Please continue to stay safe vs. COVID

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero-Ballescas - The Freeman

From being the country’s COVID epicenter to being acknowledged and acclaimed as a best practice model for containing the virus, Cebu City has certainly gone a long way since July!

Other cities of Cebu have also laudably contained their number of COVID-related cases. Where thousands or hundreds of new cases were reported daily, now new cases are two digits or less!

Barangay Luz, which bore the brunt of criticism at the height of its being branded the epicenter then of Cebu City, now proudly reports many days without cases and with only one case some few days ago.

Gratefully, now, with less cases reported for weeks now and even no cases on certain days, quarantine protocols have relaxed. More are allowed out, limited transport resumed certain businesses permitted to open, slowly there is a general atmosphere of relief and feeling of protection from the virus.

However, please continue to stay alert and compliant!

The virus IS still very much around.

We need to remember this.

We need to remain vigilant, obey the same health protocols. Stay safe by 1.) Staying home if possible, 2.) Washing hands frequently, 3.) Wearing masks, and, 4.) Keeping social distance.

We need to always remember and follow these important health protocols!

Let us not follow the way of Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Germany. These countries experienced months of significant continuing decrease in the number of COVID- cases. Sadly, just when they confidently thought they had conquered the virus, after two to three months, the virus struck again, with actual cases spiking once more!

Just as we were very cautious and careful especially after July, let us remain alert, always watchful and never ever forgetting that the virus is active and still all over!

Surely, no one ones to return to the earlier days of high COVID cases in our locations? Let us recall those dark days and months so we will remain cautious, safe, and alive!

Remember the dark, threatening days till July, when cases soared all throughout? Remember how difficult it was for the seriously ill to be accommodated in congested hospitals? Remember those who lost their lives because there was no space at all in any hospital at the height of the COVID cases in the cities?

Do you recall that despite the valiant efforts of the medical frontliners in keeping the death rates down in Cebu City, hospitals were unfairly blamed and roasted for not responding to the urgent need of the ill and the dying?

Recall the anguish among families separated from one another because of the virus. Even funerals were cancelled, cremation became the rule.

Hunger became widespread, poverty deepened, unemployment soared as businesses closed. Public transport stopped, mobility restricted. Cases of mental health, depression, suicides increased as the social world could not proceed as usual.

Suddenly, life changed for individuals, for communities, for the whole world! Despite being unwelcomed, the new normal asserted its arrival and presence.

We need to remember and never forget our situation till July so that we will contain COVID and avoid the problems COVID caused!

More importantly, let us all remember how the following helped and will continue to contain the virus and save lives:

a.) Everyone’s steady, obedient compliance for health protocols;

b.) A decisive coordinating leadership;

c.) Reliable regular data gathered with the cooperation of barangay and city leaders, residents and COVID-data monitoring volunteers to guide multi-level evidence-based policies and action;

d.) Available information clearly instructing the people that they could go to accessible and adequate cluster clinics, quarantine and isolation areas for mild symptoms and to hospitals for serious cases only.

Please remember --the virus is still here!

Please continue to stay safe!


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