2020 in the Chinese horoscope is the Year of the Metal Rat that was an apt representation of the stubborn plague that descended on humanity at the start of the year called the coronavirus disease 2019.
It was a challenge to survival that the current generation had not experienced before. A new war was waged by humanity to defeat the common enemy that devours lives.
Military might was useless in the battle where frontliners mostly wear laboratory coats and masks instead of fatigue uniforms and bullet-proof vests.
The cost in terms of lives claimed by the enemy, nevertheless, is as heavy as past global conflicts and had reached 12.5 million in just over six months.
In the Philippines, 35 valiant soldiers of the medical field succumbed to the lethal beast, while about 3,422 of them were infected.
As a tribute to their selfless deeds, President Rodrigo Duterte, through Proclamation 976, declared 2020 as the “Year of Filipino Health Workers”.
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go initiated the proposal to recognize the heroism and self-compassion of medical workers.
Rightly so, there is no other sector so affected physically and emotionally by the pandemic than those struggling in the field to save the lives of the progressively growing number of infected individuals.
Recognition should, however, be accompanied by more support from government in protecting and uplifting the lives of the warriors of the new order.
The world owes its future to these brave medics.