THE end of the war against COVID-19 is nowhere in sight yet.
Experts are saying that the development of a vaccine against the new coronavirus will take at least a year and a half. The development of such vaccine will effectively signal the end of this war.
Other measures such as physical distancing and quarantine appear to be effective in our current war against COVID-19 as they were effective as well during the 1918-1920 Spanish flu pandemic.
While we all hope that quarantine, physical distancing, and other similar measures will soon be relaxed without compromising the health and safety of the people, there is no denying that, at least, until a vaccine against this new coronavirus is developed, there should be new norms not only in our social dealings but also in all aspects of our personal and national lives.
We need to plan and prepare on how we will go about doing things and accomplishing objectives given the current COVID-19 realities.
The challenge for schools is a good example of the need for new norms. Schools should now focus on how to proceed with their education mandate with significantly lesser physical interaction than the pre-COVID-19 era.
Online learning cannot be the general norm particularly because of the current technological state in our country. Education should be accessible to all. Given as well the economic and social conditions in our country, online learning will not be accessible to all students.
Educators are now faced with the challenge of developing remote learning modes that are accessible to all students.
The online learning mode can still be pursued for students who have access to Internet. A different learning mode will have to developed or designed for those who do not have access to the technology required for online learning.
Having new norms, like new education norms, is undeniably difficult. However, having them is also undeniably necessary if were to really score a victory in this war.
Our failure to develop these new norms will mean disaster effects that are far greater than the direct effects of COVID-19.
Focusing on the “why” of what we need to do and accomplish will help us figure out the new “how” that we need.
Let us all accept the fact that, at least, until a vaccine against COVID-19 is developed, the “how” that we have been all used to will no longer work and will, in fact, result in our outright failure.