Message from MPT South Technology Head Art P. Ong

The Changing Role of a Hero in the Pandemic

Fight 

“Strength does not come from the flesh, but from an unyielding will” (Baxia, 2019)

I remember last year when my message was about our new breed of heroes, who have risen amid this COVID-19 pandemic. Hoping then, that by around this time, our life will return to have some semblance of normalcy both at home and at work. No one expected that after more than 18 months, we are still uncertain as to how and when this will end. 

It was during this time that we saw the heroes of the new normal. Heroes who risked their lives to take care of the sick, heroes who voluntarily risked their health by manning our frontlines. These are the heroes who chose to be away from their loved ones just to ensure uninterrupted travel of motorists, essential cargoes, and medical frontliners. In the movies, there is always a sidekick for the superhero. But in the real world, we can collectively call heroes those who are working 24/7, those at the sidelines who are making sure that all of us are protected and safe while on the job. 

Our Toll Road business was hit hard last year, but it would have been much worse if not for the effort, sacrifices, and dedication of everyone. 

Protect & Adapt 

“Nothing last forever, we can change the future” (Alucard 2016)

Now in the middle of the 2nd year of this pandemic, we are equipped with more experience and understanding of the COVID-19 virus. Vaccines are now available with mass rollout expected within the year. I firmly believe this presents the best possible weapon against the pandemic. Other than reducing the more severe effects of the virus, what vaccination means is that there is now a way to slow down the spread of the virus. The development of more mutations will also be controlled, thus also reducing the possibility of having more infectious and deadlier variants.

The freedom to choose to get vaccinated or not is a right of every person and should always be respected. But with all the thoughts that come into one’s decision, we should also try to see that by protecting ourselves, we are also protecting those that are around us. Our families at home, our co-workers that we see and talk to every workday, our customers whom we serve on the road. 

Vaccinated or not, it should also be upon us to never waver in observing all the necessary safety protocols while the COVID-19 virus is still around. We have won the initial battle, now it is time to fight back with the available weapons and knowledge against this invisible enemy. 

And unlike in the MCU where we can travel back in time and retrieve all the infinity stones, the reality is that we have no other choice but to move forward. What we need to believe is that we have to further our efforts to keep ourselves and everyone around us safe, make more sacrifices to guarantee that something like this will never happen again. We need to adapt and accept the changes in the way we go about our daily lives. We may not be able to get rid of the virus immediately, but we can certainly change its narrative. Let us all be heroes to our family, our colleagues, customers, and communities.

Maraming Salamat at Ingat Po,

ART P. ONG
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