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On March 15, 2020, the Philippine government declared the first-ever lockdown in the Philippine Capital —National Capital Region and placed people under strict quarantine to prevent the spread of the covid19 virus throughout the country. More provinces were placed on lockdown in the days that followed, resulting in the cancellation of face-to-face classes in education and work. This was accompanied by the introduction of an alert level system and protocols that Filipinos must follow. According to protocol, no one except frontliners was allowed to leave the house, but local government units issued one quarantine pass to one family member, which could be used to go outside and purchase special needs such as medicine and foods.
After two years, some things have changed, including the strict quarantine that has resulted in area lockdown. What we are experiencing today has been dubbed as the "new normal" setup, in which only limited face-to-face education and work are permitted. These events occur as a result of the development of vaccine by various medical groups and later distributed to various countries, one of which is the Philippines. Despite the fact that some Filipinos had second thoughts about it, they still decided to get vaccinated. Perhaps because a vaccine card, which serves as proof that you have been vaccinated against the virus, has become one of the requirements for entering certain areas.
With all of this in mind, do you still recall the day when the government decided to place your community under strict quarantine and lockdown? Where were you when you heard that we needed to stay at home to avoid contracting the virus?
I can still recall that specific day. My group on PE subject was practicing for our supposedly folk dance performance in the mini forest next to our university. When I opened my Facebook app, I saw that the NCR had been put on lockdown, with classes and work suspended. I immediately shared it with my groupmates, and we all hoped that our province would follow NCR's lead and declare the same thing. I opened my facebook app again an hour after seeing the news about NCR and was surprised to see a post on our university's fb page announcing the suspension of afternoon classes. We jump because of the happiness that we felt during that time knowing that we will have an academic break. From one week break, it became a one month break to two months and so on and so forth up until the classes were back but in a different mode of learning which is the online class.
If I only knew that the supposedly one-week break would last two years, I would make the most of the time when things were still normal. I had no idea that I would spend nearly half of my college career at home.
After two years of online classes, we've completed our last semester in college. The graduation day is now approaching, and we are all hoping for a face-to-face ceremony where we can march, don a toga, and receive our well-earned diploma.
I am actually one of the thousands of students who first experienced the K+12 education curriculum. Who'd have thought that because of this government's program, my four years of high school became six years? In addition, our class was canceled due to typhoon, a volcanic eruption, and, of course, the Covid 19 pandemic that limited us to enjoy our last few years of being a student. I really can't deny that throughout my student years, there were indeed a lot of uncertain situations.
Despite this, the days, months, and years have flown by. What matters now is the present, and I'm relieved that things are returning to normal and I only wish for nown is a face-to-face graduation ceremony to commemorate that special day.