Some things just don’t change much through the years. Like the Holy Week, always owning the hottest days of the year in this country. That’s precisely why old folks refer to the Holy Week as “kuwaresma,” which to many is synonymous with “hot spell.”
My wife grew up in Barangay Inayawan and even before we got married her Holy Week schedule of activities always included joining the Good Friday procession at the parish in Pardo. The procession thus became part of our family’s itinerary every Holy Week. But with Holy Week activities affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, that will not be followed this week. Parishes will not be initiating processions on Good Friday.
Other church activities have either been cancelled or downgraded because of the protocols designed to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Some Holy Week activities, like the Visita Iglesia, will be done online. We will be staying home just to be on the safe side.
Other people, though, couldn’t be prevented from staying home. They will be spending time in resorts like they used to before the pandemic struck. I just hope, though, that they won’t be acting like the virus is no longer around or that things have normalized. Preventing the spread of the virus is a shared responsibility and is not the concern of the government alone.
While there may be a break in the government’s vaccination effort this week, I just hope such an effort will speed up when it resumes. After the medical frontliners, the rest of the population will be next, to be led by the senior citizens. I am a senior citizen and have some worries, but I will allow myself to be vaccinated once the opportunity presents itself. But I would do it with my eyes open.
In the meantime, let us continue to strictly follow the health protocols during the Holy Week. That includes the wearing of face masks and, wherever these are needed, face shields. Physical distancing is a must. That means I will be staying away from crowded places. I understand that one is still being encouraged to follow the protocols even after vaccination.
What happened in Metro Manila should serve as an example. President Duterte has ordered the area placed under enhanced community quarantine or ECQ, the strictest form of community quarantine because of the rise in Covid-19 cases there. So let us all continue to be conscious of the protocols and follow this even without the government dictating us to.
Also, let us use the Holy Week as occasion to pray to God for the situation to finally improve. And more importantly, that no new problem will arise, like the development of new variants of the virus that could make the government’s vaccination effort ineffective. The worst thing to happen is when the situation we are in is prolonged.