‘Balik trapik’

Published August 13, 2022, 12:05 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza

MEDIUM RARE

Jullie Y. Daza

In six succinct words, PBBM encapsulated the state of our mobility:

“Balik eskwela
“Balik trabaho
“Balik negosyo”

If I may add two more, Sir:

“Balik trapik.”

Not that MMDA’s “expanded” number coding is anything new or original – the EDSA “experiment” was started by FVR – but what a relief to hear that buses, jeepneys, UV Express vans will be back on 100 routes, that free rides are still available at least until December, that 55,000 jeepney drivers will be behind the wheel once more. On the other hand, with such good news comes the threat of 436,000 vehicles being back on EDSA, or an increase of 20 percent from pre-lockdown. Traffic, trapik!

Also not comforting is the anxiety felt by parents that while schoolchildren are required to be vaccinated, some teachers continue to refuse to get jabbed. Come again? Are they teaching the kids that the lesson of the day is “do what I say, not what I do”?

With adults like these benighted teachers, DOH officer-in-charge Dr. Ma. Rosario Vergeire has her work cut out for her. As my mother-in-law used to say, it’s difficult to wake up someone who’s not asleep. How do you educate someone who thinks they’re highly, totally educated?

Dr. Vergeire’s goal is to vaccinate 70 percent of the population. But after PBBM, US President Biden, and now North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jung Un have been downed by Covid, the dream has just become 10 times more elusive.

The more we find ourselves living with the virus, the less we know about its quirks and mysteries. After four shots, should you get a fifth, a sixth, etc., the theory being that the efficacy of any vaccine wanes after 90 days? There are 365 days in a year . . .

Paraphrasing the President, back to school means back to mobility. But mobility does not imply moving from A to D (for Destination) on merely two, three, or four wheels; it also implies walking on two feet to get a ride, sometimes three. Mr. President, our young and elderly need walkable sidewalks, and after 40 years, the most “kawawa” pedestrian wants an escalator or elevator to lift them to the top of those obstacle courses aka footbridges.

 
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