Senator Nancy Binay is probably thinking that the novel corona virus pandemic is here to stay. I hate to frustrate the expectations of the Madame senator, but this pandemic has an ending which experts expect to come sooner than later. Philanthropist and Microsoft founder Bill Gates is fairly optimistic that a vaccine will roll out of pharmaceutical laboratories one to one and half years from now, and governments are surely optimistic that such a solution would largely solve this problem.
Of course, the vaccine would just increase our chances of surviving a corona virus infestation but it would surely not guarantee that everyone lives just because of this vaccine. Like any other viral infections, the novel corona virus would lose its “novel” tag eventually and become like any other virus out there living and seeking out new hosts in our biosphere. It will continue as one of the most severe viruses humankind has ever known but the hoopla about it would eventually ebb over time.
That explains why I really don’t get it why the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) should be asked by an esteemed senator of the land to create a bluebook of this so-called “new normal.” First, we must seriously look at the veracity or the truthfulness of this term “new normal.” What does it mean when you say “new normal”? Any person asked would probably say that the term means a new lifestyle or new ways of doing things.
For this to be rather an important aspect of someone’s life, one must see if wearing face masks or having disinfectants in you would be considered “new.” During the 19th century shortly after the Spanish flu pandemic, people practiced hygiene and doused their hands with sanitizers. Suffice to say, people would probably bring back the “old Victorian practices” of perfumed hands and use of hankerchiefs which became simply out of fashion for reasons unknown.
In my estimation, this “new normal” is basically not as profound, as substantive and as wide-range as many people expect. The only thing that we would expect to probably affect our lives are the sight of checkpoints which, sincerely, if you are a Filipino, you are already accustomed to it.
The “new normal” would probably be more violations of human rights, more constrictions of human civil liberties and more ways for government to prosecute noisy oppositors to its inept governance. Is this the things Senator Binay wants the IATF to define and include in a bluebook?
Let us just remind Senator Binay that our lives are already defined by current laws and the constitution. The kind of life the Filipino people chose is already imprinted in every single provision of the 1987 Constitution and subsequent laws created by Congress. There is nothing more to define except of course if Senator Binay wants checkpoints as perennial social sights or more arrests made of people not entirely convinced of what government is doing.
This “new normal” is not “new” and definitely not “normal.” A society cannot live in a prolonged state of destabilization or emergency. Of course, power hungry individuals of governments would like to see a more destabilized country because that justifies the use of draconian measures, as described by the DILG Secretary Ano. And one obviously knows that behind every draconian measure lies the propensity for corruption and wanton pillage of public funds. That was exactly what former Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos did during this time which led to economic misery to all, death of thousands and the prostitution of our politics and of our bureaucracy.