Yesterday is Today, and Today is Tomorrow

During this lengthy community quarantine, we’ve witnessed various incompetence and negligence present in our society. From the baseless confidence that, the now pandemic, Covid-19 will not directly affect the country on the beginning of the year to the various side shows that were given more importance over the most urgent matter at hand, it has been one misstep after another. This pandemic revealed the bitter truth that most have turned a blind eye on.

In the Philippines, community quarantine was declared on March 12, despite the fervent denial that COVID-19 will affect the country on the beginning of the year. Shortages on Personal Protective Equipment, scarcity on COVID-19 test kits, daily wage earners on the verge of hunger, and multiple issues greeted the quarantine period.

These issues are not merely a pandemic irregularity because this has always been the reality. The main difference on why they were only given attention now is because of the worsening situation. As lax and occupied public officials are on playing politics, the underrated health workers and neglected minority have been suffering long before the pandemic happened.

Within the five months of community quarantine, a media conglomerate was revoked of its franchise, a bill that is dangerously similar to Martial Law has been passed, debts were made, emergency powers were granted, and charter change is currently in the talks. All this while battling a pandemic, makes one wonder if the country is a professional at multi-tasking or a mere jack-of-all-trades?

Every one dreams of life after this pandemic where anyone can freely travel and work again. However, our post-pandemic plans should also include the existence of our constitutional rights. We might be safe at home during this turmoil but there is a great chance where the Philippines can be an entire different country after.What happened yesterday will affect today and tomorrow, a lesson I learned from carefully analyzing everything that has happened. All the problems we are facing today is not simply a “phase” that we would outlive similar to the fact that our debt will not be paid right after a vaccine has been made. Some legislators are using this crucial time, where people are anxious and hungry, to manipulate and silence the disapproving public.

For the past years, we have been harassed with extra judicial killings, incompetence, fear of losing our country to China, corruption and so much more. Now, with the trillions of debt, on April alone was already at P87.34 billion, we have and an economic recession, what hope can we have for tomorrow if we downsize everything and simply blame it on the virus?

While we are deep into our quarantine routines and trends, let 2020 not be merely a year where #quaranTHINGS happened. This year, since the very first few days, serves as an eye opener on the reality of everything. As someone who is an avid fan of sci-fi young adult books, this year is packed with plot twists after another only that the person controlling the flow of the story is an ignorant boomer whose main idea of life is money, power, and pride. The horrors that unfolded within this seven months is enough to scar us, especially the common people, for years.If we continue on walking on the same apolitical and neglected road we have travelled before, there is no point on simply hoping and praying for the best. Whether its 2021 or 2025, this year should change our perspective—where empathy and people from all social status are included on our government’s and our own list of priority.

For the Martial Law Period during the Marcos regimen, we shout ‘Never Forget’ and same goes with this pandemic. Let’s never erase the manipulation, corruption, and negligence that happened this year and greet the upcoming years with hunger for justice for every misstep that’s been done.

Art by Marienel Calma

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