September 29, 2023

The Covid-19 pandemic has brought to light many issues in our own communities and in our larger society. Among other things, various kinds of people are highlighted when the country was put on a standstill. At the center of them all are the selfless frontliners who work tirelessly day in and day out and still maintain their humanity and integrity. They deserve an even brighter spotlight than the one currently being shone upon them. They deserve rest, compensation, and their voices definitely need to be heard.
On the other hand, there are the people who are making this pandemic worse through their actions, decisions, behavior, and their way of thinking.
This is not the first time that I work in a government institution, but working in this sector during these trying times has again opened my eyes to the already many things that are disappointing and frustrating. Many of the people have become pandemic-fatigued in different ways that they have become indifferent about the health protocols, undisciplined, and outright dismissive of the Covid-19. At a time where discipline and helping one another is of utmost importance, we, as a people and a nation has become unruly and selfish. We can actually help the frontliners by exercising discipline and being critical but many choose not to be helpful.
At the moment, the primary path towards “going back to normal” that so many wish for is to achieve herd immunity but it is sad that many people make it so difficult to get there. Why has vaccination become so complicated? Isn’t science fact? People has turned Covid-19 vaccines and the science behind it into a ridiculous propaganda game. True, everyone is entitled to their opinion and choice about getting the jab. So, may I just say, if you don’t want to protect yourself, please have the decency to not impose upon the welfare of others. (LILY C. BANIA-AO)
Then, there is politics. Majority of the politicians are leading the country into more chaos, workers have become disillusioned, tired, and apathetic, and the people have become more dependent on a government too arrogant to consult or trust medical experts.
With the upcoming election, the pandemic will most likely become a secondary issue to the political brouhaha that has become the primary job of our politicians. While this is frustrating, again, the common Filipino can actually do something about this situation. Vote.
Every election period, the call to vote is constant, which is sad because voting is a privilege and it should be exercised without prompting. Unfortunately, due to obvious reasons, some people think that it makes no difference whether they vote or not because, hey, what impact can one vote really make in real life?
At this point though, the relevance of voting at the individual level is not so much as making a difference by directly impacting the results as it is having the right to make a noise later on about how the elected officials run the country. As many say, you do not have the right to complain about the politicians or the state of affairs as a result of their decisions and actions if you did not vote in the first place. After all, the right to suffrage was originally fought for because it gives one the right to say something about the situation that he/she is in, metaphorically and literally.
The pandemic is far from over and we need to deal with it properly if we are to surmount it. And for this to happen, we need to put people in power who can make the right decisions for the people and not for themselves, leaders who know whom to consult, know how to listen, and know how to take action with actual deeds. Enough with politicians whose idea of taking action is to cajole the public with words while practically ignoring the pandemic, and other problems for that matter, with the belief that it will simply go away. On a personal level, everyone can and has to do something to help in overcoming the pandemic and some of them are not too difficult to do. Yes, your vote and vaccine matter so make sure they do.