Hope is born this Christmas, just as it is every year.

This comes despite 2020 being the most unusual year in recent memory. Indeed, given that Filipinos are a uniquely hopeful people it’s not surprising that happier aspects of societal life are not taking a back seat to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is greater caution, of course, but the spirit of optimism is tempered and guided by concrete information that is available thanks to the efforts of dutiful men and women doing their best to fight the pandemic at every level. Thus, there is a place for all of the things that society can hope for as the human race nears its first year of dealing with the pandemic.

First, there is hope for a cure. COVID-19’s nature as a newly-discovered disease is a temporary one. This is a comforting reality at the core of all the other grim facts about the pandemic, a spark of hope in the middle of a cloud of uncertainty. This spark is what drives medical and pharmaceutical professionals all over the world to work round the clock to understand the virus and develop a vaccine that can fight it. The same spark can also serve as a source of hope for society that this trial, too, shall come to pass. A cure is on its way, and it’s only a matter of time, faith, and prudent action.

Second, there is hope for the economy to stabilize and rise again. Thanks to the growing amount of information on the pandemic, understanding of and preparedness for it is increasing throughout all sectors of society. Industries are able to formulate new best practices that allow them to operate while maintaining the highest levels of safety for everyone involved. With industries continuing to contribute to the economy, recovery occurs at a gradual rate and consistently brings society back to sustainability and progress.

Third, there is hope for Filipino professionals seeking growth or new beginnings. Conventional wisdom dictates that a pandemic is not a good time to make big career decisions or moves, especially since job security is a major concern in the context of cost-cutting. But the changing needs of the times come with gaps in the economy that new fields and industries will need to address. These new fields and industries will require willing and able professionals to get on board and get things running, and that type of environment is ripe for creating new opportunities for those who have lost jobs. Where some doors have closed, others will open as society firmly settles in the new normal.

And finally, there is hope for cooperation and solidarity. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought people together like never before, especially since its arrival did not postpone the occurrence of other calamities. The pandemic rages on despite the world having other challenges to deal with, and it is comforting to know that humanity has accordingly matched this with even greater commitment and openness to the task of surviving and thriving as one global community. Civilization did not back down from this obstacle; instead, it used the situation to learn and grow. Even if not on a cellular level, humanity evolved in a social and spiritual way to forge the path to a future beyond COVID-19.

May these seeds of hope carry the world to that future. May no one be left behind as a new sun rises on a better day.

Graphic elements by fanjianhua via freepik.com