“With most of the restrictions loosened up and borders open, it is difficult not to misconstrue that everything is okay. But the truth is, a virus is still in our midst, living and potentially spreading like wildfire that can ruin our lives and the lives of the people around us.”
It is without a doubt that the so-called “ber” months, most especially December, is one of the year’s busiest months.
A year ago, we were still in the middle of the 2nd semester preparing for the exams. Although the cold wind was making our days a little bit chilly, a lot of us were busy planning for the holidays; booking flights and trips back home, shopping for gifts, and setting up for decors. The hustle and bustle of the yuletide season in itself has become a tradition.
Around this time of the year, most of us were usually out and about celebrating traditions; personal, familial, and religious. We were attending Christmas parties left and right, meeting friends and families we haven’t seen in a while, dining out, attending the nine days of Simbang Gabi, and finally, Misa de Gallo.
WE LIVE FOR THESE MOMENTS: the lights, the chatter, and the exceptionally delicious holiday food. I’m not the only one feeling this urge to go out and be with the people who are dearest to me. After all, it is the Christmas season – a precious and important time for many of us.
With most of the restrictions loosened up and borders open, it is difficult not to misconstrue that everything is okay; that slowly, we are indeed going back to the way things were before. But the truth is, a virus is still in our midst, living and potentially spreading like wildfire that can ruin our lives and the lives of the people around us.
The outsized role of gatherings in the transmission of the virus, COVID-19, is not a myth!
In an interview with Dispatches, a British current affairs documentary program, Professor Hugh Montgomery, director of the Institute for Human Health and Performance at University College London, said, “this coronavirus (COVID-19) is very, very infectious, so every person passes to it three, now that doesn’t sound like much of a difference, but if each of those three pass it to three and that happens in 10 layers, I have been responsible for infecting 59,000.”
I can’t blame you or anyone for wanting to be with family and friends during this season. It’s been a tough year for many people, and it must have taken a toll on some of us. And seeking normality, even at least in this Christmas Season, might help us go through the seemingly endless quarantine we are still facing.
But when we practice our traditions, let us not forget that the four hundred thirty-six thousand statistics started with one. Studies have significantly proven that social gatherings play a significant factor in the spread of COVID-19. Given the Filipino setting where hugs, kisses, manos, and besos are a staple, we need to bear in mind that for this Christmas, we might have to be contented seeing them and talking to them at a safe 2-meter distance.
We are transitioning to a new normal. And like any change, it’s difficult and uncomfortable.
In our case, it is also restrictive. So whatever we decide to do what our family and friends decide to do this year to uphold tradition, we should always bear in mind that what’s important is not the tradition but the people behind them and if we really want to show that we care, practicing health safety protocols is the least we can do.