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By Cl. Conrad Vamilat, SDB

Port Moresby, PNG, 14 July 2020 -- Since the coronavirus pandemic caused the lockdown from March until the new normal in the Philippines we only stayed in the campus and only assigned brothers were going out for community errands. It was quite depressing for me because the situation was unusual. Classes were suspended as expected, church services were prohibited together with other public gatherings. Amidst the pandemic, Pio Ehava and I were able to leave the country on June 21 through the repatriation charter flight sent by the PNG/Marape government.

All the passengers who came from the Philippines underwent 14 days quarantine after our arrival at Jackson’s International airport. Majority of the passengers had their quarantine at the Gateway hotel and afew of us had ours at the Ela beach hotel. Everything was paid by the government including the flight, hotel and food and lodging. There was not much to worry about but to monitor our body health for any covid19 symptoms like fever, dry cough, tiredness, difficulty breathing, chest pain, loss of speech or movement, sore throat and other official symptoms.

No man can live as an island but in this situation of isolation we have to bear the pain of being lonely. However there were opportunities of making personal schedules to keep busy during the two weeks isolation. The schedule itself helped me overcome the boredom of being lonely. Boredom is common feeling which unsatisfied by an activity. It may occur when you feel energetic but have nowhere to direct it.

As I was reflecting on the continuous lockdown and quarantines that we underwent, it dawned on me that life is so important. Human as we are we have three fundamental inalienable instincts which are life, love and power. We do stress more on life. Since there is no vaccine for the covid19, our natural instinct tells us to preserve lives. As human beings, we tend towards life and not decay, destruction or death. If we have the power, we would love life to continue unperturbed, desiring continuity rather than stoppage. This is the fundamental reason we or medical experts strive to invent medicines and conditions that make life suitable.

It seemed the world is working together to fight this pandemic. There is no vaccine and we are highly required to combat it through the safety measures given by the government and the United Nations consisting of washing hands regularly or sanitizing and social distancing and quarantine for those who have entered dangerous zones of covid19 or those who have travelled abroad.

Therefore our quarantine was not a waste of time and money but it was for the common good and the safety of our people. I thank the Government for providing such tremendous support for the free flight and board and lodging at the designated hotel for quarantine. Most importantly to God who kept me safe from covid19. Tenkiu tru..!

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