September 27, 2023

The Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Against Covid-19 has reported that the infection rate in the country is going down.
It also asserted that contamination of people in the Philippines is lessening and we are past the critical level. It attributed this to the aggressive vaccination being undertaken among the population.
With this announcement, we have gained a measure of freedom against the pandemic. Proof of this is wearing of face shields are no longer mandatory.
Although we are still required to wear face masks and observe social distancing, we are granted some liberty that we were barred from exercising during the height of the contagion.
We can now go to restaurants and movie houses, travel to places where we want to be, go to resorts and beaches to enjoy the company of our friends and family, laugh, and eat together.
But wait! The small victory that we have gained against the Covid-19 might be short lived. There is a pronouncement by the Department of Health that there is a variant of concern that might lead to another outbreak.
Scientists have found out that the virus mutated. The mutated strain was discovered in South Africa. They call the new variant Omicron. They speculated that the Omicron is more transmittable and is resistant against vaccines, therefore, deadlier.
Already, countries are closing their borders to forestall the new strain from entering. Notably, Israel has shut down its borders. If the new variant is as deadly as it was reported, it is not far-fetched that other countries, including the Philippines, might follow the example laid down by Israel.
God forbid, but if the new variant is now here, we might revert to the old protocols and restrictions during the height of the pandemic. This means no gathering, no holding, no embracing, no kissing, etc. Any hard lockdown means fewer liberties and no freedom.
The country cannot afford another lockdown. We have suffered enough. Another round of quarantine will be insane. Not only that, another lockdown will surely bring our economy to its knees.
So, before Omicron gets the better of us, the best way to prevent its spread is to follow the minimum protocols imposed by the authorities.
Still, the best way to avoid contracting the virus, in any strain it may present itself, is to wear face shield, wash hands, and observe social distancing. Constantly following these three basic rules is far better than being infected by Omicron.