Canceled events. Towns getting locked down. Goods running out due to panic buying. A continuous increase in the number of cases and death tolls.

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Did we just say death? Yes. Death! Big, old ugly death has been walking around consuming people like he’s picking tomatoes in the garden. It’s crazy and terrifying. 

Never in my wildest dreams have I expected to encounter the words lockdown and pandemic outside of movies. You only hear them in zombie apocalyptic films. But we now live in a world where these complex-sounding terms can be heard in everyone’s vocabulary. Even my grandma said it. “Magla-lock down na rin ba ‘yung trabaho niyo?” (Would your job be undergoing lockdown, too?) I’m not sure exactly what she meant by that, but you get the point. Pandemic is the talk of the town. City lockdown is the new trend.

And it’s scary as hell.

What do you usually do when you’re scared? You mess up and make wrong decisions, okay. But what should you do when you’re scared?

Reason is defined as one’s ability to think, understand, and form judgments through logic. When a person feels scared, their body enters a fight-or-flight response that meddles in their reason. We don’t think clearly. As a result, we tend to make careless mistakes and lean towards self-sabotage. In the case of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has put humanity in a mind-boggling state of fear and uncertainty, a lot of us are in that fight-or-flight response. The only difference is that there are human lives at stake here. Millions of lives. Your friends, your families. So when you allow fear to get you to buy boxes of rubbing alcohol that you don’t need as much as the infected patients in the hospital, you’re committing a kind of mistake that puts others in mortal danger.

It’s so sad to think that we are already collapsing even when we’re not infected, yet. Some immoral creatures are hoarding N95 masks and reselling them for a double, triple, fuck-ple price. People are losing their minds over toilet papers. These unreasonable, fear-driven actions only make things worse, especially for those who already got the disease.

The virus is terrifying, and we have yet to come up with a one-size-fits-all solution. But panicking is never the right answer. If you succumb to fear, people around you will, too. And then we’ll all fall into a downward spiral. And then what should have been a manageable situation will result in more closures, shutdowns, and canceled events. And yeah, people will die.

Take a chill pill. Let’s not turn panic into another destructive viral infection.

Educate yourselves and the people around you about proper prevention. Wash hands regularly with soap and water like a normal person (if you only started washing hands after the virus, we can’t be friends). Don’t touch your face with dirty hands. I mean, ask yourself this: when did it ever become a legit necessity to touch your face? It’s just a useless habit and you can break it.

Practice proper sanitation. With or without the virus it is your duty to clean yourself. Eat healthy foods. Stay hydrated all the time. Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing. Don’t go to crowded places.

This whole COVID-19 situation is also a test on how far we could go as a community, on how our values would influence our decision-making in such a stressful time. You don’t have to donate millions to help (although you can). We have a long way to go before we can finally put an end to this. But just by acting rationally, you can actually help humanity get closer to the solution.

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