Simplified or not


Jullie Y. Daza

Finally, an admission from DILG Usec Jonathan Malaya: “Nakakalito.”

He meant “confusing” and he was talking about the various Q’s that we’ve had to live with and under, locked in and locked down, for the last 18 months.

Not that the new Q-less grades are any easier. Taking their place are Alert Levels 1, 2, 3, 4, and in extreme cases 5, according to the scale of infections/transmissions in a given province or region. The gist of it seems that “granular (as in grain-size) lockdowns” will replace region-wide and national lockdowns, at least from Sept. 16-30. In turn, it should be the local government’s call, whether by street, block, building, or barangay.

Don’t ask me how alert level 2 is different from level 3; it would be easier if you asked how far 4 is from 1. I’m neither a doctor nor a barangay tanod nor anybody’s spokesperson, am I?

In the same breath, we the simple-minded must remember the three C’s to avoid: Close contact; Crowds; Closed spaces. Likewise, OFW’s and travelers had better not be color-blind as there’s a Red List, a Yellow List, a Green List. Red spells stop, ergo no go to countries at high risk of COVID. Remember your traffic light signals and you’re okay, and as long as you have those lists spelling out the names of countries in their various waves of transmissibility.

In the long run, Senator Francis Tolentino, who seems to have the shortest fuse, has the quickest solution: “Time to dismantle IATF.” I Am The Fourth branch of government has been in power since March 2020 and if they’re beginning to look like a permanent institution, this is the best way to remind them, as the senator did: “You’re only an ad hoc group.”

And oh, try saying the following without making a face: Prevent-Detect-Isolate-Treat-Reintegrate-Vaccinate.

Minutes before John Arcilla was told he had won the best actor award at the 78th Venice International Film Festival, he was on TV with a highly emotional pitch to thieves whom he accused of helping themselves to billions from the national coffers. Stop it, he pleaded, people are sick, people are dying. “Have you no soul?” he bewailed.

All they have is kawalanghiyaan (no better word in English).