A survival guide on how to live with COVID-19

AN epidemic of pneumonia of mysterious cause materialized in Wuhan, China in December of 2019. As early as January 2020, a virus was sequenced and recognized as a novel coronavirus named SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. By March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) confirmed the outbreak of this pandemic with current numbers reaching over 20+ million individuals infected and approximately 700,000+ deaths globally (to date). This global pandemic has highlighted the necessity to comprehend how it is that we can avoid from being infected and why this may be different from the ways we often think about the containment of infectious diseases.

As we deal with the day-to-day realities of COVID-19, many of us are simply awaiting for the pandemic to end. But there’s a tormenting likelihood lurking underneath that there is a very real chance that SARS-CoV-2 could become endemic in the human population, much like influenza. If so, we could be living with COVID-19 for a long time.  As such allow me to share with you a basic SURVIVAL GUIDE ON HOW TO LIVE WITH COVID-19:

ECONOMIC SURVIVAL: The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) has reported that 7.3 million unemployed adults in April.  This means that we experiencing an all-time high of 17.7% unemployment rate.  The figure rose from 5.3 percent in January and 5.1 percent a year ago, which meant an additional 5 million people without work. PSA data also showed that 13 million Filipinos had jobs but were not able to report to work, representing 38.4 percent. Nearly all of them credited this disruption to COVID-19 regulations. Moreover, out of the 2,135 companies surveyed by the DTI from June 4-17, 2020, 25.9% have closed operations (including temporary shutdown), 52% in partial operation, and 22.1% are in full operation. The forfeiture of labor income will render into lower utilization of goods and services, which is disadvantageous to the continuity of businesses and ensuring that economies are resilient.

SURVIVAL TIP: Improving and diversifying your skill set to meet the new demands of a digital business economy will improve your chances of finding a new job. Whether you're building your own business or looking to get hired by your dream company, adding these skills to your resume will help you stand out like a unicorn in a sea of donkeys -- and best of all, you can learn them online. It has never been easier thanks to online courses, webinars, video tutorials and guides that are readily available online. Here are the in-demand skills you can learn and use: Coding; Chabot Development, Photoshop, Writing, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Marketing, Graphic Design, Project Management, Copywriting, Web Development, Bookkeeping and Public Speaking. In today’s digital economy (amplified by COVID-19), there are overabundances of unique online skills that can pay big money. And, with so many companies searching for freelancers instead of taking on the overhead of a new employee, the time has never been better to learn new skills.

PHYSICAL SURVIVAL: “Aanhin pa ba ang damo kung patay na ang Kabayo?”   (What good is the grass if the horse is already dead.) This Filipino proverb pertains to our capacity to secure economic relief in this time of COVID-19 but not at the expense of protecting our health. Most especially when over 4 months into the coronavirus pandemic, the reported caseload of infections in the Philippines jumped to record numbers in the past weeks. Lifestyle and Social Distancing factors may also determine if you’re going to get sick or remain healthy in this time of pandemic. Until a vaccine has been properly introduced into our health care system, social distancing, sanitation and health awareness will not only be a buzzword but will be our “New Normal” as well.

SURVIVAL TIP: Besides the recommended precautionary hygienic practices (e.g. use of facemasks, face shields, proper hand washing, alcohol disinfection, cough etiquette, etc.) we will have to change our lifestyle to help improve our immune system. This will include: (1) Avoiding cigarette smoking; (2) Eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables; (3) Exercising regularly, (4) Maintaining a healthy weight; (5) Getting adequate sleep; (6) Cooking meats thoroughly; and (7) Minimizing stress. Finally, when vitamins (most especially Vitamin C) became scarce at the local pharmacy during the initial peak of COVID-19 people started using herbal supplements, which means the “new normal” will include such food supplements to help boost the immune system.  Personally, I tried Ampalaya plus and Guyamax (produced by the Nattural Quality Corporation) & Curcumin, Piperine, Duhat and Malunggay (produced by the GlobaLeader Inc.), all of which greatly improved my overall health and wellness.

As a FINAL TIP, allow me to share with you the guidance of Pope Francis.  His Holiness emphasizes the importance of prayer, recalling how the Apostles turn to Jesus to save them during the storm (Mark 4:35-41). "Prayer helps us understand our vulnerability”, he says. “It is the cry of those who are sinking, who feel they are in danger and alone. And in a difficult, desperate situation, it is important to know that the Lord is there to cling to.  The Lord asks us from His cross to rediscover the life that awaits us, to look toward those who look to us, to strengthen, recognize and foster the grace that lives within us. Let us not quench the wavering flame that never falters, and let us allow hope to be rekindled.”

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For any personal comments or suggestions you may call 0917-4805585 or email me at csorita@yahoo.com.