Filipinos have to wait a little longer for relief from fears of contracting the novel coronavirus and for the achievement of so-called herd immunity. We are told the delivery of COVID-19 vaccines will be delayed. We have stretched our patience for most of the past 11 months—do we have a choice to be a little less forgiving?
We can only look on with envy at other countries that have begun inoculating their citizens. It cannot be said that only the most prosperous countries of the world have done so. Nations both richer than and poorer than we are have rolled out their vaccination programs. Results in terms of less grim COVID numbers are expected in the next few weeks, if they have not started showing already.
Vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. has outlined the government’s targets: Secure at least 148 million vaccine doses and inoculate 50 million to 70 million Filipinos within 2021.
The operative word is “targets.” How exactly we can get from where we are now to this ideal state remains hazy.
Given this rather distressing layout, all we can do is to continue what we have been doing for the past 11 months: practice the basic health protocols to slow the spread and thus protect ourselves and the others against COVID-19.
We have gotten used, anyway, to wearing face masks and face shields, to keeping a safe distance from the next person, to avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated places, and to washing our hands often.
And with 2021 shifting the gear to the country’s favorite pastime—the national elections in May next year— let us have a good memory for the politicians and posers who have bungled their critical jobs.