April 23, 2024

I am sure I am not the only one alarmed by the news that Covid-19 cases is spiking.
According to reports, there have been several persons afflicted during the past days, leading to some barangays being locked down. Is the sudden rise a sign of ineptitude on the part of our leaders? Or is it simply an indication that people are taking the pandemic for granted?
Not really, I tell you. People are trying their best to comply with safety protocols. As can be well observed, everyone is wearing a face mask, some establishment has its own makeshift triage, body temperature is consistently monitored, and alcohol (disinfectant) is made available on an unlimited basis. Yet, these measures are not ebbing the march of the virus. Why?
In our case, it is difficult to fully comply with the mandatory safety measures. For instance, the requirement that people must observe “social distancing” of about one meter from each other is impossible. Our sidewalks and the places where we walk measure less than one meter. How in the world can we comply with social distancing when the places where we are and are required to go to are so cramped up and with not enough space? Besides, we are social beings who long to be touched and to be close to our kin and friends. Social distancing, therefore, creates social issues.
Our health officials advocate frequent hand washing. This, too, is very difficult to comply with. Many establishments do not have water and if they do, they can ill afford to provide germicidal soaps on a consistent basis. True, alcohol may do the trick but it is not the same as washing with soap and water.
Then, there is the face mask that has become a normal part of our daily attire. There is the prescribed mask that prevents the virus from being transmitted from one host to the other. Have we examined whether the mask we wear is compliant with the prescription required to stall the pandemic? There are those who wear masks for the wrong reasons. Some wear it for fashion, some for kicks, some for compliance, and some for fun. Wearing a mask ought not to be taken for granted because it is one of the most effective ways of protecting ourselves against the virus.
Still, there are those who are pasaway. They wear their mask in the wrong way, leaving the nose exposed. They wear thin fiber to cover their faces, failing to understand that a rag does not provide any protection at all. They persistently bring down their cover to eat in public or spit along sidewalks. It is no wonder that cases are spreading. These are the people who make life miserable. Thank God, it is now a crime to be without a mask in public.
Funny, after almost five months of contending with and avoiding this very dangerous sickness, there are those who continue treating the situation as a joke, thinking that this precedent is a mere passing event that will lapse by itself.
No, my friends, the virus won’t go away just like that. It is not like swatting a fly. It is not like the common cold that cures itself after a few days of rest and a glass of calamansi juice. It is sturdier, rampant, and more persistent against medication. Until and unless a vaccine is found, it will be here to stay. And mind you, the expected vaccine remains to be a pipe dream. It will come, but not soon enough.
For the meantime, we have to continue fighting and surviving by breaking some of our bad habits. Positive thinking will not help. What will help is a concerted and a conscious effort to wear the correct mask the right way. Be knowledgeable of the places where you go, carry a pocket-size alcohol all the time, and police our own ranks. By this, I mean that if someone is wearing his/her mask the wrong way or is exposing his/her mouth; or someone spits in public, with or without momma; yell in public, call the people’s attention, scold, and tell the violator. If he/she remains adamant or pilosopo, pick up a fight.
Remember, it is better to be scandalized in public than to go down to be listed among those who get infected.