WELCOMING 2022 WITH RENEWED ASPIRATION
The threat of the Covid-19 Omicron variant notwithstanding, let us usher in 2022 in high spirits as we continue on with life also full of aspiration in the new normal.
The excitement for a better year ahead, however, should not mean complacency on the minimum public health standard, as we do not want the undesirable events such as surging Covid-19 cases and deaths that unfolded last year to continue or to recur.
With another highly contagious Covid-19 variant hounding governments all over the world, the protocols that are being imposed upon us for almost two years now and which we eventually adopted as a way of life must be sustained until the World Health Organization has declared that we are safe from threats of the pandemic.
The easing of travel restrictions and the downtrend in Covid-19 cases, for example, are not indications that the pandemic is over. In fact, it is far from over.
Let us include achieving herd immunity or population protection as one of our aspirations for the New Year and help make it happen by our continued vigilance on the invisible enemy that continues to lurk in our midst.
On the part of the government, we hope the best practices in Covid response that evolved during this pandemic will be sustained or adopted to prepare us for any global health threat in the future.
A case in point is the regulation on the entry of visitors in tourist destinations to allow the them to enjoy a place without compromising the well-being of residents.
In Baguio City for instance, we hope concerned offices use the online visitor registration platform as a starting point to finally determine the maximum allowable number of people who could visit the city and up to what period for contact tracing and other purposes.
While it might not be the perfect and sole program to be used in establishing figures, the online platform nevertheless is a tool in coming up with baseline data and in determining an area’s “carrying capacity”, a buzzword in tourism regulation pre-pandemic.
In the latter part of 2021, we have seen how 4,000 or so people have slowed down traffic flow in the city, an occurrence every Baguio resident must be wanting so much to become a thing of the past.
And since we are still in the midst of a pandemic, we hope a definite limit on the number of visitors will be determined as we continue to grapple with the threat brought about by the Covid-19.
We understand and we do not want to put a damper on the initiatives being done to help revive the local economy that undeniably suffered from the shutdowns that were implemented.
At the same time, we do not want another series of lockdowns due to surge in Covid-19 cases that can be prevented by regulating the number of people that can be allowed to visit a locality as a means of preventing the spread of the virus that causes the infection.
As we welcome another year under a pandemic, our aspiration must be renewed: That we continue to keep our faith and overcome the challenges that come our way, as we continue to learn from the lessons left by undesirable events that occurred in previous years.