By Charlie Greene
The last eight months being amidst lockdowns, quarantines and a host of other restrictions has taken its toll on a large number of Boracay residents.
Regardless of whether you are a business owner or an employee, the lack of tourists will have contributed to a considerable lack of funds. Money has been hard to come by for so many people.
On regular occasions this has led to unpaid bills, and too often, a lack of food and essential supplies. There has also been an alarming rise in the number of suicides. After such a prolonged period, a lot of people have lost hope in life ever returning to normal, and consequently decided to take their own lives rather than face immediate problems and a somewhat bleak future. As far as I know, there has been nine suicides on the Island, and a total of 34 in Malay – plus many other attempts to do so.
Locking human beings down and preventing us from socializing, a normal human habit, has affected millions worldwide. Plus the damage to the economy and resulting loss of jobs and livelihoods, has brought many to the end of their tether. However, many world governments decided it was the way to go, so it had to be done.
Walking day after day along Boracay’s desolate beaches looking at boarded up businesses was sadly depressing. But one thing about it that was good, was it gave me time to reflect on my life.
Things that many of us take for granted in life, even simple things, disappeared from our routines; but this pushed us (certainly me), into looking at life differently. We had to make some major changes and adapt to a new way of life, whether we liked or agreed with it - we had no choice.
No longer do I yearn to board a flight and head off to Singapore for a weekend shopping spree, or a few days golfing in Thailand. I’ve become accustomed to the fact that these were unnecessary luxuries on my part. (But I really used to love them.)
So, have our lives changed so much now that we can never do these again?
The news last week of the magical silver bullet vaccine that the world’s governments have been demanding before they free us all appears to have arrived - or is certainly on the horizon and about to do so.
Surely, once we all take the leap and get ourselves and our loved ones vaccinated, the fear (or threat) of catching COVID-19 will go away.
But it’s also a bit alarming. Shouldn’t something like a vaccine be a personal choice? Especially when it’s new to the market and appears to have been “rushed” through the testing and approval procedures. Why are the makers insisting on no-liability clauses? Now I’m worried.
But it appears that most of the world is craving to put their arms out and accept it as the savior. Which is great for those that wish to do so - and I hope it saves them. I really do. Of course, no government has said it will be mandatory – yet.
I was watching the tv news this morning and the fallen from presidential favor Dr. Fauci announced that approval for one of the vaccines was imminent and it would be available within weeks. But what he added was, “now we have to get ‘everybody’ to take it otherwise the community (herd) immunity won’t be achieved.” That’s what I don’t like, and indeed, am concerned about.
I don’t believe anyone should be forced, or intimidated in any way, into having to be vaccinated against this virus which clinical evidence shows has a very low mortality rate. Like many other viruses, it is extremely infectious, and can and does do damage to those who unfortunately catch a bad dose - but to have a new drug pushed upon us, for me, is a step towards infringing upon our civil liberties and human rights.
Stay safe everyone, and be careful (in your own chosen way.)