In this desperate COVID-19 era: Be kind

 

COVID-19 was, is, and will be the issue for years to come. The last pandemic, the Spanish Flu, lasted for two years, from February 1918 to April 1920, with an estimated 500 million cases and claiming some 50 to 100 million lives.

In my unwavering optimism, I privately predicted that the current pandemic would all be over in about two years, just as it was with the last. We look forward with eager anticipation to Christmas this year to make up for lost time with family and friends, and relief from our personal losses. Sadly, however, the present situation does not augur well for our common wish for better times soon. After almost one and a half years of the COVID-19 crisis, the nation still finds itself in a quicksand of hopelessness amid the virulence of new strains, the slow pace of vaccination, government ineptness and corruption, and apathy among the general public.

While I have a deep appreciation for the resiliency of the Filipino, the reactive mentality of “que sera, sera” must take the backseat to a proactive approach in this desperate situation. I neither have the moral authority nor the calling to advise others on what to do and what not to do, as these have been well articulated by well-meaning people in authority. What I can do, however, as a member of the human race, regardless of religion, class, color, and profession, is to be kind in whatever capacity I can.

I recall having seen a sticker that said, “PERFORM RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS.” I am awed by the simplicity and power of those words that can transform lives. A simple greeting, a thank-you note for a job well done, a message of concern and well wishes, a prayer, a donation, contributions to a community pantryʍthese are but some of the infinite ways we can be kind at this time. Every receiver of kindness is naturally motivated to pay it forward, as the cliché goes. It begins a cycle that transforms into a habit with time.

We have all been witness to pain and death in great numbers daily. Let us do this as an offering for those whose lives were cut short by COVID-19, and for all the frontliners who continue to care for us.

Dr. Ramon R. Marin,John J. Carroll Institute

on Church and Social Issues