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Learning new things in times of crisis

Updated: Jul 6, 2023

Yes & Know By Aline Yamashita

Gosh, we went from the Covid-19 pandemic to typhoon Mawar in a heartbeat. The masks came off, and now the gloves are on.

So much cleaning to do.

Our home started survival mode after mom fell and needed hip surgery. I was actually glad she and my sister were at Guam Regional Medical City during the storm because I believed they’d be secure. However, the powerful winds blew in windows, so they were moved to the hallway.

Still, they were safe and had medical resources, as needed.

As I listen to storm stories, there are some take-aways. We have become dependent on the internet. Adults need it for updates and critical information. Kids need it for gaming, their way of life.

Those of us who have Pamela, Paka, Yuri, Omar and Pongsona clear in our memory banks, radio and KUAM were our survival lines.

Interesting that radio was hard to access post-Mawar. And till now so are some telecommunications. Like Covid, we try to escape the shadows of isolation.

We continue to be dependent on utilities. Concrete homes retain heat, making it harder not to miss fans and air conditioners. Water is such a basic need. As I chuckled at typhoon cleaning strategies, I thought of water-saving measures that can help conserve water after recovery. But I’ll probably bounce right back to washing dishes with flowing water.


We learned the importance of knowing where water valves and outflow locations are. Our water pipes burst and the outflow system got clogged, hence the gushing toilets and bathtubs. It was yucky.

Frankly, it’s amazing how people actually know how to be responsible, efficient homeowners. It takes much effort and organization.

We learned the importance of heeding weather advisories. Getting medication, gas, water, hygiene products, baby products before the storm definitely lowers some stress. Except when you had placed refill prescriptions beforehand and air delivery was delayed.

There were some things we already knew but were greatly reinforced.

People make a difference.

Maintaining respectful relationships makes a difference. Even though he was off island, Pete at Pacific Refrigeration, texted and called to help figure out issues. Todu Mauleg’s Luis Mesa sent technicians, Robert and Eziquielo, to help us solve our plumbing dilemma. Mega Drugs got us Eric’s meds.

The plumbing cleanup required carpet and flooring removal, which required a lot of work. Vince, Ryan and Ton cleaned and sanitized the rooms in a miraculous manner. I can never thank them enough.

Having media is essential. Some businesses resumed quicker than others. For all the reporters who kept us connected, thank you. For internet providers who kept us connected, you are a godsend. Even if we want to take a break from devices, it would be extremely difficult to move forward. The connectivity keeps us informed, safe, sane.

We applaud Mar-Vic and her team for getting the publication out. Her organizational leadership is stellar and to be applauded. Her June editorial was inspiring and hopeful. Had me crying and smiling at the same time. Thank you, Mar-Vic.

God holds hands. I miss going to early morning mass. When all is stable and it’s less risky to leave Eric and mom, I’ll return. For now, EWTN and the Catholic network feel the air. We give thanks for the grace of God that keeps us taking one step at a time. We’ll all get there one step at a time, hand in hand with each other with the grace of God.

Aline Yamashita is a mom, a teacher and former senator. She served in the 31st and 32nd Guam Legislatures. You may write to her at

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