Contracting COVID in the performance of public duty
(Editors’ note: On Sept. 5, the author who is the vice mayor of Narvacan, Ilocos Sur announced that he was tested positive for Covid-19 even as he has completed his vaccination. While completing his 14-day isolation, Sanidad, through his social media account, has been appealing to the public to follow the minimum public health standards as the first line of defense against the Covid infection).
The Covid-19 Delta variant has crossed the Banaoang Bridge in Bantay, Ilocos Sur. It’s only a matter of days before it enters Narvacan. Unless it is already here.
I used to speak of Covid-19 objectively and clinically. But not anymore. I am now a victim. And I can and must speak passionately about it.
I continue to stay in a room alone. Visitors are not allowed. You are surrounded and attached to strange gadgets you don’t understand; have to endure injections, taking of blood samples, medicine by intravenous, etc. The only people allowed to see you are strangers dressed like space aliens.
You wonder if you are witnessing the same last dance that others saw before the end. The only encouragement is the thought that there are more who survived. You tell yourself you have to be one of them.
To those in active public service, whether as frontliners or officials, falling victim is bound to happen, sooner or later.
Yes, you can protect yourself, but it is never enough and not always. Momentary lapses or a single act of neglect will prove to be the mistake the virus was waiting for.
But we cannot and must not allow fear to paralyze us into inaction and cause a betrayal of our commitment to public welfare. It is the risk and hazard of public service, now multiplied a thousand times by the pandemic.
Viewing it from my present condition and perspective, I am certain that few can alone really afford the financial, physical, emotional and, spiritual strain it can bring to our lives and our loved ones suffering helplessly perhaps with a pain greater than ours.
The extent that government or the churches or other institutions can help are limited, even if they sincerely wanted to. Which may not always be the case.
In the end we must all come together and wage a struggle worthy of our forefathers who built this country, to save ourselves, our families, our people and the foundations of the nation we have learned to cherish.
For a while, I thought those were just a play of words. But lying here alone, in a strange room visited by people I do not know, but who are committed by duty to save the life of a stranger they do not also know, I am certain those words must and should spring from the bottom of all our hearts.