And after ECQ2. . .?

Published March 30, 2021, 12:12 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza

MEDIUM RARE

Jullie Y. Daza

One week under the strictest category of community quarantines. Coinciding with the Christian world’s somber observance of Holy Week ending in the glory of Easter Sunday on April 4.

You cannot say there’s no separation of Church and State, not after all the presidential spokesman’s warnings of using police powers to shut down churches if they did not follow orders and insisted on keeping their doors open to the worshipful public, that warning aired days before ordering a second round of ECQ.

We’ve had enough practice going through the motions, and what we did we accomplish? A steep rise in COVID cases with jawbreaking numbers – including positive ones, like 22,000 recoveries last Sunday! – with no light at the end of the tunnel. To quote Edson Guido, head of ABS-CBN data analytics, “we had better have a plan in place after April 4.” Because it won’t do to play yo-yo with ECQ for one week and then go back to god-knows-what band-aid solutions. There’s a newer saying to introduce: The light at the end of the tunnel is the headlight of an oncoming train carrying a new pandemic.

Among the strange rules incorporated into ECQ2 is one mandating a skeleton working force among embalmers and funeral home personnel. A reduced staff just when crematoriums and such need more workers to handle a spike in the business? Then there’s the promise of house-to-house searches for people suspected of or suffering from COVID. Hunting for sick people living in cramped and crowded quarters – how much more counterproductive can you get? Pity the frontliners – medical, police, barangay – who will be forced into such a dangerous task! On second thought, let the experts in IATF step up to the plate as models and show the frontliners how the job should be done, in person, by example.

ECQ2 is no laughing matter. If the numbers don’t go down after April 4, we are lost. Edson’s data tell us why: 9.9 million persons tested. From November 2020 to February 2021 the total for four months was 50,000 positive cases. Last week, March 2021, the total was 60,000-plus in ONE WEEK.

The national mantra should now be revised, by adding a fourth word to the rhyme: Mask-Hugas-Iwas-Vax.

 
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