It Takes a Virus

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The skies are clear and birds fly freely in the air. There are no smoke coming out from factories

The rivers and canals are blue. The shops are closed, streets are empty.

Where’s everyone?

Everyone is at home all day long. No need to leave at dawn and come back late at night.

Fathers and mothers are playing with their kids; they gather ‘round the table 

and feast on their meager meal.

Food is shared among neighbors or delivered by strangers.

They wave and smile at their neighbors from a distance. It’s been a while since they’ve seen each other.

They sing at the top of their voices or play the guitar in their balconies and rooftops 

and get a round of applause. When was the last time this happened?

The classrooms are empty.  Lessons are learned at home. There are no school-children running in the corridors and gyms. Except for the homeless who have been welcomed and fed fter being driven away by petty barangay despots and police from a religious center that fed them.

Rules have to be followed.

Priests celebrate mass on empty churches, as the faithful watch them online in their homes.

The pope gives blessing in front of an empty square, watched by millions of people a

round the world. No distance, quarantine or lock down can separate them.

The guns are silent. The fighting has ceased. The combatants have gone home.

Logging and mining have stopped, the forest gets a respite.

The pangolins can frolic in the forest. And the bats fly freely.

The earth has been given a chance to rest.

Meanwhile, the hospitals are full as the sick multiply. And the dead created hastily.

We are now on depression mentally and economically. Inept leaders have been exposed 

and found wanting, while the true servant-leaders are being discovered.

Bumbling politicians are trembling, knowing their time is up.

The whole world is sick, gasping for breath. Economic and political systems are collapsing,

and new ones will emerge. Release of toxic gases have been reduced.

And the ecological crisis can be averted.

Can good come out from a bad situation? Felix Cupla. Let’s count our blessings.

The end is near. But not for us but for the system. That puts profit over people,

where leaders are elected for their image and messianic pretensions

rather their competence and compassion.

When this is over, it will not be business as usual. It will be different. Much better—we hope

“Behold, I will make all things new.” Someone said long ago. It only takes a virus to trigger this.

The rest is up to us now.