Thoughts on Life After Quarantine

May 8, 2020 | Edwin Arceo, Faith

Thoughts on Life After Quarantine

As this article was being written, the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) has been lifted in parts of the Philippines. Unfortunately, for the National Capital Region (NCR) and other major cities nationwide, ECQ is still in effect. The tentative schedule to lift the quarantine is on May 15, almost two months after it started.

I asked a few friends with four questions to find out their thoughts about this very important issue: What will happen after the ECQ is lifted?

Peter Kairuz

Peter Kairuz, The 700 Club Asia host

The first question is, “What will you advise people on how they can prepare themselves for the lifting of the quarantine.

Sir Peter Kairuz, the host of the late-night TV show, The 700 Club Asia and my boss at CBN Asia, shares that there are many beneficial things that we have learned during the ECQ.

First, he points out, is that our overall hygiene has improved. We have learned to take extra care and not touch our mouth, nose, and eyes after shaking hands or being in a public place. He adds that we should continue with this very good habit which is a very good practice but was never really adopted in our culture.

Another The 700 Club Asia host and a pastor at Christ’s Commission Fellowship (CCF), Pastor Erick Totañes, echoed the same thought.

Pastor Erick shares that as we eventually go back to our usual way of living, we must keep the lessons that we’ve learned while in quarantine. We’ve learned how short life is, so we must learn to value our time and use it wisely. Value every moment spent with our family. Prepare better by planning ahead, set priorities that will help serve our life’s purpose.

Papuri artist turned pastor and evangelist, Jonaver Luklukan, advises people not to be too excited on the lifting of the ECQ. He adds, “We need to be more vigilant in applying what we have learned during this quarantine period.”

Erick Totanes in Puray Rodriguez

The 700 Club Asia co-host, Pastor Erick Totanes during a mission to the Dumagat tribe in Puray, Rodriquez, Rizal

Sir Peter adds, “Let’s not be paranoid. We are relational and emotional beings and we need to relate to each other as we continue to live on our planet. This is vital for our growth, health, and even survival.” Peter sees nothing wrong in shaking hands when the quarantine is lifted, especially those who we really know and are quite close to us. We simply adopt a higher level of healthy hygiene.

The second question I posed to these people is this: “What should people do to minimize their fears and uncertainties for the future?” Here is what they said.

Pastor Erick emphasizes that we must learn to fully trust God. The Bible teaches that having faith in God gives us that assurance. Only God can secure safety and peace for all of us. And it is not just an earthly safety and peace, it is an out of this world, unexplainable, and indescribable kind that only God can give.

Papuri Artist and Pastor, Jonaver Luklukan performing at CBN Asia’s All for the One concert.

Pastor Jonaver adds, “We should all hold on to the promises of God, read the BIBLE diligently, and believe in our hearts that it is only JESUS that holds the key to our future.” Trustworthy words indeed!

Sir Peter adds that there are so many promises in the Bible for us to hold on to, including one of his favorites, Psalm 46:1-5 “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.

So much fear can grip us when we suddenly see mountains or buildings crumbling…like the result of a nuclear blast. The Psalmist writes: “We need not fear because God has the ability and the power to save us.” Many great cities have rivers flowing through them. These rivers sustain people’s lives by making agriculture possible and expedite trade to bring goods and services to other cities. Jerusalem had no river, yet because GOD lives among the people, the city was invincible.

Pastor Erick hopes that believers will be more aware of their calling in life. That people will be more aware and cautious about their health.

Sir Peter ends his answer to this question with these words, “So, brothers and sisters because GOD truly loves you, you can surely rest in the truth that HE will sustain, provide, and protect you.”

The third question that was asked is, “How do you see believers behaving after the quarantine?” Our friends’ answers are very interesting.

Pastor Jonaver is praying that believers all grew in wisdom and knowledge, of course, with the help of our Lord through our experience on the 60 days Quarantine.

Pastor Erick hopes that believers will be more aware of their calling in life. That people will be more aware and cautious about their health.

Sir Peter shares that our behavior should not change concerning our walk with GOD. One very important trait in a believer’s life is “FAITH IN GOD.” We carry our faith wherever we go and so we trust GOD in every situation in our lives. By faith, I don’t mean we go toward one direction and totally abandon all the safety habits we’ve acquired, no! Our faith tells us that though we face many other challenges, we have GOD who will always be with us. We have a GOD, who is a Father to us, who will protect us and provide for us. We can take comfort in what Jesus said in John 16:33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

The 700 Club Asia host believes that we carry with us that inherent belief that GOD who is for us will see us through trying times because He is faithful, and all His promises are yes and amen.

Pastor Jonaver encourages that everyone should be excited about what the Lord had done during the quarantine period.

He also adds that what should change is our intensity in sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That there is only one way to our Father in heaven and that’s through Jesus. We receive by faith that Jesus died on the cross to pay for the sins of humanity and on the third day was raised from the dead and is now seated in the right hand of the Father interceding for you and me.

The fourth and last question is: What should people look forward to after the quarantine?

Pastor Erick believes that we must look forward to life with an eternal perspective. It might be too much for everyone to grasp, but the reality is that we’re all meant for eternity. It is just a question of an eternity with God or without God?

Pastor Jonaver encourages that everyone should be excited about what the Lord had done during the quarantine period. Thanking God because were alive and we survived through HIS GRACE and MERCY.

Sir Peter adds that we live in a democracy, but we have forgotten how it is to freely live, enjoying the freedom that accompanies a democracy. We often talk about how people’s freedom and rights are suppressed and to a great extent, even controlled in communist countries. The forty-five days ECQ surely taught us all a first-hand lesson, appreciation and have come to know how truly blessed we are as a people and how wonderful and marvelous it is, though not a perfect scenario, to live in the Philippines… our beautiful nation where we, Filipinos are truly free!

He continues that since we suddenly received a crash course in “time management.” Perhaps after the ECQ is lifted, we will value our time and make sure it is spent wisely and productively. We will also be cognizant of other people’s time and if we can help it, never be late for an appointment again.

Sir Peter adds, “Let’s not be paranoid. We are relational and emotional beings and we need to relate to each other as we continue to live on our planet.

We’ve also learned that we all can live and enjoy simple lives. We don’t need to be out in the mall and on the street day and night. That we all have so many things at home that we’ve not given much attention and taken for granted. I’ve come to realize that I have so much “stuff” that I bought in the past and to this day, I cannot comprehend why I even bought most of them!

Sir Peter encourages also the value of “savings.” A better sense of why we should always be saving instead of spending what we earn. Another blessing is that home-cooked food is the safest and most nutritious meal you can fully enjoy and that we missed out on them for so long. There are so many innovative ways to save if we tried and set our minds to do them. I can give so many more things we have forgotten to appreciate but the day will not be enough.

To wrap it up, there will be many times of uncertainty when the quarantine is lifted. Regular adjustments would be the new normal. That is why we need to strengthen our faith in Jesus who is the ONLY one who can save. Read your BIBLE. Pray more often, if not unceasing. God can take your worries away if you will only trust in HIM

So remember what Sir Peter told us above, if you’ve been with somebody or a group of people, don’t touch your mouth, nose, and eyes. Practice healthier hygiene. God bless you!

Help us REFRESH others with the life-giving Word of God today!


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