"And COVID-19 is not a hoax."
For over one year and eight months, we have been in this crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has inflicted more than 229 million people, killing more than 4.7 million across the globe as of Sunday, September 19.
Although most people who get sick with COVID-19, which is caused by the SARS-CoV2 virus, experience mild to moderate symptoms and eventually recover, still many become seriously ill and require intensive medical attention.
Since a group of Chinese tourists carried the coronavirus from Wuhan, China, total COVID-19 cases in the country have reached 2,366,479. This includes a death toll of 36,788. This should not be regarded as “minimal.”
The rising number of COVID victims represents family members who met an untimely death. They are parents, children, relatives, healthcare workers, and other frontliners like policemen, soldiers, media members, public figures, celebrities, and overseas Filipino workers.
I am simply flabbergasted by a group of people who staged a rally last Sunday in Manila to demonstrate their belief that COVID-19 is a “hoax.”
It’s easy to say they are those who may have totally lost it, maybe as a result of prolonged lockdown, deprivation and hunger.
They may be a small group, no more than 100 crackpots, but they clearly violated health protocols on social gathering and physical distancing, as they urge the public to do away with wearing face masks and face shields.
They protested the continued implementation of community quarantine, such as the granular lockdowns.
They also reject getting vaccinated, claiming that COVID-19 is “non-existent.”
They carried streamers showing off the pictures of supposed people who died from complications caused by vaccinations.
As I’ve said, this may be a small group organized by who knows who, but they may be spouting disinformation about COVID-19 and the effectiveness of vaccines.
The fake news on “vaccine deaths” is widespread on social media sites like Facebook, shared by anxious people who seek answers from proper authorities.
By the way, the group called “Gising Maharlika” also advocated the legalization of marijuana use.
I understand the Manila Police District (MPD) chose to exercise maximum tolerance and allowed the group to march from Mehan Garden across the Manila City Hall to Liwasang Bonifacio.
Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief General Guillermo Eleazar, who was apparently caught sleeping on the job on a Sunday, warned yesterday that such anti-vaccine rallies will no longer be tolerated and that participants will be arrested.
Who doesn’t wish that the COVID pandemic would soon dissipate, so that we can go back to a normal way of life or start living what is called “new normal?”
According to the OCTA research group, there are “early indications” that the increase of COVID-19 cases in Metro Manila may have reached its peak, and hopefully we would soon see the flattening of the curve.
Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire was quick to retort that it was too early to tell if the surge has reached its plateau.
But she agrees with OCTA’s David Guido that continued compliance with health protocols will eventually slow down the increase in COVID-19 infections.
We strongly hope, too, that this pilot granular lockdown/alert system of community quarantine will work this time, particularly in Metro Manila.
Correct me if I’m wrong. Those areas/compount/street/barangay under lockdown are essentially under the strict enhanced community quarantine where one cannot go in and out.
The rest of the localities are essentially under general community quarantine, thereby allowing partial reopening of businesses and livelihood activities.
I wish the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) came up with this “granular lockdown” back then instead of recommending to the President for Luzon-wide lockdown last year, which totally devastated the country’s economy, businesses and people’s livelihood.
It’s been one big horrific nightmare.
A fifth-grader, Dastine Danielle, was eight years old in February last year when she prayed to God for help in the discovery of a vaccine against Covid.
We certainly got the vaccines she and we all prayed for.
Dastine Danielle who turns 10 in April also prayed that we wake up one morning and find that the disease gone.