The New Normal
These days, we have entered the precipice of a new age – our “NEW NORMAL” when priorities in life are no longer work, vanity, luxury, social life / partying, or power. As if the reboot button has been pressed, people have begun to rethink their priorities and values. The quarantine has put the world in the same mindset, one of introspection. Hopefully, when this is all over, the world doesn’t go back to its selfish ways. At ground zero, we have the opportunity to build a new world order with all the infinite new ways of being, living, caring and loving. The possibilities are endless when we get to the other side.
Top on everyone’s minds are the basics: protecting ourselves from covid-19, maintaining good health & proper nutrition, and caring for one’s self, our loved ones, neighbors, community, and for humankind.
In these uncertain times, we must GIVE as much as we take and STAY CONNECTED with loved ones as much as we can online, by video calls, FaceTime, or by calling.
And then there are the inalienable truths that we can all count on: Despite the loss of freedom of movement, we are still free; as sure as the sun rises and sets every single day, we have fresh air to breath and blue skies above; there is a higher power (or the collective good in humanity) to draw our strength from.
Knowing what we know to be our new reality, WE DEAL WITH IT. We cling to these for dear life like a life raft in a new world where enlightenment is shed ever so slowly, like the break of dawn. No one sees the whole picture, no one sees the future beyond the moment. We exist day by day, and take life as we know it as such.
Counting the days
So to put things in perspective, days are simply referred to as TODAY.
TODAY is 21 days into the enhanced community quarantine on Boracay Island and 4 weeks since the country was declared under a state of calamity on March 16 and an enhanced community quarantine imposed throughout Luzon on March 17 by PRRD. Since then, we’ve shifted our paradigms inward while coming out of the safety of our shells by reaching out to those in need – be it encouragement, or a simple “How are you?”
When the first confirmed case in Malay was announced on March 29, that was another game changer for us but being a household of two, it was easy to agree on heightening our resolve to be extra careful and avoiding going out. Remember, there is no cure so all we’ve got is prevention.
Although Malacañang announced that expanding the Luzon lockdown to the Visayas and Mindanao was off the table for now, on April 9, Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores extended the ECQ for the entire province until April 30. And since the local community has been very disciplined in cooperating with the quarantine, the ECQ has successfully mitigated the situation and we remain Covid-19-free.
As of this writing on Easter Sunday, I am still hoping for a miracle that somehow the ECQ on Boracay Island could be relaxed a bit within the island, if only to ease the burden on the business sector that, like everywhere else, is struggling to support their staff despite not having any income, just to help families to cope.
Boracay Island is safely separated from the mainland of Malay, Aklan, therefore if the lockdown or blocking of entry to the island and from town to town in Malay mainland (except for essential goods and medical services) remains strictly enforced, perhaps the island could be treated as a separate entity (versus applying a “one size fits all” solution).
With a Modified Community Quarantine, not only will our spirits be lifted, our bodies can be recharged by immersing in the health benefits of our natural environment (the sun, sea and sky on our own private paradise), and most importantly, the island’s economy could slowly recover with some stimulus, and feed the hungry.
Furthermore, once declared a “safe zone” and returning back to some normalcy with a less restrictive community quarantine that allows the island to function and be sustainable, Boracay Island can once again be the model and an example for the rest of the country on how a strict ECQ has successfully cleared the country’s crown jewel, while giving the world some good news from a tiny island in the Philippines.
As the community and its workers continue to wait for the financial assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the hunger is real and rising, with business owners struggling to provide for their staff who continue to rely on them for their daily sustenance.
As such, many in the community have been reaching out voluntarily, and paying it forward to our brothers & sisters in need, working from home, online, and within the limits of the quarantine lockdown restrictions, to provide much-needed relief goods and food assistance. I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all, and particularly those who responded to my “Shout out” and call to action on Facebook for food assistance for the Boracay Ati tribal community. However, the community of 52 families with a population of 262 individuals subsists on food assistance day by day. Cash donations are also most welcome. You may reach out to them by calling their landline at (+63 36) 288 2623 or Sister ELVIE OLIAMOT at (+63 912) 466 0561.
In these crazy and trying times, with so many groups doing their own outreaches from home and so much love going around on our tiny and isolated island home, it is a wonderful reminder of how humanity shines thru in the face of death & darkness. Truly, what we do speaks volumes about who we are as a species. #ItTakesAVillage
To all the frontliners that put their own lives in the line of fire day in and day out in this long and uphill battle, to all the generous souls and unsung heroes out there, THANK YOU for the gift of LOVE & LIFE! ❤️May God bless you all & keep you safe 🙏
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the globe reached one million on April 2, according to tracking by Johns Hopkins University. As we are in the thick of the insidious pandemic with the curve rising on a daily basis with no end in sight, no one knows what tomorrow will bring and so TODAY, we will live, love and laugh like it could be the last.
May the hope, optimism and confidence of the Easter Resurrection be in your hearts 💜 The resurrection of Jesus has redeemed the world from sin and death, delivering us from darkness into eternal life. “For those who trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection, death is swallowed up in victory.” 1 Corinthians 15:54–57
In his “Urbi et Orbi” message last Easter Sunday, Pope Francis challenged us to ban indifference, self-centeredness, division and forgetfulness during this time of Covid-19 – and to spread the “contagion” of hope.
On behalf of the Boracay Sun News family we hope that you all remain healthy and safe.
More importantly, don’t be a “covidiot” or a “moronavirus,” do your part to help flatten the curve.
STAY HOME, CHILLOUT, fix yourself a Quarantini or a Coronarita and enjoy your CORONACATION.
Peace and good vibes,