The great mystery

Published September 23, 2021, 12:02 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza


Jullie Y. Daza

After nearly two years, 2.4 million confirmed cases and more than 37,000 deaths as of two days ago, what have we learned about the coronavirus?

The great mystery is still in answering the question, “Where did the patient get it? From whom?”

The prayerful, like cardinals, are not exempted, starting with Cardinal Tagle and now Cardinal Advincula. Cloistered nuns, including contemplatives who are exemplars of the saying “quiet as a nun,” have not been spared, be they middle-aged or centenarians. Comes now a report that 22 seminarians and staff workers in a seminary have been infected. Incidentally, all three convents and the one seminary are in Quezon City.

Ask anybody who knew someone who was caught by the virus, “How did it happen?” and the answer will be a blank, “I don’t know” or they may have a probable but unconfirmable suspect. In one case of a community infection, an insider insinuated to a TV reporter that the suspected carrier was a caregiver who was now “dead,” cause unknown. In one of the three convents, it was surmised at the beginning that a “physical therapist” could have been the source, although that information was eventually quashed as totally wrong.

For the rest of us outside convent walls, as messy as it is noisy, it’s the same mystery. Families that have been downed wholesale suspect they caught it, one from the others, during a get-together where a lot of droplets were exchanged in the course of the eating and talking and laughing. It is natural for married couples to infect each other, but what about super-healthy health buffs like NBA superstars and “hermits” among senior citizens who are so strict with themselves that they don’t ever leave the house and never accept visitors?

Is it a matter of chance, a game of Russian roulette? If the world’s brainiest scientists cannot yet tell us where the virus was born or manufactured, should we even try solving the mystery?

Other COVID-related mysteries abound. Are those daily DOH figures underreported, and by how many percent? Is contact tracing efficient/effective? When Dick Gordon fell ill, the scale of  contact tracing employed was 1:60. How do you help positives-in-hiding and asymptomatics who don’t know they’re sick?