Two things are obvious in this dystopic time when people cannot congregate for just about anything: no church worship services and no fiestas, either.
The juxtaposed tableau is deserted streets, ubiquitous checkpoints by men usually in green with face masks, choked traffic at major entry points and panic-buying, or panic-selling as one friend puts it,of some essential stuff.
In the first, of course, the devil must be having a big laugh. An American pastor has said that the devil watches as far and wide as possible ( no omnipotent attribute, theologians say) how Christians are going about their day. If he goes to church, the devil would curse, he says, with something like, “Damn, there he goes again.”
In that sense, these are the times that try men souls, indeed. On the other hand, more people are now praying, including pastors and priests because spiritual pressures are more heightened. Even the devil has to lose some.
In the second, people are disappointed the pigs they have raised for the annual rituals of public hospitality and private gratification will have to stay in the pen for a while. Perhaps, even longer, who knows. The usual early dawn mass slaughter of the livestock in a cacophony of wild shrieks and wanton stabs has been replaced by eerie silence and deep sighs.
The pigs must be laughing.
In the book “Animal Farm” by George Orwell, pigs were kings. They called the shots, to paraphrase one top politician, and everyone else should follow or else. The pigs in Orwell’s book, considered themselves moral and infallible and, therefore, always made the right decision.
They also changed policy as they pleased. At one time, the policy read: All Animas Are l Equal. Then it was changed to” Animals Are Equal but Some Are More Equal Than Others.” That’s because some felt they were entitled to something others were not. Years back, a former boss general used to invoke RHIP. Rank has its privilege.
Of late, netizens are complaining of some VIPs getting priority testing for COVID 19 while there were those who deserved to get it first as per policy. Some, who were apparently guilt-ridden for crossing the line, apologized. Their excuses were more the RHIP kind.
In the scheme of things, whether animals or politicians, the Darwinian theory seems to hold sway.
In this case, both the devil and the pigs are laughing.
In meantime, in the war versus the virus, the simple strategy can be summed this way: fight the invisible through the visible . Ergo, lockdown people, the visible, because the virus, the invisible dwells in them. In fairness, it’s hard to say if it’s working or not. But people are evidently chafing at the leash.
As I write this, South Korea is winning its own war against the virus by not resorting to the same strategy but by using science as its “invisible” sword in slaying the virus. Just about every scientist worth his salt is tellling the world to use the South Korean model.
How long this existential ordeal will last is anybody’s guess. Keeping the devil and pigs laughing long enough will not be good to the body nor to the soul. In the concluding chapter of Orwell’s book, the elite pigs and the elite humans had a huge party. Because now those who called the shots were both standing on two legs, they are both indistiguishable from each other.
During the Martial Regime, one American was quoted as saying that the Philippines was a nation of 30 millon some people ran by one SOB. Today’s dispensation is not supposed to be like that dispensation ; it seems worst.
When the virus of power combines with the virus of pandemic, who’s going to tell what’s next on people’s plate ?