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Left the group

VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez (The Freeman) - April 6, 2021 - 12:00am

So my friends and I made up a phrase on our way to Bantayan Island. Whenever we would see people very close to one another in a group, we would say "COVID left the group," pertaining to social media's group chat. What we meant was “left the group” was a satire, that the virus didn't care anymore how the people were behaving or ignoring the basic protocols. Then I knew that I was bound to take extra care of myself.

I think we are so lucky to be able to have our tourism back on its feet despite this pandemic. Albeit still on tiptoes, it is better than nothing. Of course, it is better than having to stay at home with nowhere to go while the summer heat keeps beating down on us. However, we must not compromise.

Bantayan Island has given me numerous lessons and has opened my eyes to a lot of things. They gather information on their guests beforehand and require them to enter through a QR code. But the nightlife was still there - people were in the town squares drinking alcohol and being merry. Although the enforcement of curfew hours were strict, the virus knows no time when it will attack its prey.

I dodged a lot of shoulders as I tried my best to scurry from where the nightlife was. They looked pretty amazing and I don't have to deny it because I do miss the normal socializing. However, the more normal it got the scarier it was. I guess the point which I am trying to drive home is to not take for granted the limited freedom that we have.

It is understood that we are trying to make ends meet with whatever is left in this pandemic but we should not abuse the relaxed restrictions set by the province. Photos of the NCR+ bubble being on a lockdown during Holy Week while people in the Visayas were at the beach circulated online. Maybe a little consideration would help.

Now that the Holy Week is over and we managed to triumph over last year's benignit shopping failure, I hope that the summer will not increase the numbers. The nationwide count of the daily cases shocks us day by day and it is really not helping. The vaccination program also isn't quite on track, no matter how hard the administration tries to cover up their lapses.

In reality, COVID never really left the group. The virus is just there lurking, ready to attack. If your immune system is low, then better brace for a long haul. Ultimately, there is no stopping what we have now, but we have to protect ourselves and our family. Instead of drinking alcohol with friends with one glass (a.k.a. tagay) and dancing with strangers, keep it at a low. Have fun but be safe. I guess that's all we have to do for now. Again, it is better than nothing.

BANTAYAN ISLAND
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