As this covid19 hit the wold in its utmost it has caused so many changes at almost everything in the globe. Coping with the challenges that we are all confronted with the world and the geniuses / intelligence of man are in constant battle.

One of the many changes and coping that had caught my attention is the coining or forming of words following new lifestyle that the world names “THE NEW NORMAL” of which we must adopt the new way of living in safety. Protocols are implemented and followed strictly. The urgent and most important is to “STAY HOME.”

In the olden times HOME contains, holds all members of the family, and considers this as the laboratory of life, love, care, respect and security of every family and its members. Our forebears have this unwritten but well-lived protocol “STAY HOME”, of which it means: meals together, housekeeping tasks assigned to everyone from the oldest to the youngest family member, praying together at an agreed time and everyone must be present. Family time and bonding is a Treasure.

We can also recall at times ailments, diseases, illness, dental care were primarily treated at home utilizing traditional meds, diet, herbal and “hilot” were among the practices that keep man healthy. Food was simple but nutritious and healthy. There were no burgers and junk foods that filled the stomach of our ancestors. Fish, meat, poultry, vegetables, and fruits were fresh and free from chemicals and other artificial growing feeds to increase and hasten production. Rivers and seas were fresh and clean that provide humans a healthy bath and swim. Fresh air – free from pollution were guaranteed and there were vast lands for rice fields to give us rice.

During the years of progress and development the above conditions perished. Shall we call it the “NEW NORMAL”? The world has changed rapidly and drastically. HOME has become a place to rest from the busy world but not to see each other to care and be loved by each member for they could hardly meet each other in their own home. Food is produced, packed, and delivered by many business agencies. Rice fields were converted to housing projects and commercial buildings. We have dismantled the OLD NORMAL.

This pandemic is calling us to go back to the OLD NORMAL! Can we say we are asked to recover, reclaim the OLD NORMAL? These things we are doing now—obliging each one to stay home.

Pope Francis says:” I do not consider this as lockdown having to stay at home with whom we love. Isolation is what we seriously ill are experiencing in hospital. Stop saying that you are bored, upset, that you cannot leave the house, while everyone in the hospital wants to go home. So, thank God if you must stay, because despite everything, with money or without money, with job or without a job you are in the best place you could be AT HOME, surrounded by who loves you. Perhaps it is time to transform your house into a wonderful place of peace and not of war, of embrace and not of distance. Anyway, look with different eyes at the situation you are experiencing. Make your house a place of worship…pray, pray, meditate, thank, praise, and plead. Make your home a school: read, write, draw, paint, study, learn, teach. Make your house a restaurant: cook, eat, try and create recipes, grow spices, plant a garden. Make your house, your family, a place of love. Make the best possible use of this once- in-a- lifetime opportunity.

During this lockdown and quarantine months, it helped and did clean our environment, impelled us to use traditional meds for covid19 for it has no specific medicines. A treatment of hygiene, staying home, cleanliness, eating fresh fruits and vegetables, taking natural vitamins from fruits are the best way in treating this disease. The call then is to revive the OLD NORMAL of which those who were not able to experience this and call this as the NEW NORMAL!  

Sister Virginia B. Benito, OP

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