COVID 19 Reflections

Two first-term Columban Lay Missionaries arrived in the Philippines last February 22, 2020. On February 27, they traveled to Davao City to begin their six months of full-time language studies (Binisaya). On March 11, the World Health Organization had declared COVID-19 a pandemic. On March 15, a modified lockdown had been declared in the different provinces of the country. Barely four months in the Philippines, Latai and Mereani share how they are coping with all the uncertainties.

Latai Muller (L) from the Kingdom of Tonga and Mereani Nailevu (R) from the Fiji Islands, while having an online language class in Davao City.


Latai Muller

I have been here in Davao City for three and a half months learning the local language (Binisaya). Facing this pandemic and experiencing lockdown in a place I am barely familiar with, I am hit with fear, restlessness, feeling worried and anxious, and I miss home. Experiencing this global crisis away from the comfort of my home and family, have caused me to panic, even angry. 

Having to deal with the newness of everything is limiting in itself. Having to deal with the restrictions to stay indoors,  wearing masks, frequent handwashing, physical distancing is irritating and upsetting. I can’t help but ask, ‘what have I gotten myself into?’