THE PASSERBY | When in a crisis

By Fr. Roy Cimagala
Center for Industrial Technology and Enterprise (CITE)
Talamban, Cebu City

DEFINITELY, when we are in some especially difficult
situation like what we are having nowadays with the coronavirus
pandemic, we should band together, close ranks and help one another in
any way we can.

Everyone, from those in position of government to the
lowest citizen of the community, should care for one another. Our
differences and conflicts in some issues should take a backseat, at
least temporarily. They can be attended to at some other time. Like in
the hospitals when there are just too many patients seeking attention
and admission, we have to do some triage.

When our very own life, health and survival of our society
are under threat, let’s work together to tackle the problem together,
and avoid bickering, complaining, fault-finding and the other
etceteras of negative activities among ourselves.

If we notice certain aspects of the problem to be
disregarded or are given inadequate attention, then let’s bring them
out to the proper authorities. But this should be done always in the
proper tone, with great delicacy albeit with utter clarity, especially
when the matter involved is considered urgent.

But if we ourselves can already do something about these
aspects of the problem, then let’s do it ourselves without
unnecessarily bothering the others or the higher entities in our
society. It’s part of the principle of subsidiarity that should govern
our social, collective life. The other two are those of the common
good and solidarity. It would be good if we once again review these
social principles.

When our government orders some drastic measures like
lockdown or quarantine, etc., to tackle the problem of the
coronavirus, we have to presume that things are studied well and that
these extreme measures are resorted to with good measure of
prudence—that is, to avoid a greater harm and damage to the people and
to our society in general.

I know that some of us may feel that such measures are an
over-reaction, and that they fail to consider the unpleasant
implications on some sectors of our society. Truth is they are indeed
a bitter pill to take. No question about that.

But if we consider what is happening in other countries
that are affected by the same problem and what they did to tackle that
problem, then we should understand why such measures have to be
resorted to.

Yes, no doubt everyone suffers, though in different ways
and in different degrees. That consequence cannot be helped. That is
just part of our human condition here on earth, whether we are in good
times or in bad.

That is why we should just help one another. Those who are
stronger among us, better positioned, favoured or endowed should give
a helping hand to those who are weaker and less fortunate. This is
where the social principles of the common good, solidarity and
subsidiarity should get into action. This crisis can be a wonderful
occasion to find new and creative ways to help one another.

Besides, if we are genuine Christians, we already know and
are assured that everything will always work out for the good. (cfr.
Rome 8,28) We already know that whatever suffering we would undergo
here can have positive, constructive and salvific effect on us. Christ
takes care of everything. What we cannot do, he can do it. What is
impossible to us is always possible to him.

So, we should not worry too much and waste our time
fighting each other over some perceived inadequacies, missteps and
mistakes that others, especially our public officials, may commit.
Let’s just be sport about everything. We cannot avoid some mistakes
and setbacks from happening. But these should not stop us from moving

Instead of focusing on the mistakes and raising
complaints, let us find solutions and offer some help. The very least
that we can do and can be done always is to pray and offer sacrifices.