#VoxPopuli | Despair and hope amidst the pandemic

by Kurt Travis C. Canico

A young mind exposed to the danger of worldwide devastation is frightening, but the mere existence of the youth is the light at the end of the tunnel.

As a young scholar in the Philippines, I know for a fact that the pandemic being faced is a danger to the existence and progress of the human race. Humanity itself learned plenty for the past millennium. We learned our history, we discovered how the world worked, and having some of us dedicate their lives to even the most insignificant portion of the realm of science, all for the sake of our species. We have mapped the planet, the solar system, the galaxy, even a significant portion of the observable universe. Ironically, despite humanity’s monumental progress across the centuries, here we stand afraid of unifying as a single undivided community in times of catastrophe.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an example of our inability to handle ourselves in hardship. At the start of 2020, we were immediately greeted with a probable future resembling that of human extinction. Governments around the world made an effort to control their people’s behaviours and lifestyles, all for the sake of saving humankind from the worst-case scenario of this situation. I was one of the people affected. Initially, the local government advised everyone to wear masks to protect themselves, for losing themselves to the virus is never an option, up to the point where anyone with that desire is immediately questioned of their sanity. Life remained normal mid-January. However, by the time February came, the quality of life started to degrade. Chaos ensued from our carelessness in January.

The first COVID-19 case emerged in our country. The government and the people became fearful by the time the news came about. A lockdown was immediately implemented to control the spread. No one was allowed to enter or leave the country. The same procedure was implemented internationally.

All of those events happened whilst everyone was stuck inside their homes. The most important action done by the government was the implementation of a self-quarantine.

COVID-19 alone has devastated the global economy, killed nearly 2 million people, and put everyone in an astronomically large amount of risks. Everywhere you can visit, poverty is present. As the world tries to survive the disaster, the unfortunate come face-to-face with death itself. The melancholy of the death of a COVID-19 patient is not the full extent of sadness, for a thousand crying souls come mourning for the dead.

Protests were everywhere, all in dismay from the lockdown. The people gathered in the streets, giving the virus an advantage to spread. The people panicked, gathering in stores en masse to buy supplies to survive the pandemic with no equal distribution whatsoever. The people refused to wear their masks, with an invalid argument saying that it “suffocates” them despite being perfectly breathable. The people’s ineptitude regarding science was near to giving humanity its final year.

Even so, the human race rapidly adapted to their new environment. The people opted to create a new normal. With everyone isolated within the comfort of their homes, they developed connections online instead of typical man-to-man interaction. Despite the ongoing crisis present around the globe, stunningly, everyone managed to familiarise themselves with human interaction via nothing but mere rectangles as communication. Society managed to progress.

Scientists and experts around the globe decided to collaborate to create a vaccine for COVID-19. As the hope of the world is left to them, they have worked hard for the past 10 months to save the world.

The amount of change present in the world is directly proportional to the amount I have changed.

I’m a scholar at the most advanced high school in this country. I am merely a child with knowledge of this disaster. To my own eyes, the pandemic is nothing but an elegy. I experienced myself change the same way as other people. We became more technological, we became more isolated, but we put more effort into our everyday activities. Safety became everyone’s concern, and cleanliness was truly godliness.

I usually despair of these events, but as the world knew of their likely survival, I, along with them, had been inoculated against the fear of the pandemic. To give up is to die, and I as a youthful child have no intent to concur to the belief that humanity will inevitably end from a disease of this magnitude.

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The official English-language publication of the Philippine Science High School–Main Campus.

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The Science Scholar

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