We are in the most interesting of times. Not that it’s good but we are in a time of uncertainty. Nobody knows what’s gonna happen next.
At times, I feel like I’m in a movie. Or in a Déjà vu, except that I have seen the real life scenarios in movies I’ve watched before instead of dreams.
As in movies, the world turned upside down overnight (or almost) and one thing’s for sure. Corona virus stripped the world with just everything.
My life here on the island has been pretty much the same except everything went slower than before. From hundreds of emails daily to almost zero, from non-stop call on my cellphone to none and from peak season to a drastic drop in hotel occupancy.
A week ago, the Maldivian government announced that resort staff cannot leave the island to go to the city or any other local island except when going for international flight. I am so used to staying on the island but there’s a difference between choosing not to leave and being restricted to leave.
I’m quite lucky that I don’t have to fear about food scarcity as we can go for fishing in case the food stocks run out, but I doubt.
This is one reason why, I believe Maldivians will survive. The country will be economically hit because tourism is their major industry. A lot of the resorts have closed down or will close down for the next three months because of the current situation but I am sure that Maldivians will never go hungry. They can all just go out for fishing and pick yam from their garden and they are good.
And then I think about the Philippines.
People are raging about the community quarantine because a lot of families will go hungry. Those who go out to the street to sell taho, rugs, those tricycle driver, etc. who earns only enough for them to survive the day. I kept asking myself if sustainability has something do with this. If each home has their own garden, if the rivers are clean and teaming with marine life, if we do not overfish and if fish are sustainably caught, will there be any difference?
I have been watching the world from a small screen inside my office and it’s interesting to see how different countries react to the current global issues and how China just showed the world what a super power the country is. UK has a totally different approach and Trump is still being an @**hole that he is. Maldives is quite impressive. They have been sending us SMS everyday about the updates. Since the ‘lockdown’ of resorts, there have been zero additional cases, the 13 people found positive is now down to 10.
And about my beloved country, the Philippines, it’s quite chaotic (from what I can see) and I am always worried about my family. But being far away from home, I can only pray and hope for the best.
This global situation has been teaching us a lot of lessons here, and here’s a few.
Enhanced community quarantine. Lock down. Isolation. You can’t stand even a day at home don’t you?
We are so used to being busy. To seeing traffic and huge crowd. So many phone calls and emails. Then suddenly, a day came when you have to stay at home for days or weeks.
You feel strange. Time seemed to stop. Everything slowed down. Maybe you have to slow down too. Read a book. Have a good nap. Bond with your family at home. Connect with friends that you haven’t talked to for a long time.
On a positive note, we are still quite lucky that all these happened at the time of social media. It’s easy to connect with the world even while sitting at home.
Imagine if this happened during pre-social media time?
At this point of time (citing Maldives as an example), those who moaned a lot about their low service charge for sure just want to keep their jobs regardless if they get their full salary or not. A lot of resorts in the Maldives have closed down already and some more will close for at least three months and this will affect not only the staff but the country as a whole since tourism is the major industry the country.
We keep complaining about our companies, our bosses, our daily struggles to get up and go to work, but now I guess, we only want to keep our jobs don’t we?
We Can Never Be Ready For Everything
Filipinos are resilient. The country gets hit by storm each year, flood, earth quake, volcanic eruption and so on. But Covid19 caught everyone red-handed and nothing prepared us for this.
Somehow, I’ve been thinking that at times like this, everything that we worked hard for, our names, our job titles, etc., are of no value anymore. It’s almost like we are in a war. Every day, we are in a life and death situation and nothing can prepare us for what is about to happen next.
I hope that things get better soon and that the world can survive this.
Stay healthy and keep safe everyone!