- Zha Francisco
How the COVID-19 Pandemic Impacted Our Lives
Many of us earmarked the year 2020 as the worst year in the 21st century. A major volcanic eruption, typhoons that caused massive flooding and earthquakes in several regions, and surging covid 19 cases which led to a three-month total lockdown followed by several modifications of the community quarantines are among the disasters that made the lives of Filipinos miserable in 2020 until now.
Covid-19 made an impact on:
The Philippine economy suffered a deep recession in 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. Many businesses were forced to temporarily close while others were permanently shut down. People lost their jobs including displaced OFWs who have been repatriated to the country. I have friends who are still employed yet not free from the consequences of the pandemic. Some were forced to consume their leaves, others received salary reductions.
The Education System
The Philippines education has greatly changed because of Covid-19 since public and private schools were closed to protect the health of learners and educators, teaching had to be performed remotely with the use of modular and digital platforms. Parents homeschooling their children in a new blended learning setting. Teachers, parents, and learners are all adjusting and adapting to this setup.
Lifestyle and Health
The Covid-19 has both positive and negative effects on people’s lifestyle and health. Pandemic hindered us from doing our normal daily living, leisure, and social activities. Lifestyle and health-related positive impact including hygiene practices, the attitude of good health and immunity.
People paid more attention to their physical and mental health. COVID-19 pandemic has made me realize certain things in my life. It changed my perceptions, attitudes and helped me rethink my values. These are my three realizations:
Attitude of Gratitude
In this challenging time, it is so easy to complain, rant, and blame others that we tend to forget to see the thousands of other reasons to be grateful and happy. I am not always positive, I’m also worried, feared, and stressed. However, no matter how anxious or angry I feel, the reality is reality. Life is not about complaining. It is about counting our blessings. Every night, I do this gratitude exercise before sleeping. I reflected and named 3 things in the day which I am grateful for. This helps me to stay positive.
This pandemic created so much uncertainty concerning the future and threats – physical, emotional, social, and financial – to our security. Just thinking of all these makes my anxiety levels reach 100%. Some say that it is normal to be anxious and fearful and I totally agree with that. For me, it’s so natural to feel strong emotions (most especially with everything happening in the world) as long as you don’t dwell with those emotions. Being mindful helps me to get back to my senses. It allows me to see things clearly, respond to them appropriately, to appreciate the present instead of the past or the future.
Making self-care a priority is more important than ever. My third realization in this pandemic is to value my health (physical and mental). I give myself the best chance to stay physically well by fueling my body with healthy foods and plenty of water, taking multivitamins, and aiming to sleep 7-8 hours each night. My mental health is as important as my physical health so I see to it that I stay connected with my friends and loved ones through social media and do things I enjoy (play ukulele & Nintendo Switch, binge-watching Netflix, take care of my dogs, etc.) Having a healthy mind and body can help me get through this challenging time. It helps me cope with stress and other negative emotions and have a more positive outlook on life.
Written by Zha Francisco