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How far are we from becoming India?

(The Philippine Star) - May 10, 2021 - 12:00am

“A false sense of normalcy crept in and everybody, including people and officials, did not take measures to stop the second wave... We didn’t learn any lesson…” This is India now and this may be the Philippines in the future (God forbid) should we ignore or refuse to learn our lessons of the pandemic and tread the same path as Indians did.

Dr. Fathahudeen of India’s Kerala COVID task force further stated, as reported by BBC News, in view of his country’s horrifying second wave of the coronavirus, “the rise was not entirely unexpected given that India let its guard down when daily infections in January fell to fewer than 20,000 from a peak of over 90,000 in September.” Big religious gatherings, the reopening of most public places and crowded election rallies are being blamed for the uptick. Dr. Fathahudeen said there were warning signs in February but “we did not get our act together.”

Watch the video, “India COVID-19 second wave: A coronavirus tsunami we had never seen before.” India doesn’t believe in strict lockdown, only “limited lockdown.” BBC correspondents noted, “Workplaces, markets and malls have reopened and transport is operating at full capacity…”

In our case, these are some lessons and acts we have to learn and do to prevent a new wave of the virus hitting the country:

The government should never ever allow the arrival of any person from India and other nations with high COVID cases until it gets the situation under control. Its resources, notably the huge loans granted by international financial institutions, must be utilized with dispatch and no reservation to solve the pandemic and its offshoot problems such as hunger.

Actions should not be “delayed” or manipulated for crooked, shady deals and for future election purposes. Contact tracing and vaccinating our entire eligible populace must be pursued with utmost diligence and urgency. We must all keep our guard up when reports of COVID infections are going down or every time the Department of Health brags about hospitals being “no longer in full capacity with COVID patients.”

Let the virus die a natural death for the scientific reason that there is no exposed human body for it to infect and victimize. It is only in humans that Coronavirus lingers long while it quickly and naturally disappears on surfaces.

Lockdown is just temporary, but it is the one solitary solution (bitter though it is) Filipinos need to crush COVID-19 in their own lives and the nation as a whole. And soon enough, we can prepare for our own versions of religious festivals, the “gradual” reopening of our economy and the upcoming 2022 elections, beyond politics.

We are far from India today. But how about tomorrow? – Reni M. Valenzuela, renivalenzuelaletters@yahoo.com

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