When in doubt

Published August 19, 2021, 12:02 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza


Jullie Y. Daza


So you call One Hospital Command. The phone is either tied up or it just keeps ringing. OHC boasts a complement of 120 operators working ‘round the clock. Nobody home? Or simply no answers? With hospitals filling up, full, shut down, or overflowing to sidewalks and parking lots, what could One Hospital tell you if not one hospital was available?

With all the alerts coming out about COVID-19 and its family of variants, it is helpful to keep in mind that the common, ordinary commoner who is not equipped with digital tools is left to their own devices and grope in the dark, as in the dark ages. For such knowledge seekers, the least they can do is have at the ready their barangay’s phone number.

Speaking of vaccines and variants, vaccine hesitancy flew out the window as soon as media broadcast images of thousands waiting in the rain or massing in “walk-in” vaccination sites. Were those humongous turnouts the result of a lack of enthusiasm, or vaccines?

Secretary Galvez expects 6 million doses arriving in a matter of days. If Metro Manila will continue to get the lion’s share, Cavite Gov. Remulla promises to get hot under the collar. He compares MM’s population of 13 million with Calabarzon’s 16 million. Doubtless, the unfairness, if any, is due to MM’s garrulous, eloquent mayors, 17 in all, most of them experienced in the art of getting noticed.

With 17 local governments in the Metro, the NCR alone boasts 17 different models of vaccination cards certifying that their residents have had their one or two shots. Quezon City’s version is one page, front and back, with a security seal. Taguig’s is four pages, with QR codes that are as unique as a fingerprint. Makati’s features a watermark. Add 17 designs to those issued by LGUs elsewhere and everywhere, and no wonder immigration agents in international airports demand a unified look to represent Pilipinas (not Filipinas or Philippines anymore). There’s also the Bureau of Quarantine’s yellow card, plus the one yet to be issued by DICT.

Despite the coming elections, none of the vaccination cards I have seen feature the face, name, and signature of the incumbent mayor. Doubt not but be grateful for tender mercies.