The new coronavirus
VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez (The Freeman) - January 25, 2020 - 12:00am

The mysterious pneumonia has now finally uncovered by the laboratories accredited by the World Health Organization. They dubbed it as 2019-nCov or Novel Coronavirus. It was first discovered in Wuhan, China, where more than 20 have already died because of the virus. Now the panic rises as a child that arrived in Cebu recently exhibited symptoms of the virus --cough, colds, fever, and shortness of breath, among others. Now all the local government units in the provinces of the region are on their toes, keeping tabs on any other cases that might reach our country. Although the lab tests of the boy's blood samples tested negative for the previous coronavirus, we are not so sure either that this might be the new one.

We keep hoping and praying that it is truly nothing to be scared about, that it won't blow up into a widespread disease. While that is in the works, there is also a question of how the child was able to pass through the airport. Well, given that the symptoms were not prevalent, there is now a question about the need for Chinese tourists in our country. With all the scare that is going on, are we willing to sacrifice an ounce of our economy by losing a part of tourism because of public health? I'm sure the authorities know best what to put out first. We are on the verge of going crazy over the diseases that continue to haunt our citizenry - dengue, diphtheria, polio, measles, and many others that are supposed to be gone already. We live in a world where we don't understand the mutation of bacteria and viruses, it’s a truly different time and place.

Instead of causing panic in others, maybe we can do our part by educating ourselves. Let us not get confused by whatever the news says. It’s simple, the Department of Health said that to lessen the chances of getting infected then we must practice good hygiene. This goes with the way we wash our hands, do cough etiquette and refrain being in contact with live animals. If we are vigilant enough in the way we handle ourselves and our cleanliness, then sanitation is indeed the best key to get rid of any disease that may plague us.

I know it’s hard to live day by day knowing that anytime we can be infected by whatever virus is out there. But to live in anxiety is to live without peace, we would not be able to enjoy the goodness life has to offer us. While we must be cautious, we must also strike the balance and enjoy our day-to-day living.

But then again, we shouldn’t let a little virus destroy us as a people. If we follow all the measures being recommended by the authorities, I'm sure we can be safe from the disease. Vigilance is key.

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