Proactive, united precaution and protection

PERSPECTIVE - Cherry Piquero-Ballescas - The Freeman

The increase in COVID-19 cases within Cebu should convince all, especially barangays, that the virus is very much alive, active, and eager to spread quickly and infect anyone.

The COVID variants are confirmed to spread faster and this information, together with the continuing increase in cases, should be disseminated quickly and in a systematic, comprehensive manner for all to do their share in containing the virus and protecting lives.

The COVID virus loves crowds and company. The more people draw near and not observe physical distancing, the more people ignore wearing face masks, the more people go out of their homes, the more people forget to wash their hands frequently especially after being out of their houses, oh, the more the COVID virus spreads and quickly.

The public has been informed early on about the COVID virus. This public information campaign should be relentless and continuing, with recent data about the variants and the vaccines included as protection for all.

Multimedia -- mainstream media, social media, multisectors, government, churches, religious and other organizations, and everyone else should join hands together in continuing daily dissemination of reliable data and information about COVID, the vaccines and ways and steps to protect people from COVID and its various symptoms.

The steady and persistent info campaign should be done at all levels, all throughout provinces, towns, cities, barangays, sitios and puroks.

All communities and their residents have to be informed daily about the number of cases in their location so they can understand for themselves that the virus is active in their or nearby locations! They should also be informed that the cases may be higher for the seniors BUT that all ages are infected by the virus.

Best prepared and protected than to be sorry. Best to be proactive soonest than later.

And since this virulent virus actively makes the social round, united, sustained effort of everyone and of all sectors at all levels through various means could be the best deterrent and cure for the COVID and its variants.

Government, business and industry, the church and religious groups, the academe, schools and universities, civil society groups, ALL should unite around a comprehensive, systematic, effective DAILY info campaign to equip everyone with the necessary knowledge to protect themselves and all others against the COVID and its variants.

Best to have as well coordinated, multi-level organizational networks (mini EOCs) in every community to disseminate information and also to respond promptly to COVID-related matters in each location.

While waiting for government decision and action about COVID vaccines, the coordinated, multilevel organizational networks can be channels for information dissemination and informed discussion about vaccines to prepare the residents to decide to accept safe, reliable vaccination.

Simple, understandable, accessible information materials and graphics can be prepared about the vaccines as well as about other COVID-related matters.

Proactive precaution and protection require a reliable, organized network of information and response, preferably per barangay throughout towns, cities and provinces. This network can be tapped not only for this pandemic but for any other future disaster.

Existing barangay level coordinated networks may be tapped and enhanced for better, more prompt and effective dissemination of information, resources and services from here on.

We can best combat COVID and its variants with unity, vigilance, correct and reliable information, pooled resources and systematic/coordination across all levels and sectors.

With faith and prayers, too.

Oh, if only we had genuine public servants to join this united, public crusade vs COVID and its variants.

Let us all unite to contain soonest the virus/variants and its adverse impacts and toll on the health and lives of people, communities, economy and the rest of society.

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