by Seneca Moraleda-Puguan
“Jesus, please let the coronavirus go away.” My five-year-old daughter, Callie, utters this every night before going to bed ever since the pandemic started.
She misses her friends. She is excited to invite people to her house but she couldn’t. She longs to play in a kids cafe where she can freely touch things and play with other children but she has to wait a little longer.
It’s been more than a year since COVID-19 changed the course of history and created a new normal. It’s been more than a year of wearing masks, physical distancing and just coping with life where there are deadly viruses lurking and ready to attack.
And the end is still nowhere in sight as surges and waves of infected still toss humanity. Time went so fast but surely the days were long and still are.
Fortunately, protection from the virus has been created and vaccination is underway. Rich countries have started inoculating their frontliners and citizens. Developing countries are following suit.
My 66-year-old mother who lives in Florida already had her first shot and waiting for her second dose in a few weeks. Here in South Korea, my husband and I might have our turn in the middle of the year. Many of my frontliner friends in the Philippines have also been immunized.
But we are still barely scratching the surface. It is still a long way before the whole world reaches herd immunity. This also does not take away the anxiety that everyone feels regarding the efficacy and safety of the vaccines created by different pharmaceutical companies.
Just here in South Korea, there have been cases reported of people having adverse reactions to the vaccines. Knowing that it takes years to research the viability of vaccines against viruses, the creation of the COVID-19 vaccines is relatively fast though there are consequences that we definitely have to face and accept.
But even with vaccines around, we are still advised to not let our guard down. We still have a long way to go. The virus still continues to attack and with the new, mutated strains, we are still vulnerable. Medical personnels are still overwhelmed and hospitals are still filled with the rising number of COVID-19 patients.
So please, let us continue wearing masks, observe physical distancing, sanitize frequently, and obey our government’s protocols. Discipline and good hygiene are still the best protection we have against the virus.
But just as we have conquered every endemic, epidemic and pandemic that we have faced, this too shall come to pass. Though the future is still blurry, the fog will settle and we will see the sun shining again.
It is my prayer that before the year ends, we can get to breathe freely again, hug our loved ones again, gather in groups again, ride the plane and travel again, live normally again, be free again. But for now, let’s continue to enjoy the time given us to spend with our families and make the most of every opportunity to rest and be grateful for the gift of life.
My daughter’s prayer hasn’t been answered yet but she is full of hope and she will continue to pray until she finally receives the answer to her prayer. Just as the song she always listens to says: “Can’t go back to the beginning, can’t control what tomorrow will bring but I know here in the middle is the place where You promise to be… As I walk now through the valley, let Your love rise above every fear” (Here Again by Elevation Worship).”
We are not alone in the waiting. Callie and I are confident in this, that we will experience the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living so we stay strong, take heart and we wait on the Lord until she finally prays “Jesus, thank You for letting the coronavirus go away.”
by Seneca Moraleda-Puguan