Christmas Day is quickly approaching but more than a million Filipinos are still reeling from the devastation wrought by super typhoon “Odette.”
The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council reports the number of deaths caused by the storm at 177, with 38 missing and 275 injured. Over 1.38 million individuals have been affected, with 446, 939 families seeking shelter in evacuation centers.
Additionally, although repair crews have been working day and night to restore the services that have been disrupted by one of the more powerful typhoons in recent history, many Filipinos will be celebrating Christmas, maybe even New Year, without electrical power that is necessary not only to light up homes, but other essentials such as provide drinking water and reliable communications.
With relief operations, both by government and the private sector, having been launched as those who have been fortunate enough to have been spared from Odette’s wrath do their best to help the affected, it is going to be a busy Christmas for many.
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ in the coming days, let us take some time to remember that during times like these, it is better to give than to receive. Being in a position to give and help the less fortunate is a blessing that we should be thankful for. Those of us who can make Christmas a little bit better for our countrymen whose lives have been devastated by one of the more powerful typhoons to hit our country should consider sharing our blessings as we partake of the traditions that we have missed because of the COVID-19 pandemic in the next few days.
As much as we would’ve wanted a “normal” Christmas, it is not yet in the cards for this year. The destruction caused by super typhoon Odette, coupled with the worrying Omicron variant, means we will still have to celebrate Christmas differently. As affected by Odette do their best to get by despite the circumstances, those who can help will have to be a bit more considerate and generous. At the same time, with Omicron starting to rear its more-infectious head, everyone has to be a little more cautious during the gatherings and celebrations that will be held in the next few days.*