Ours to share

OFF TANGENT - Aven Piramide - The Freeman

When I read last Sunday, the updates given by the Department of Health on the rising number of COVID positive cases in our city, I felt a tremendous sense of worry. Accompanying the update was the fearsome report that the latest surge of cases could be attributable to the Delta variant of the virus. Accordingly, this mutation is a thousand times more easily transmissible than its original form. That is the main warning signal.

I looked at the figures released by the health authorities and upon examining them a little bit closer, I got even more distraught than worried. I am not really an alarmist but to me, the statistical data seemed to carry deeper implications that needed to be addressed by the city leadership. For instance, Barangay Lahug, the biggest barangay in the north district of Cebu City in terms of population, registered the highest number of COVID-19 positive cases. In the DOH tally sheet, there were eighteen (18) who were afflicted by the disease.

Barangay Kamputhaw, which is adjacent to Lahug, came in second in the Sunday DOH score sheet. The population of Kamputhaw is comparably smaller to Lahug’s but the disparity is not that big. And yet, seventeen (17) of Kamputhaw residents were infected by the virus. Was it because of their geographical proximity that the number of their contaminations was close? Had the number of its inhabitants something to do with high statistical datum of new positive cases? There were just raw data shown but no explanations were given.

In the DOH-released figure last Sunday, Barangay Talamban came in third. It registered fifteen (15) newly contaminated residents. Talamban is not near Lahug. It is also far from Kamputhaw. So, viral infection could not be caused by close person to person contact. Perhaps sheer demography factored in.

In came Barangay Capitol Site. With fourteen (14) new COVID 19 positive cases recorded in the Sunday DOH report, Capitol Site ranked fourth. Barangays Banilad and Pit-os, each with thirteen (13) new cases, shared fifth rank. To be sure, Capitol Site, Banilad and Pit-os are not adjacent villages. They are kilometers apart. So, arguably, their infection could not be caused by close contact.

Kasambagan, the barangay where I live, had twelve (12) residents who were afflicted with the corona virus and Barangay Mabolo followed the undesirable ranking with nine (9) new such cases.

True to the off tangent nature of this column, let me veer away from the horrible health statistics. All of these barangays in the top list of COVID-19 infections are headed by chairmen who are not political allies of the city administration of Cebu City Mayor Edgardo Labella. They are perceived to be aligned with the opposition BOPK. It is remotely possible that coordination between the city administration and these barangay captains is wanting. I am even willing to speculate that they practice “social distancing” given the fact that the contending parties have started to marshall their respective forces. Proof? Just visit the face book accounts of our politicians.

It is in this regard that I admire the stance of Vice Mayor. We know that he is talkative. That is a given and we cannot fault him for that. But, in his recent long winded speeches, he has shown to be passionately working out of a kind of cooperation with the barangays. He has visited most villages without apparent regard of political color. While he is criticized even by his own allies, he continues to embrace everybody (Partido Barug, PDP, BOPK) who can help him tide over the pandemic. And i, in my insignificance, am willing to do what I can. Let us all help Rama while Labella is still recovering from ailment. This fight is ours to share.



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