Are the elections driving COVID away?

VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez - The Freeman

We are certain now that the number of cases in the daily tally for COVID-19 has declined. It is now within the ideal range of less than 10 or none at all. No wonder that the IATF has downgraded certain areas to Alert Level 1, which means that there is already a low risk for the transmission of the virus. Then again low risk does not simply translate to having no risk at all. It simply means that the virus is still there but the chances of contracting it is less.

Yet somehow we just cannot accept this fact. Yes, we see it in the numbers and in the people testing positive on a daily basis. We have to admit it isn’t as bad as before when those who caught the virus ended up feeling ill or were hospitalized. The health department said that there are still patients who need critical care because of COVID-19, so that means we aren't really free from it after all.

Now those attending rallies and sorties seem to have forgotten the basic health protocols to implement. Over the weekend, we saw a free concert being flocked by people who missed the joy and excitement of seeing their favorite artists perform. The crowd became unruly at some point, but was easily managed. You can't blame someone who hasn't jumped to their favorite song in two years. The timing just seems to be perfect; cases downgrading, plus high vaccination statistics, plus the election.

So has the looming election driven the virus away, or have Filipinos forgotten basic protocols because of fun? Either way, we must be wary of how these policies in response to the pandemic were made. If we allow big events such as rallies, sorties, and concerts, then maybe it’s also time schools reopened. Basic education lessons and courses that require laboratories should be administered face-to-face.

In the event we go back to a surge because of another mutation, we will also return to the blame game and lock ourselves at home --a scenario we have seen three times or more. Certainly, the election is very important, but it doesn't mean we should sacrifice our public health. I honestly feel like we are in the middle of heading to the end but aren’t really sure how to go about the new normal. What we saw over the weekend is very polarizing, yet I remain hopeful the government shall seek a common ground especially as the polls are kicking in. Best of luck!


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