A personal reflection on the current pandemic (and why we ought not to worry)

Disclaimer: Long post ahead

It’s been a while since I wrote my last blog post (as usual, I got busy with work) but now I am currently at home, really with nothing to do and I thought, well now I have no reason not to write a blog post.

Everyday, I read the news and it gets worse and worse. I remember about a month ago, when the Philippines wasn’t in panic yet and the rest of the world are starting to like China, Korea, Japan, etc and I thought to myself, why are we so relaxed? Of course it’s because we have that mentality “wala pa naman eh” (“it’s not here yet anyway”). Well now it’s here, and perhaps we can take a moment to reflect.

We don’t know the importance of things until it’s gone. 

Daily Mail .co.uk
A busy New York pedestrian (Source: Daily Mail UK)

Right now, the Philippines is under a state of calamity and we are ordered by the government to stay home for a whole month. And it’s not just our country, it’s pretty much the whole world. Everyone is asked to do social distancing, companies are asked to shut down operations, restaurants and shopping malls are all closed, the hospitals are open but are not able to accommodate everyone due to the limited doctors, nurses and facilities. If you take a look at history, this is how it’s like when there is war. Thankfully, we don’t have a physical war but I think its also quite scary that in a way, we are like in an invisible war.

If you are familiar with the Enneagram Personality Test, I am a Type 7. (I highly suggest you take it to get to know yourself better…and also why not? You have a lot of free time right now). Here’s what Type 7 is in a gist:

Enneagram Type Seven
The Busy, Variety-Seeking Type:
Spontaneous, Versatile, Acquisitive, and Scattered

True enough, I am such an enthusiast that even when there is literally a world pandemic, I still choose to see the bright side of things. It’s also true that I like to stay busy (imagine how horrid this 1 month of no work is like for me).

With that, I’d like to share some of my personal insights and realizations.

1. We are all too busy making a life, that we forget to make a living

While everyone was focused on the virus for the past weeks, I (as a businessman) was focused on the hit our economy was going to take. I was scared that eventually, everything was gonna shut down. I thought — What about our sales? What will happen when people don’t buy our products anymore? What about our people? How can we give them salary? How can we survive? 

I realized that it’s not just in this time that I was scared of all those things– it was pretty much everyday. And I believe this is not just my mentality as a businessman, but also the mentality of all people who are working. There is an unsettling reality that when we stop working, we stop surviving. Well, now we have no choice. Since it is a health issue that can’t be solved just like that, we are forced to stay home to help stop it from spreading.

What have I seen the past days?

  • A person who was too busy to work out before is now jogging everyday
  • A person who didn’t have time to do art is now painting and drawing again
  • A person who didn’t get to spend some much time with the kids now have unlimited time with them
  • A person who never took a break from work in years is now forced to stay home
  • A person who hasn’t read a book in a long time is now reading again
  • A person who loves to write but never had the time to is now blogging again (hello ME!)

LESSON: We can do all of these things even when there is no pandemic. In fact, we should be doing these things because it is a way of refreshing our mind and growing ourselves outside of work.

The one thing we can’t bring back is time, and what we do with our time matters the most.

2. The need to assure reserves for adverse times

It’s a fact that we are relaxed as we can possibly be, continuing to live our daily lives and routines until one day we wake up, and suddenly we are in a situation that we are not prepared for.

In our company creed, we recite that we need to assure reserves for adverse times. Some people might think this about big companies: “why is this company trying to earn more and more, even when they already have a lot of sales?” A smart company will know how to SAVE during the good times because you’ll never know when the market will crash. Well, this is that adverse time.

This goes beyond companies. This goes to us as individuals. Take a look at our situation now. This may give us a painful reflection of “where did I spend all my money?”. True enough, we don’t know the value of things until they are gone. We can never be too sure of tomorrow and that is why we need to SAVE SAVE SAVE, even when it is the good times.

As a businessman, I have learned a valuable lesson — it doesn’t matter how much money you earn. It matters how much money you save (to then in turn make it grow again). 

3. Perhaps the world is resetting

Milan - BI.jpg
A busy street in Milan (Source: Business Insider)
Shanghai - business insider.jpg
Shanghai Multi-Lane Highway (Source: Business Insider)
Japan train station - Business insider.jpg
Japan Train Station (Source: Business Insider)

These are just some of the photos I have been seeing going around in social media the past few days. Some may find these photos unsettling, but I personally find them refreshing. Perhaps this is a sign from the world that we need to take a break so that Mother Earth can take a break.

Imagine how we get our daily sleep a few hours a day, but the truth is, Earth has never gone to sleep. Somewhere in the world, people are burning trees, cars and factories are emitting pollution, and the list goes on.

I saw this post on facebook (words from Gutpreet Gill) and I couldn’t agree more:


Lesson: We have 1 planet and 1 planet alone. This is the planet of the past, the present and the future generation. Maybe companies should be more responsible in their carbon footprint? Maybe not just companies, but us a individuals too? Maybe we need a few days in the year to take this same kind of break? Just my two cents. 

We have a responsibility that goes beyond ourselves and our family. We have a responsibility in this world for the future generation.

4. Turn onto God and have faith

Millennials for Christ FB.jpg
Source: Millennials for Christ Facebook

One of the best things I can say during this time is that I am seeing people praying and turning to God. I’d also like to say that we shouldn’t be afraid in these uncertain times.

To those who haven’t read their Bible in a long time, you might want to start reading again. To those who haven’t prayed in a while, speak to God and he will give you comfort. To those who are scared, I’d like to remind you that we have a big God that has control of all things. 

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Thank you for reading and know that we will get through this.

We are all in this together. (Source: High School Musical)