Chuck Baclagon

Just when you have thought that we’re about to flatten the curve, it bends again higher and sharper than the previous one, alongside it is a government response that can only be described as criminal neglect. The recent COVID resilience ranking where the Philippines is on steady decline shows how and why the country became the worst place to be infected with Covid.

Reading the daily tally of the dead and the dying is already commonplace and the pressing need to act and demand accountability from unjust institutions that propelled me out of depression and anxiety on the onset of this perpetual pandemic lockdown, has already lost its momentum and I am a far cry from the hopeful person I was almost two years ago.

It’s interesting how world-shattering events like the pandemic change us in such a short span of time, where even getting out of bed or gathering the composure to join another Zoom meeting can be gut-wrenching.

I’ve learned to befriend anxiety and all the rage that comes with it–constantly learning and reconciling the shattered spaces between the professional, personal, and political.

We live in a sad time when we want to do more to stand up and fight  but the melee to rise from our personal stupor gets in the way.

We are living in this tension between the ‘now’ and the ‘not yet’ of a future so vague and undefined. Treading the thin line between hope and despair, between faith and disbelief.

Two years on, this is one important thing I’ve learned: life is a constant fight for tomorrow and with a better view producing encouragement to live in the present.

Though for the most part, it feels like laboring in obscurity.

The work and fight to create positive change in the world are happening on a multiplicity of arenas: the streets, the internet, the airwaves, our own hearts, as well as the hearts and minds of our friends and family.

Constantly finding the balance between empiricism and empathy, liberty and consideration: a balance that defends us from both co-option and extremism that has been far too prevalent in these confusing times.

Our collective obligation to endure teaches us that we must on no account submit ourselves to temporary disappointments but carry on because we have a world to win and a future to build.

For sure there will be times when we’ll fail, but we can try again, maybe this time a little less disastrously, a little more beautifully – until eventually, we win.

Onwards.