity. We want our frontliners to know that we are behind them. We call on more generous hearts to support the mayor and the Department of Health.
Lastly, let us all pray together and call on God, He is in control. This too will pass. The victory is really up to us, to learn or not. Let us Praise God!