Pongsona vs. Covid

Someone has rightly said that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. Difficult times create great men and great men create cheerful reigns. With COVID-19, I agree this is such a terrible era, but we should not forget the potential and bravery that has always led us to the safe corner. Unfortunately, technology has made us too sensitive that even a single breach in our comfort zone feels like a hurricane. This lockdown, social distancing, fallen economy, and depleting resources may sound quite horrible but is it for the first time that humans has been challenged? Surely, the reason behind this is new but haven’t we fought such circumstances before?

December 8, 2002, Typhoon Pongsona hit Guam, and overnight static electricity exploded the main gas tank supply. Cars and shipping containers flipped and scattered over, utility poles laid on the road, expensive hotels lost their windows everything was just ripped from its very base. We had no power, no water, and gas had to be rationed out on the island. Businesses couldn’t open due to the low supply of gas; they couldn’t get much to even use a generator. Some places lost their communication line. To find out what store had supplies for batteries, candles, or butane gas, we had to turn on the radio station for updates.

No power also meant, your meats and frozen goods need to be consumed within the week to prevent spoilage. What to do when there is no power? At that time, we had a corded phone, so it was quite difficult to multitask as you couldn’t move around the house if you wanted to chat with them at the same time. Listening to CD’s or radio stations, reading a book, writing poetry, playing with your siblings, or any non-technological activity was to help pass time in the day. You were lucky if you had a Gameboy and enough batteries to use. 

Typhoons have always hit the island of Guam hardback in the day, we got used to no power for 3 months. With tourism as our main economic source, we have fallen many times, not only were jobs lost in the past, but some lost their homes.

There was no rule or law to tell us to Stay at Home. We just stayed home. Now look around you, don’t you have better resources? You have a power supply, internet connection, online deliveries, chattering, still, you protest? The past years the main complaint everyone had was not having enough time for this and that for home projects, and now that you’re stuck at home, you are bored?

COVID-19 allows you to get news on your fingertips, have a cellphone/tablet, Wi-Fi, Youtube, NetFlix, Facebook, Instagram, chat messengers, enjoy Dalgona coffee, enjoy ordering take-out or food delivery. You have a chance to learn cooking at home any time of the day versus hoping you have a recipe book on hand. You have a chance to connect with multiple friends at the same time versus three-way phone calls.

See the bright side and buck up your energies. If you survived in worst situations before, this is nothing that you cannot win from.