HUMANIST FAMILIES IN DISTRESS:
Coping Through This Pandemic Crisis
By: Michael Julian
We are all caught unprepared when the pandemic reached our country. Overwhelmed with this new way of life we started living one day at a time. I have just finished my two weeks training from my new company as a medical representative specialist visiting Ophthalmologists of Cavite and Laguna area when the lockdown started to implement. This happened after a couple of months ago when Taal volcano erupted and turned our town into a deserted place. With no savings and monthly income, I just can’t imagine how we are going to survive this new phase of our lives.
As the head of the family, it did not become easy for me to think where will I find food for my family. All we have is the promise made by the president that no family will starve. And so, we’ve got 3-kilo of rice from the barangay before the first week of lockdown ended. That was right after our credit near the sari-sari store hits its limit. In the following week, we’ve got 10-kilo of rice with can goods and noodles from the city hall. Coming April my company gave newly hired like me Php.3,000 financial assistance. I did not expect this that’s why I am grateful I have them. At this time, I have learned that I will not be included in the CAMP of DOLE. So, my wife budgeted it carefully for 3 weeks of food supplies. In the second week of April, the second batch of goods from the city hall came. And we have learned that we are not also included in DSWD’s financial support. With no one to turn to I tried to seek help from my HAPI family. I send a message to Dweng Bulaclac around 1 AM and told our difficult situation. I know their focus is to give PPE for our front liners. That they are so busy with their nationwide projects. But I am so grateful to these people. I can’t put it in words. Thank you, guys! Help came in no time. Our brunch and dinner will be normalized at last.
Since the virus is new, we choose knowledge and discipline over fear and ignorance. We make sure that we are all equipped with the right information to fight this pandemic from the importance of handwashing to the science of social distancing. Every day we keep our selves updated with only important news. But tried it really quick to lessen the stress and anxiety that won’t help us. In my own simple way, I shared the knowledge that matters I’ve gathered to my FB friends to give them the correct mindset and perspective with the situation. It sounds simple but it is really complicated in the Philippines. I am really worried about our health workers. The least I could do is spread the word to support those people or groups like HAPI on site that will take good care of them. They are our only hope while the vaccine and cure are not yet here aside from social distancing. Can’t imagine our 766 health workers got infected for just more than a month of the pandemic in the country. I really don’t know what will happen but we should d our part seriously. Stay at home.
It is said that after COVID-19 a huge number of mental illness cases will be our next problem. Our situation is really not easy. but aside from getting the right information to protect ourselves is to mind a much important thing, the new way of life. To help myself calm with the situation, I teach myself to install the software on my wife’s old laptop. From updating its operating system to the latest Microsoft office available. I also search for the best antivirus and browser to fix its logs that take her job for centuries. At this time, only my wife has the ace and experience to take us in the long run. Hopefully, she could find an online job. Our kids, thankfully are on track with their study since they are in homeschooling. We are just updating their life skills from planting plants that we could eat and cooking food. But most of the time we are together with them playing, dancing, and singing. As per myself, after I finished the audiobook the god delusion, why there is no god, and why we believe in god, I took a short online course of humanism in Humanist UK. I don’t know, maybe someday I could facilitate none religious wedding, and other humanist celebrations in this thing we called life.
Coping through this pandemic crisis, as a humanist family in distress we should be reminded by Charles Darwin’s words that “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” We live one day at a time. We’ve stretched our budget for so many days by just taking brunch and dinner after the lockdown caught us in a bad situation. Not a pleasant experience but we survive at least while battling this pandemic. But it made me realize to manage your life very well so that whatever happens you will be in control next time. And always be humble to ask help if needed to your beloved friends or family because there will be no god who will help you. Life will be much better if people will just realize that we just only have each other. We choose knowledge and discipline over ignorance and fear. This is the only thing I’m in control. So better to take it seriously. Read a lot. And enjoy time with my family. We mind much important thing, the new way of life. We never know when it will last. It is better to plan ahead and start new things like online job, homeschooling and prepare myself to numbers of humanists who will come out after this pandemic. You know, more hospitals than churches.