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VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez (The Freeman) - March 23, 2021 - 12:00am

It was not too long ago when the president declared stricter quarantine restrictions for some areas in Luzon. We in the Visayas who are experiencing a surge of cases are in a normal state. That being said, we get to go out and enjoy most of the things we used to. As the presidential spokesperson has said, "Cebu has learned to live with the virus." It could be a yes or no.

I did a quick stroll in Lapu-Lapu City, a place which was used to be swarmed by tourists. The buildings which were erected for businesses have little to no tenants at all. A sudden pang of sadness in me was felt as I walked the empty hallways, things are not the same as before. Most, if not all the resorts are lowering their rates so that locals will just spend their money and have their own staycations but with protocols in place. We are a bit luckier than Manila, and I'm thankful for that.

Those in the capital are slapped with pretty adjectives on the lockdown: hard, soft, and maybe they could insert medium. I feel like it is the level of pressure point a masseuse does on one's body. By the way, the spas and massage parlors are open; a thing that I am so grateful for from where we are. But moving on, I feel like there is no need for flowery words to describe a lockdown but clear and concrete steps on how to implement the quarantine.

Isn’t it ironic? We have already gone through this stage last year. I bet we all have learned to cope with the virus. Cebu has, as they said. Does that mean that those in Luzon can’t get things done right? I scoffed at my student’s example of a person who can’t walk his talk. It was health secretary Duque who felt strongly on social distancing but did not practice it at all in gatherings as seen in some photos.

Why don’t they speed up procurement of vaccines? Instead of creating policies that would only worsen the situation especially as Holy Week approaches. They promised to complete the vaccination as the year ends, but I feel like as an ordinary citizen, I am at the end of the line. Things are already getting out of hand in some areas. Cebu seems to be an area worth studying and emulating.

We’re scheduled for an out-of-town trip within the province next week. I’m sure a lot of people will be there. I don’t know if that would lead to a surge in the coming weeks, but I’m very definite that no pretty words would define what we are all in right now. Maybe, they could stop beating around the bush and make things actually work. Simple and easy, fast and reliant. As we head past a year of this quarantine, some lessons maybe need to be repeated to be learned.

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