We have all done a lot of foolish things in our youth which we are probably not proud of, or at least cringe in embarrassment for being so reckless and fancy-free. Regardless of whether you were young and carefree in the 50s, 60s, 70s or even 80s, drugs, sex and alcohol were nothing compared to COVID-19 where it is literally a matter of life and death for the entire family, community, and society.
Irresponsible behaviour during this pandemic will cost you a hefty fine in Berlin, a visit to the hospital, and in some cases even your life. For all those COVIDiots out there who still think that COVID-19 is a hoax and the product of someone’s vivid overactive imagination or a bizarre conspiracy theory, think again and do your research. The stacks of coffins and mass graves in several countries are not a hoax, and definitely not a joke. The separation of families who have at least one front-liner, healthcare worker, or essential worker risking their lives day in and day out since February, is not a product of anyone’s imagination, and the family members will attest to it. None of the family members of patients confined to hospital due to COVID-19 are laughing.
Until now, the COVID-19 victims had remained anonymous to me, names and numbers on gruesome lists to check up on each morning. But now it is inching closer to home, and when it hits someone who matters to me, the veil of anonymity falls aside. The (mis)management of the COVID-19 situation in the Philippines has catapulted the country once again into the limelight for all the wrong reasons. A scathing article published on Spiegel Online about the Philippines under COVID-19 made me cringe in shame, proving once again that my decision to live in self-imposed exile for as long as the incumbent government remains in power was correct. (Click HERE to read the article, unfortunately it is only available in German).
When I woke up to a message on Sunday that a fellow Atenean, college batchmate, and friend was rushed to the hospital with COVID-19 related symptoms, the alarm bells went off in my head. The results for the rapid COVID-19 testing were negative, so we breathed a sigh of relief. Unfortunately, when the swab results came back, he was definitely positive and is now in critical condition, fighting for his life. Three days later, we stand by the family, preparing for the worse.
The hospitals in the Philippines are full, with patients being turned away in hoards. Whatever number of reported cases are published, they should be taken with a grain of salt because that is just the tip of the iceberg. What is worse, if you land in hospital for COVID-19, expect the bill to be astronomical due to additional handling and treatment fees. When did healthcare become a privilege instead of a citizen’s right? You can’t even die with dignity anymore if you have no money for the additional COVID-19 funeral / cremation fees.
I shook my head in disgust yesterday, in complete and utter frustration. Why look so far and to foreign shores for COVIDiots? They are growing right in my backyard here in Berlin. Hot on the heels of the anti-COVID-19 demonstration a couple of weeks ago when several thousand participants turned up without masks and completely disregarded social distancing, now comes the next issue: subway parties.
My daughter forwarded this Tik Tok video and I was positively horrified
It was uploaded on Saturday evening on Instagram and it went viral over the weekend, hitting the press by Monday morning. Pissing me off Monday night.
What part of the word pandemic did these people not learn in the past five months? Which part of the rule wear a mask at all times in public transportation? Mind you, there are three different videos circulating, of three different subway parties this past week in Berlin.
For once I can’t find the right words to express the true nature of my emotions. It is a mixture of fury and disbelief, aghast at the reckless insensitivity of the COVIDiots of this world, ranging from government leaders to irresponsible party-goers who can’t be bothered to protect themselves and their families. But also a deep sadness of everything that has gone horribly wrong in our societies this year.
Some countries are already in their second lockdown, others can’t even get a grip on the first, while still others refuse to believe. Let’s see who is still dancing and raving when that swab test comes back positive and you are lying in the hospital fighting for your life.