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Moments of Discernment: Coronavirus reflections from around the world

Roots & Wings Editor in Chief Betsy von Atzigen collected these thoughts on the coronavirus crisis from Filipinos living around the world, from Manila to Europe and beyond.


I just realized today that only birds are free, they don’t care if that country is in lockdown. They are the only ones which can continue their routine. Virginia, Aarau

2020 is a leap year and no one imagined the arrival of COVID 19. The devastation and impact were felt globally like a black cloud over us, no place to escape. As a nurse, I’ve never been prouder of my profession, such resilience to serve patients with compassion and dedication. It will make our world a better place and have more evidence of human kindness. I hope all mankind slows down to appreciate family/friends and the small blessings in life. God is with us and will wrap us in His mantle of love. Be, California

"The wealthy rested in their comfortable homes." The virus does not choose but the suffering greatly differs. We all watched helplessly as the crisis unfolds. I felt that I am living a passive life. Just my frustration. Pamela, Zürich

I count it a blessing in disguise. We have abused our Planet, polluted air and water, and are responsible for the disappearance of many species. Suddenly nature springs back to life, people have more time for each other and their families. It’s time to rethink values, extend a helping hand to those who suffer. Blessed are the people who put their lives at risk in service. Might we come out of this as a better humanity. Gaia, Ireland

Year 2020, like all other New Years, began with much hope, festivity and plans. Little did we know that soon after the euphoria, the enemy that created havoc in the other side of the world quietly came creeping like tankers on to the next target. Silent, invisible, terrifying. Covid19 is a crisis that has a great purpose for humanity as well for nature, politics and the economy. The vast global population has somehow got closer to deep reflections and families are being confronted to stay together or stray apart? Susan, Berne

What is going now is negative and has given us the chance to find a way to turn around and use it in a better sense. Good solutions are at the door. What’s nicer is we start to appreciate small things. AnaBel, Milan

Following the imposition of the lockdown in Luzon, the less fortunate and marginalized were mostly affected, without resources to buy provisions during the Stay Home period. Majority live in cramped houses not ideal for social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. I hope that at the end of the pandemic, the government and private sector institutionalize programs to lessen social divide between rich and poor with job creation, housing, and medical assistance. Gloria, Moscow

Nothing is permanent in this world - only the love of God. Family is a precious treasure we can keep while prayer is the best gift we can give to all. Eppie, Vaud

COVID19 came like a terrifying lightning on a stormy day. People were not prepared for a pandemic of this magnitude. Everyone realized that we need a powerful hand to pull us through this crisis, that we need GOD more than ever. Suddenly everyone knelt, prayed and asked God for His mercy. Toots, Manila

Isolation and staying home help our damaged environment recuperate with quality air to breathe. I learned the value of people and loved ones whom we take for granted because if they’re infected and die from this virus, one can’t get near them and many people who don’t pray or never prayed learned to bend their knees and call on God. Marissa, Winterthur

The Filipino community members are extending help to those who lost their jobs through the filcom and enfid organizations. Perhaps there are more. Ronny, Malta

We try to live a normal life in spite of the crisis. We are frontliners and are available when the community needs our help. We feel blessed and grateful if we wake up in the morning healthy and can continue our work and daily routine. We value our life, our family and friends every day because we don't know what will happen tomorrow. Diane, Roermond NL

Millions of Filipinos are not aware of saving money for emergency. This corona crisis with forced quarantine led to more economic worries and insecurity. Those with savings stock on food for a month or more, daily wage earners depend on government support. Now is the time to give attention to poor communities. We in Germany, are lucky to have a government that’s very supportive of the basic needs of all. Lou, Germany

The experience is our journey of 40 days fasting during Lent. It has tremendously helped us stay focused and committed to our goals - more time for prayer as our Lord Jesus Christ taught us and living as "saved to serve God's Kingdom" here on earth as it is in Heaven. Jowicaja, The Netherlands

Most of the City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Offices (CDRRMO) of the Local Govt Units (LGU) in the Philippines were caught by surprise and seemed unaware. Foresight to Preparedness to Epidemic and Pandemic was overlooked and was never a priority. Gemalin, Batangas

I’m proud being a nurse with compassion and dedication to serve the community as frontliner in this pandemic. We value our health and life, our loved ones, and the entire world. Do your part, shelter in place to protect yourself and everyone to flatten the curve, to end the suffering soon and go back to our normal routine. Have faith in GOD, pray together to save us all. Enna , USA

WHY DID IT HAPPEN SERIOUSLY DURING LENT? Is it a reminder for us to reflect on our relationship with our CREATOR? We have sinned – corruption, abortion, nations fighting with each other, refugees don’t know where to go. Meanwhile leaders cooperate, families give time to be together, less pollution, better environment, doctors and nurses work hard though very risky. Many realize the presence of God. Feli, Barcelona

Once in a while a grand masterpiece must be created by God and His most trusted ally - Scarabaeus! Mother Earth revolves and life - down to its smallest molecule - evolves in its most natural form albeit with 'a tear and a smile.' In the midst of our suffering I hear, without doubt, God's soft whisper: 'Have courage, bear with me.' Zorina, Switzerland

Being in the middle of this lockdown brings fear to everyone. I’m blessed to stay safe but what is the point of all this? It is happening during Lent! We come together, pray the Rosary, become kinder, humbler, helpful, and grateful for what we have. It’s time to reflect, forgive, ask for forgiveness, reach out to our families and friends, for countries to come together to fight this virus, and value what we have. For now, this is the "new normal". Joanna, Aargau

COVID-19 is a wake-up call not to ignore, a call from heaven to take stock of our lives and ask: If I am lucky to survive this pandemic, what will I do with the rest of my life? Help abolish two actual poverties - poverty of the spirit. As spiritual beings, we need to connect with the Author of our lives and eliminate the other poverty. The poorest amongst us cannot keep body and soul together, no access to food, education, health care. I think a new world will emerge. Rachel, Stockholm

The corona virus made me realise how fragile life is, that it can be taken from you at any moment, so I have to be thankful to God for all his blessings. Fanny, Australia

Optimistic that I am, Easter heralds the remaking of a society and building of a new future. Betsy

Rawmags celebrates 124th National Day

Betsy von Atzigen, Editor in Chief The 12th of June ushered the 124th Philippine Independence Day celebrations nationwide. But with over 10 million Filipinos residing overseas since 6 decades or so, t

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