CATHERINE JOY G. BALATBAT
Virgen Delas Flores High School
If there is really one thing the world would just like to end abruptly other than hatred and poverty, it is the COVID-19 pandemic and the misery, anxiety, leashes it brings to each and every individual, rich, poor, old, young, those in the blue and white collar jobs, to everyone, even death to many families.
As this disease makes our daily lives miserable, thus the restrictions it grips us, the quarantine, the minimum health protocols, the wearing of face mask, face shield.
And so the time has come, after almost two years of being imprisoned with these restrictions and while we have yet to really drop off our face masks for good, today we start resting our face shields and we hope and pray we will not put them on ever again.
Each of us had our share of stories in having to abide to wear face shields even to our dislike and discomfort. Yes, it is against our will because of the hassle of putting them on every time we will go out in public. Remember that wearing face shield other than face masks has been ruled as among the minimum health protocols.
Not a single establishment where we would get our food supply, medicines, the malls, supermarkets, dine in and even park, order and go restaurants, the line for the government ayuda, the SAP, the LAG, the community pantry, the line for for GCash, Palawan, everywhere, face shield had been a must.
Who had not encountered to have left the face shield in his vehicle and need to rush back to wear them on because he cannot enter any establishment without it on his face. I recall several incidents when security guards will tell me that he can lend me his own face shield if I want but which made feel irritated because I know he is making a mockery of me and making me looks like a fool. “Gusto ninyo po Ma’am ipapahiram ko po sa inyo itong face shield ko”.
That was a joke and and an insult. Why would anyone allow himself to wear someone else’s face shield when it is body contact, our sweats and each one’s excretions that we avoid because it is how the COVID-19 virus transmits or infect others, our fellows.
We are left with no choice. Under the glaring rays of the sun or the cold night, we braced to walk towards our vehicle to wear our face shields. There are times we lost them and have to buy at the nearest store.
The P3.00-P5.00 most common and ordinary face shield bought in Divisoria is sold from P8.00-P10.00-P15.00-P20.00-P30.00 depending on the place or particular site or location you are. There are those which comes even in multiple color hard plastic available both online and along the sidewalks at P90.00-P150.00 each.
Half face shields are not allowed in all stalls and one must to wear the full face ones.
And so now, we feel we wanted to celebrate the foreseen dawn of our new normal, going back to the way we were before the pandemic, only with still our masks on. We take our face shields off. Throw them in our waste basket, burn them or clean them with water and soap and keep them for “possible future use”.
But, I am just wondering. Do we still need to keep them with us, would you still keep yours?