HEADS UP! HOW ABOUT YOU FOCUS ON THESE FACTS THAT ARE SCARIER THAN GHOSTS AND MONSTERS THIS OCTOBER
Not to burst everyone's happy bubbles but even as we try our best to cope up with life in quarantine, there might nothing be scarier than reality--and the cold hard truth of this Halloween season is that things are not looking so good. So, we urge you to read up and arm yourselves with knowledge on these "spooky" facts you actually need to know of.
October marks Month Seven of quarantine in the Philippines, and it also introduces a different type of Halloween season. With the strict prohibition on cemetery trips, parties and trick or treating, Filipinos are finding other ways to live up to the traditionally spooky vibes at this time of the year with virtual costume parties and binge-watching classic horror films. But, if you don’t feel like going through all the trouble to organize digital hang-outs, or you don’t want to be kept awake by haunted dolls or murderous clowns in your sleep, you really don’t have to go too far to bring in the scary vibes.
In fact, you just have to watch the news, or go on social media to feel the crippling fear of all the messed up things happening around the world. Nowadays, as hours feel too long with the same old scenery of our own homes, we have all the time to think about the “real” scary things that will have us wishing we just watched a horror film to pass the time. At least, those monsters stay on-screen and won’t actually affect our daily lives.
But if you’re up for it, here are some things that will definitely keep you awake at night and thinking of all things surrounding humanity, mortality, and what it means to be alive at this particular time in history:
Lest we forget that the main reason we’re in this mess right now is because of the global virus that is COVID-19. As the rest of the world fight their own battles against the virus and all its implications, the Philippines pushes itself to survive while “waiting for the vaccine”. As of October 4, 2020, the Department of Health (DOH) has reported 322,497 total cases since the invisible enemy has entered the country back in January. On the same day, 3,190 individuals were tagged as new patients, adding up to 43,642 active cases.
Seven months in, and the country is still struggling to keep up with the demands of the New Normal, despite its efforts to re-open for the sake of economic stability. As we venture closer to the end of the year, there is still a lack of a solid plan on how we’re battling the constant rise of new cases. As an effect, millions of Filipinos still suffer due to unemployment, and the spike of daily cost of living for food, transportation, and the hardware required for online classes.
In the middle of this health pandemic, it was also revealed that P15 Billion worth of funds from PhilHealth was stolen by its officials. This is money required to be taken from the salaries of Filipinos every month to fund their own health insurance, and one of the supposed sources of financial support for the working class in case of health emergencies like–oh, testing positive for Coronavirus. Months into the investigation, and none of its officials have been officially held accountable yet. Instead, those who are found guilty are either asked to resign as if that solves everything.
2022 ELECTION DELAY
In September, a few politicians opened the discussion of delaying the national elections pegged in 2022 to a later date, due to the pandemic. If approved, this could have serious implications to the country’s democratic powers and would also present some constitutional challenges. Critics also argue that this might be an effort for incumbent officials to lengthen their stay in power, including but is not limited to the head of state. Thankfully, it seems that this won’t be actualized as the petition was immediately dismissed by the Senate, House of Representatives, and the President himself. However, the presence of people who would find for causes as this is a cause for concern. Will this be the last “campaign”? We have yet to see.
POLITICAL UNREST ALL OVER THE WORLD
We see it on social media everyday. Politics all around the world are in frightening levels of disorder as citizens and governments go head to head in a fight for rights, power, and justice. Hong Kong, Thailand, Chile, Lebanon, and so many more countries are in inner turmoil since the start of the year with pressing concerns from all sides. As this is happening, the US is also in the middle of their national elections, with the clamor of who the next President will be for one of the most influential global powers.
As we’re all connected by geography and globalization, all these happenings in other parts of the world will also somehow find its way to our shores in the Philippines. This is why it’s important for us to also be aware of political tides in other countries, and foresee how it will affect our alliances and trade in case of further conflict in the future. Also, in a worst case scenario, all this violence and dispute between countries might one day lead to a third world war. When that time comes, we have to know as a nation where we fit in the bigger picture.
Probably one of the scariest things to think about at this time is the state of our environment, and the seemingly irreparable damages we’ve done to our only home. Even if we solve all of the political problems of the world, and we conquer viruses and mortality, these won’t amount to much when the world is burning and experts are constantly counting the years we have left to make drastic changes in our lifestyle to save the Earth.
I’m sure you see the weight of global warming in one way or another. It could be the heat index getting higher and higher every few months, the extinction of animals due to inhabitable lands and seas, or the knowledge that the world now produces over 350 million tonnes of plastic waste every year. That’s waste that takes 1,000 years to decompose in landfills. Unless we find a way to reduce our plastic consumption exponentially, and unless major global brands and governments do their part to regulate its production, we might just be on our way to living out our worst dystopian dreams.
Feeling terrified yet? This fear goes beyond the Halloween season, and the nightmares we get from watching films like Annabelle, IT, and The Conjuring. These are real-world monsters with real-world consequences, and there might come a time where running will do us no good when all these problems come to us from all fronts.
Of course, amidst all of these problems and dangers all around the planet, as long as we’re alive there will always be hope for a better future to come. Let’s use this fear to fuel our passion and drive to make a change, so that the next generations would only have scary films and stories to keep them up at night.