Equalizing fate

Published January 8, 2022, 12:05 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza


Jullie Y. Daza

Take it from the experts. 

Those seat warmers in MWSS predict a water shortage in summer, two months from now. They’re paid to say that? Just by asking the weather bureau how much rainfall to expect or not to expect?

After all the rain dropped by Odette – typhoon No. 15 last year – and other seasonal precipitations, including LPA’s (low pressure areas), now we have to brace for another water shortage. Don’t blame climate change, blame the feast-or-famine syndrome in our island life, a land of contrasts in a land of plenty whose natural resources are, tragically but commercially, mismanaged as if according to plan.

An agricultural economy where we are forced, almost willingly, to import rice, garlic, onions, fresh vegetables and fruits. An archipelago with a very long coastline and an underequipped navy that favor smugglers, leaving otherwise abundant marine resources to poachers and pirates. Congested cities with a democratic outlook, the very rich living a few kilometers from the very poor. A young population, hope of the fatherland, who dream of studying and succeeding abroad.

Does the pandemic equalize the fates of the haves and have-nots?

How much more nicely can Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, OP, balance positive and negative than when he describes the Omicron variant as a “blessing” and “natural vaccine” – the key that will lock up the coronavirus for good by infecting so many people that more people will be protected eventually. When will it be safe to throw away the key, Father?

His words echo the forecast made by WHO last Dec. 16: “2022 is the year we can end the pandemic.” Starting Feb. 1, this is the Year of the Tiger, a ferocious, powerful, man-eating cat. With its “fearful symmetry” will Tiger be the force to banish the pandemic?

From ground zero, Edson Guido, head of ABS-CBN data analytics, sees a simple formula of three steps ending the fearful reign of COVID-19: Ramp up tests. Isolate the positives. Break the chain.

“It’s 2022 and we’re still talking about testing,” he lamented on Teleradyo.

And if we were able to produce one million vaccine jabs in one day last year, Edson recalled, why can’t we continue doing so? One-day wonders are good for headlines only; most people have a short memory.