January 29, 2023

UNCERTAINTY ONE YEAR AFTER

This month marks the first year Luzon was declared on a lockdown to stem the spread of a deadly virus days after the World Health Organization has declared Covid-19 a pandemic.
The lockdown also came after the Department of Health recorded on March 17, 2020 a total of 187 cases – a number that has continued to rise exponentially since the first confirmed case in Jan. 30, 2020. Today, cases reached close to 650,000.
What the public thought would be a lockdown for only two weeks has been extended until we have reached 365 days under various forms of community quarantine.
For one year, we have faithfully abided by the rules imposed on us by the government, such as staying at home, following a schedule when doing our errands, adhering to minimum health protocols, and other restrictions imposed by local governments such as curfew, liquor ban, and restricted gatherings.
In the process, our daily routines have been disrupted, many lost their jobs, small and big companies either had to downsize or shutdown, our social interactions have been limited, and worse, our mental health have also been adversely affected.
Today, the world is slowly easing up to allow ailing economies to recover but we continue to face uncertainty. Here at home, we have not seen a slowing down of the virus. Instead, a lot more are getting infected – not just of the original variant of the Covid-19 but of mutations that if not controlled early, could give rise to another health and economic crisis – something that we all do not want to happen as we have not even recovered from the current one.
What is disappointing is not only are we in deep debt but also, we have not even heard from our leaders of a concrete recovery plan where even with the virus in our midst, we are able to get back to our daily lives.
It is also saddening that the public gets all of the blame in the exponential rise in cases but politicians, the showbiz personalities who have defied minimum health protocols have not even been admonished.
The public has made clear their sentiments submitted in various platforms. What we want now are concrete plans; enough with vague, fragmented, and inconsistent plans.
Once and for all, we call on our leaders and policymakers to come up with unified, doable, and practical plans so we can all move forward in one direction.
The private sector, think-tanks, experts, and the public in general are doing their share, now we ask: Are our officials doing enough or are they using this crisis to propel personal and political interests?
Only when there is clear direction can we move on from this crisis. If the people we choose to lead us continue to dilly-dally, blaming, and politicking, then we are bound to remain in this quagmire.
As a nation, this is a time that along with our vigilance, we should begin holding our government leaders accountable for their actions during times of uncertainty.

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