Politicizing a pandemic
"Why are we easing restrictions when the numbers are still getting higher?"
Santa Banana, with the warning of no less than the World Health Organization that the COVID-19 pandemic will still get worse, and with a vaccine still nowhere in sight, I wonder why President Duterte and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases keep on easing protocols. The pandemic has already breached the 10-million mark globally, and the numbers keep on rising. Here at home, we have reached 35,000. The Philippines has seen remarkable increase among countries in the Western Pacific. I believe that the President and the IATF are doing their best to keep the numbers down. Still these best efforts are inadequate. I wonder—what is the reason other countries are beating COVID-19 and we are not. This is just my observation. My opinion. It appears that political expediency has entered the picture, like in the case of Metro Manila where I live. The IATF relies too much on the recommendations of the Metro Manila Development Council, composed of 17 Metro Manila mayors. In turn, the IATF passes on this recommendation to the President. The end result is our current situation. I suggest the President study how other countries are beating the virus. * * * Cebu City is now the epicenter of the pandemic in the Philippines. The reason for this is that the Cebuanos do not seem to respect guidelines and protocols. They violate measures such as wearing face masks and practicing physical distancing. These are the best ways to stop the transmission of the virus. We should all understand that unless we observe all guidelines, we can only expect COVID-19 to get worse. The problem is that people who have been rendered jobless because of COVID-19 and those who have lost their livelihood are now desperate to go to work. They are willing to take safety risks. This is where government should step in and control the people, even if it means solutions like what the President has done in Cebu. There is need for draconian measures. I am sure the President realizes this—then again, he is also a politician. * * *