How are lives have changed with COVID-19
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Valeriano Avila (The Freeman) - March 26, 2020 - 12:00am

In my column last Tuesday, I wrote that this is not a good time for you to get sick or die. When I wrote it, I didn’t realize that the mother of my friend who had a heart attack (her second in a month?) had already passed away.  However, she was still brought into the hospital where we know that at this time, there are certain protocols that the hospital staff has to follow due to the issue of COVID-19. In short, it is easier for hospitals to assume that people in their senior years may be called persons under investigation (PUIs).

Unfortunately, people who die under suspicion as PUI have to follow the protocols of the Department of Health (DOH) that within 24 hours, they have to be buried or cremated and, yes, there is no time for wakes. I also learned that priests here are denying requests by people seeking for the Sacrament of Extreme Unction or last rites for the dying. I can only second-guess that this is due to the report from Italy, now the epicenter of COVID-19 in Europe, that 50 Italian priests have died due to infections of the virus. I would like to believe that these priests must have given Extreme Unction to the dying patients, and our priests here are learning from this incident.

At this time, most hospitals in Metro Cebu are prepared for patients that might have been infected by COVID-19. So if you are feeling sick and have not travelled recently, the best way to approach a medical orderly is to tell the honest truth about yourself. In fact, if you think you do really need to be hospitalized as of this moment, you are better off inside your house and try to recuperate inside your home. Going to the hospital these days, there is even a huge change of you getting some kind of virus.


Mind you, frontliners in Metro Manila, like Dr. Raul Jara, Dr. Israel Bactol, Dr. Rose Pulido, and Dr. Greg Macasaet, have all reportedly died due to COVID-19. All we can say is, we salute them for their unselfish service and we know that God would give them peace. We also pray for all the medical frontliners in our hospitals in Metro Cebu that they would be granted God’s grace to continue serving our sick people.

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Apparently, people use the social network to question what our local government has been doing. I take issue of an article that came out of the Carolinian student publication questioning the creation of a special unit that traces people who use fake news and similar negative response to what the government is doing, accusing her of violating the Constitution. Governor Gwen Garcia had since invited Berns Mitra, the editor-in-chief of Today’s Carolinian, for a meeting yesterday. I hope that meeting resolved issues that the students want to know.

If they are talking about suppression of human rights by having a 24-hour curfew, these students ought to know that we not only have a national emergency in our hands, but a global one at that. This is where government is tasked to suspend certain activities that would help spread the virus. This has nothing to do with curtailing our human rights to go wherever we want to go. That’s a totally different issue.

At this point, let me say it here very clearly that we support our local government officials led by Gov. Garcia to do everything they can to stop the spread of this virus. The problem with the Philippines today, it is not really a problem we are facing with the government, but the undisciplined Filipino people who have to learn how to help our government rather than disobey it, unless, of course, they belong to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) that always fights the Philippine government.

Perhaps it is time for our people to know why this global virus has af-fected us. I copied this from a Facebook friend who said, “Today, God has taken away everything we worship. If you worship Musicians, I will close their theaters or concert halls. If you worship Athletes, I will close their sta-diums. If you worship money more than God, I will close down their econo-mies and their stock markets. If you hate going to church, then I will close your churches. But if my people would humble themselves and call my name and pray and turn from their evil ways, I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and heal their land!”

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