December 8, 2022

The World Health Organization has likened the Covid-19 pandemic to a tunnel.

The beginning is the entrance that leads to a dark cavern where what lies is uncertainty. The end is the exit where, after traversing the long and circuitous path, the light shines.

After almost two years of battling the Covid-19 pandemic, the WHO stated with confidence that we are almost at the end of the tunnel.

But although the light at the end of the tunnel is in sight, we remain to be inside the dark tunnel. Thus, WHO has warned the uncertainty remains and there is no room for complacency as the end might only be an illusion of sorts.

Yet, most countries are taking the advice of the WHO lightly. For instance, in the United States, President Joe Biden has announced that, as far as his country is concerned, the pandemic is over. Consequently, health protocols have been dropped and life in that part of the world moves on as if there was never an ailment that killed so many of its people. It is the same with other European countries where due to their own discernment, they no longer yearn for any measures against the virus. This, in itself, might do them in.

By examples shown by first world countries, the Philippines, through its health leaders, is posed to follow suit.

The first order in the agenda is to strike out the most important protocol to control the pandemic by issuing a regulation removing the use of face masks. Yes, in the entirety of the country, there is no longer any requirement to use a face mask provided the non-use is in an open space or other areas where ventilation is good and airy. This means freedom. Oh yeah? Whether this freedom will work favorably in the next days to come remains to be seen.

Notwithstanding, we, Filipinos, remain to be vigilant. We continue to wear our face mask disregarding the advice that it is safe not to wear one. We continue to be wary, knowing that the announcement is based on political considerations rather than on health standards. We cannot be lulled into a false sense of security because anytime soon, the virus might mutate and therefore, put us in a worst situation than before.

And so, we opt to live under the “new normal” where the mask remains to be the norm. When it comes to safety, there is no exception.

We must take our guidance from the WHO which is the primordial organization that monitors the development of the Covid-19 virus and its effects worldwide.

The situation at hand is not a matter of politics but is one of health. Indeed, with the prevailing situation, there is truth to the adage that: “It is better to be safe with worry than to be dead and sorry.”

Wearing a face mask is still the simplest, cheapest and best way to preserve our lives against the virus. Because at the end of the day, even if the light at the end of the tunnel is within sight, it is not the same as leaving the tunnel.