COVID-19 Story: Of Tragedies and Divine Remedies

An insight on COVID-19 by Ana Paula Vargas

The COVID-19 pandemic has been shedding some light on several social aspects. Aspects that we often do not recognize; aspects that we often fail to appreciate. Who would’ve thought that our mundane habits could affect those of whom we hold dearest?

Hugs, kisses, handshakes, or just plain being around the people you love are being temporarily put to a halt. We are hindered by these social norms, and because of this pandemic, it has driven most of humanity into a downward spiral. Assurance and safety hang in the balance for our loved ones who are front liners, who are working overseas, who are sick, or to those who have a compromised immune system.

The poor and the homeless, the underprivileged, and the elderly are now of utmost concern. But the question that shakes this very foundation is why we value these circumstances, these people when we are devoid of these social norms? These are trying times. These are my insights, along with it a fraction of my experience on this ongoing pandemic.

A week before our first case of COVID-19 in the Philippines, my partner and I were hell-bent on finishing our papers for research and having our treatments analyzed in hopes of being able to graduate this second semester. Time constraints, financial dilemmas, and pulling consecutive all-nighters were inevitable. A day before our scheduled analysis, Mayor Bing declared community quarantine in Bacolod City.

Every nook and cranny of all our unending efforts did not suffice. Things were not in our favor. By then, we saw ourselves on the outs for graduation. So I started to listen, to search for signs, not knowing it has been given all along. Despite all the tension, the only thing constant was the voice whispering to me over and over: “do not rush, do not worry”. I did not understand it until now.

There is nothing awry about chasing after what one wishes to fulfill, but when we are called by Him, we cannot turn a blind eye.

Whether we push ourselves to our limits or find ourselves at a standstill, there is always a reason for delays. May we have the heart to look past our own judgment and not see it as a hint at dereliction.

The time I had during quarantine was utilized for meditating and deciphering what other purposes this global pandemic is trying to convey. All the while, I thought that this is to divert our attention from all that is unpleasant and evil for someone far greater: our God. I have neglected my time with my family, my friends, and even the time I owe to myself over things I now find inconsequential.

God is telling us to abandon our affinity for material things. To tell us that these elements are not our life force. To be able to discern priceless from materialistic. This has also given me more reason to love the course Agriculture because right now, people don’t barrel through towns to buy paper or cars. They rush to buy food, and this would not have been readily available if not for our farmers.

Agriculture is feeding the world, and our farmers play a major role in this pandemic.

This pandemic gives us what we are greatly in need of a second chance, a second chance to redeem ourselves, to repent. To not wait for the worse to happen before we start to give importance to the ones that really matter. To do good and be good. To be sensitive and to confide in acts of kindness, especially to those who are needing it most. To spread love and unbridled positivity and to always seek Him when we are in need of protection, mercy, solace, in times of doubt, depravity, and suffering.

Despite all this, I am endowed with bountiful blessings. I have food on my table. I have a roof over my head. My loved ones are healthy and safe. If you have these checked out, you are blessed beyond measure.

God has paved the way, may we never take it for granted. As the common adage says: “This too shall pass”, so let’s remain optimistic. And as I come to an end to jotting down my insights, I take a moment and smile with hope brimming on all corners because I have my Savior with me, I will not fall.

Ana Paula Vargas is a graduating student of the School of Agriculture, University of Negros Occidental – Recoletos. Ana Paula is taking Bachelor of Science in Agriculture major in Animal Science.

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