As Important than Rice and Sardines
Call it mother’s intuition, but before the government-imposed Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) was implemented last March 16, 2020, I was pretty much ready for it.
At least, I was able to secure enough supply of food, vitamins, and other basic needs for my two-year-old daughter, Ezra, who was staying with me at the Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI) compound on P. Paredes street, Sampaloc, Manila.
I was not totally snug, however, because Ezra’s older brother was not with us but staying with his grandparents in Caloocan City. I was worried, too, about the condition of my family in Mindanao.
Of course, I could not help but think about the welfare of my friends and the KKFI beneficiaries I work with. I could not help but also worry about the homeless families and unemployed people.
Are they safe? How about their stocks of food or medicines? Do they have enough of them?
I felt I was personally responsible and that I needed to take steps in helping these people. So I called my previous supervisor from Operation Blessings Inc. and asked her if the organization can give health kits and relief goods for the beneficiaries of Kapatiran-Kaunlaran Foundation Inc. (KKFI). I also asked my friend from the main office of the Department of Social Work and Development (DSWD) what their response was to the coronavirus disease or Covid-19.
I would often ask the KKFI beneficiaries how were they doing. My heart bled when I read a Facebook post from one of our scholars, Marina Ambay, saying: “Hindi ka nga mamamatay sa COVID-19, mamamatay ka naman sa gutom.”
I told God in my prayer, “Please, Lord, use me to comfort others during this crisis.”
God answered my plea, and I am grateful for it. He gave me the opportunity to give free psycho-social support and psychological first aid for those who were emotionally affected by the Covid-19 scare.
The lockdown, which has effectively put a halt to almost all economic activities of the world, not only required relief goods for food and basic necessities; the pandemic also devastated on a large scale the psychologial well-being of thousands who were caught off-guard by the gravity of the crisis.
The latter was often missed—the psychological part—which is more telling of individuals’ well-being in the long run.
I am thankful for the KKFI for always making a difference in the lives of people in Manila North Cemetery (MNC) and Tondo who feel that KKFI is there to support them during these dangerous days.
People not only need rice, noodles, and sardines but ears that listen to what they have to say. They needed other people to whom they can ventilate their feelings, their fears, and their worries about the invisible enemy—the coronavirus. They need others who can help them process their thoughts and emotions in order for them to properly perform their individual role in our society.
This microscopic enemy of ours may have turned the world upside-down, but God is still more powerful than anything else. I have faith that we will survive this challenge because He is still in control of the world and our lives.