COVID anting-anting? Not!
CTALK - Cito Beltran (The Philippine Star) - September 30, 2020 - 12:00am

Have you noticed that small plastic contraption that President Duterte, Sen. Bong Go and many Cabinet members wear around their necks? It is reportedly a device that is supposedly an anti-Covid device made in China and as some stories go, a bunch of them were brought to the Philippines and given to our government officials. It did not take long for people to notice the gadget and soon, many more government officials, the military, PNP and private individuals bought the gadget for themselves. As far as I can tell, there is no science and no article supporting the efficacy of the gadget nor is there anything online that explains how it scientifically works. Unfortunately, when a President and his trusted shadow models the gadget in public, people tend to assume that: “If it works for them, then it should work for me.” One of my mechanically inclined friends wears it and when I challenged the authenticity of the product his only response was: “Libre naman eh (It’s free).”

In our desperation and fear, this is where we are now. We all have our poison pill and we are willing to try almost anything if we believe it can boost our immunity, prevent being infected with COVID-19 and make us healthy and safe. Some of my friends have invested heavily on ultraviolet lighting equipment for bedrooms, air conditioning system, even buying portable UV light gadgets to disinfect cash. Others have bought fogging or misting machines and regularly spray their homes with disinfectants. Some of us have placed alcohol filled spray bottles, hand sanitizers and footbaths in homes and offices. Some people even spend several thousand pesos to disinfect their vehicles. I personally find that amusing since many experts, both in medicine and automotive, will tell you that parking your car directly under the sun for a few hours will certainly kill a lot of germs or bacteria. After doing that, you can then put it in a shaded area, run the air-conditioning system and spray the intake fan under the dashboard with a disinfectant and that will just about kill all the microscopic creepy crawlies!

If you’ve done some of the out-of-the-normal stuff I listed above, don’t feel bad. I too have my dose of preventive “magic” – namely my cocktail of Vitamin C-E-organic honey- super juice-zinc-fish oil-chondroitin and glucosamine-liver extract plus lots of fruits and vegetables. That’s all over and above my maintenance meds and ongoing intermittent fasting that I started last June 6. So yes, we all have our solutions. Just make sure that you don’t spend or waste money on things that have no proven curative or preventive benefits like my friend did.

The guy went to visit his classmate in the hospital after the official had an accident and during the visit, he noticed that this top ranking official was wearing the COVID-19 anting-anting gadget around his neck. After inquiring as to why and what it was, my friend quickly told his wife to order one for him, which she did to the tune of P7,000. The minute the gadget arrived my friend put it on and started feeling like he was now part of “The Secret Society with COVID-19 anting-anting.” Here’s the catch: Two months later one of their “Mistahs” or former classmates, who also wore the anting-anting, landed in the hospital twice for COVID-19! When I asked him why, he sheepishly joked: “Baka na low batt!” I don’t know about power loss, but I’m certain my friend has experienced peso loss, all seven thousand of it!

If you’re a person of stature and influence or perceived as credible, be careful what you unwittingly display or endorse simply by using things, especially when it’s given for free. On the other hand, just because somebody wears it, uses it or displays it, that doesn’t mean the product is genuine or works. It reminds me of a time when I wanted to buy some t-shirts with Christian logos or biblical verses on them and give the t-shirts away to people who worked for me. After mentioning this to my friend Jun Camcam, he politely told me to carefully consider the idea. My intentions may be good but the people I was going to give the t-shirts to were not “Christians” and could end up misrepresenting the faith, the church, or “Christians” in general. People don’t think anything about what’s written on their shirt except when they go to a hotly contested basketball or soccer match. That’s where the difference lies. Fans will stand their ground for their team. But if I gave the t-shirts to a bunch of non-Christian guys who on payday decided to go to a honky tonk bar or get into a fight, what impression would people have of “Christians” based on their t-shirts!

That’s the very reason I no longer place the iconic “fish” symbol of Christians on the rear of my car. I know that I can be an aggressive driver or just one in a big rush and the last thing I would want to do is make people associate crazy driver = Christian! So next time you think of buying a device, an amulet or a symbol of “spirituality” better make sure that it’s real and that you can testify to it. If not save face, save money and just donate to the poor.

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