Struggling to Breathe

I can never forget the sadness and the eerie feeling the date March 13, 2020 has brought upon my country. Bombardment of Announcements from Schools and Universities about the cancellation of classes filled my Facebook newsfeed. I stumbled upon news after news about how Covid-19 has entered the Philippines. It was a shock to everyone. With people of different ages and backgrounds and economic status severely affected, it was disheartening. Everything and everyone was all over the place. The lungs were damaged. From front liners demanding a rest due to the burnout they were experiencing trying to save patients here and there to blue collared jobs slowly dismissing and firing their employees due to insufficient funds, it was evident that it wasn't just the economy that was put into lockdown. The mind, soul and body of each and everyone was in a lockdown and light still can't be seen despite being almost at the end of the tunnel. Families were grieving because death came knocking on their loved-ones quite early than expected. It wasn't just the Covid-19 patients who were struggling to breathe. It was the whole world who were struggling to breathe. The lungs were crushed. The air seemed too condensed because of the blood, tears and sweat everyone had to undergo. How can the lungs breath air again? Despite the ear-deafening silence and frustrating response of the government, everyone continued to fight no matter how difficult the battles were. The lungs forcibly tried catching its breath. It grasped for air as if there was no tomorrow like an athlete on a race track trying to reach the finish line first. Each and everyone surely had a struggle they must overcome. There were the Covid-19 patients who fought for their lives. Front liners who had to sacrifice being with their family to take care of the patients. People who fought loneliness due to the lack of human to human interaction. Students who were brave enough to continue this schoolyear despite the toll it would impose to their mental health. Everyone fought. Everyone tried. The lungs kept fighting. It never stopped fighting. But the thing about Covid-19 is that, even if its existence took millions of lives away from all over the world, it didn't take away our humanity. In fact, a lot of people made use of their lockdown time to figure something from themselves may it be a talent or a hobby or even a relationship. Patients who took their time to study about their health and rethink their lifestyles. The lungs are slowly recovering. Covid-19 gave birth to many possibilities in spite of its nature of taking away. Quarantine produced time everyone was asking for. Quarantine made us realize that even if hope is slim and suffering was inevitable, our cries can turn into breakthroughs. Our lungs-the world's lungs has regained its strength.

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Tiana Mar

Poet & Aspiring Author

Srebrenica, Bosnia & Herzegovina