REFLECTIONS : HAPPY ? NEW YEAR ! AUTHOR Teresita Bacani-Oropilla , MD
It seems like saying “ Happy New Year ” would be faking it . Already into the first months of the year 2022 , we are still being assaulted by the more contagious but supposedly less deadly COVID-19 Omicron variant . Would that COVID-19 forever be banished from our memories , our past , our present and our future ! That is however just wishful thinking .
Yet , survivors that we are , we do remember that many of us , nay , most of us , escaped annihilation . As we played hide and seek with this plague , a lot of us survived the trauma of the death of beloved ones . We are now seeking answers on how to avoid the added pain of not being by someone ’ s side when they and we needed each other the most .
Marriages and celebrations occurred , some taking on the characteristics of a masked ball . Others , risking the ever-present threat of contagion by defying this alternative , got their way , only some unscathed . Many put up with the mass anxiety , illness and isolation that followed .
Aside from celebrations , life went on . Beautiful babies were born , some now in their second year of life . They are thriving , giving joy to their parents , grandparents and relations alike . Although never hugged nor kissed , their pictures and antics are transmitted by computers , FaceTime , Facebook and the likes . Love reaches out through any medium .
Education at all levels has suffered greatly . Three- and fouryear-olds have accepted masks as a part of one ’ s wardrobe , much as socks are . To “ school ” or “ not school ” can enrage both parents and teachers alike .
What about the would-be professionals ? They now interview for positions via the “ cloud ,” saving them travel money and the risk of infections through travel . It is not satisfactory to many interviewers and interviewees , but it will do for now .
Considering that the past year we have had rainbows from gentle welcome rains , but none came with tornadoes , earthquakes , fires , and man-made threats of nuclear annihilation .
Homo sapiens , the wise , knowledge-endowed , innovative , always found ways to dodge or conquer their enemies . That is what we are . So , we march on knowing these too , will pass . Next year we may be able to add and say with confidence the “ Happy ” before the “ New Year .”
Dr . Bacani-Oropilla is a retired pediatrician and psychiatrist .
20 LOUISVILLE MEDICINE