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The grim numbers have begun to escalate, no doubt resulting from too lax a mobility these past weeks. When ECQ was enforced this past week in the Metro Manila area, including adjoining provinces, there was indeed no doubt that the cases experienced in a matter of hours would escalate. Lo and behold, in just a matter of days, 12,000 infections were recorded, the highest in a day’s total for nearly 4 months.
Which means that prior to the recorded upsurge, the infections were already there, hovering here and there, regardless what viral lifeform it was, dreadfully now caused by the worrisome Delta Variant. All along, the people have been lulled into complacency, prior to the ECQ lockdown, that Filipino resiliency being what it is, we’d get past this scary variant. After all, vaccination has been going on with a relentless that is just as disrespectfuly as the viral strain.
Oh yes, there have been days when the vax supply just couldn’t hold, when the vax sites had to be declogged when lengthy lines were being filled up in a matter of minutes, when health authorities were themselves beside scurrying to and fro, devising ways to get the crowd off-roads, when even LGUs who were bearing the brunt of the anti-covid struggle were tweaking the process in on-target adjustment to what was taking place on the ground.
As the ECQ lockdown stood out, amazingly people in constant mobility were besieging the police checkpoints, the traffic flow choked up like no other, the on-street patrols keeping sterner vigilance that no wayward road user would be let in from border to border. It’s incredible that motorists seem unfazed at the clogged road arteries, opting to wait it out for their turn. Most are of course workers getting to their work places, no doubt among the APORs allowed access to and fro.
The amazing thing is that the usual Filipino spirit of resiliency works wonders, despite the frayed nerves, despite the patience exhibited on both sides, the enforcers and the enforced subjects. No sir, the Pinoy cheerfulness will always dissipate whatever impatience there should be. After all, we’re all in this together, we’re doing our levelled best to keep composures intact, to make the situation bearable.
That’s what is glaringly very Pinoy. How else explain that regardless of over-lengthening lines of vehicles inching every defining distance, we can still take things on the witty side, we can still manage to break out in an impish smile, admittedly enough to project what a unique race we all are in this neck of our world.
An extended ECQ? From where we are, a thousand miles away from where lockdowns and restrictions have long been part of the Filipino way of life, why not indeed? If it will mean saving more lives that have become vulnerable to the DV infection, if it will result in more lives protected from the viral onslaught, said to be deadlier, more vicious, more venal, why not?
So how does the DV onslaught been these recent days. Nationally, as this is being written up, some 177 Delta cases have erupted all over the country. Our own tireless Mayor Benjie, ever the confident on-hand situation helmsman, rendered a report whose numbers portray a nationally grim outlook. Off 177 recorded cases of the dreaded DV, 144 are local cases, 3 are returning OFWs, while 30 are on the verifiable level.
The regional breakdown shows how menacing it has become: 90 in NCR, 25 in Region 4A, 16 in Region 2, 8 in Region 1, 2 in Cordillera, another 2 in Region 6, and 1 in Region 11. The numbers may well validate what Mayor Benjie has been forewarning us folks all along — that the Delta variant has landed, maybe not in our midst as yet, but hovering in the mountainous settlements of the Cordillera.
“We’re now seeing more Delta variants compared to the Alpha and Beta mutants in recent months. As of now, the Delta variant cases all over the country styand at 627,” he grimly states, reiterating what he has been pleading all this time. “For the vulnerable sectors, be vaccinated; if not, better stick it out at home; for the unvaccinated, don’t waste time any longer, get vaccinated.”
Indeed, let us be mindful of what the threat is, a real health menace that infects people at a ratio of 1 to 9, and if undetermined, undiscovered through testing and tracing, the numbers would just as gallop into frightening, sky-high levels. To be sure, of late, the heart-wrenching scenes that we used to see on the TV screens have no longer been as sight-tugging. This time, people besieging the sites are now more of the “ayuda” seeking groups, the dislocated, the dis-materialized, the deprived. Thus, as government’s cash aid begun to be handed out, crowds are lining up in scores of queues that snaked through the available spaces, people on their feett since 2 early morning till the gates were shut down, after having inched through the lines.
Indeed, the constant challenge this and later weeks was for the Delta variant to be halted, no matter what. Nearly 700 cases have already been detected — probably more if only the Gnome facility were quick enough in their sampling procedures. Indeed, extreme care has always been a primordial task for everyone. And yet, as the continuing task had gone on, the super fear emerges, loud and clear enough. This is a super variant that’s unlike its parental forms, deadlier, quicker, and expectedly disrespectful of age, sex, status, and aspiration. The realization that it had reached Pinoy shores came so sudden like a bolt of lightning that has let loose streaks of illumination across the darkening skies.
It is true that life that goes on without livelihood access — jobs to be worked on for family income — is no life after all. In an unexpected surge, the numbers were simply on the verge of heaving up, spiking numbers of every possible factor that signifies all’s not yet well. Just when everyone had thought we’d be just cruising along fine into the next world of lessening restrictions, just when all souls had been so high-spirited to gear up fully for the mighty entry into a new dimension, the so-called New Normal that has been up there in everyone’s mindset, enough to get us readying up. The surge may not yet be there, but local transmissions of late have indeed been on the upside, too discernible in the numbers confronting the experts.
Battling the covid virus has been a unique experience more than a year ago. Resources have been dissipated, vanishingjust like that in a matter of consequential days. But the numbers just couldn’t tell a lie, unyielding to a stare-down, simply because they are very real, daunting, forbidding even. Yet, as our Mayor Benjie exemplifies, the Filipino spirit never yields, the Pinoy courage stands out over the challenges facing him.
Yes, indeed we have gone through this in perhaps lesser threat, but still amenace just the same. By acting together, by willing ourselves to get vaccinated soon and fast, while supply remainsat hand, we can get over the hump in no time. Acting together, rising together, winning together. This is what Angat Baguio is all about — surviving through the pandemic and grappling the virus down on the ground, safe and sound.
Yes, nothing beats identifying the people with whom the positive individuals had been in contact with, including others within the physical range of the expanded landscape. Clearly, as over a year of struggling through the pandemic, working together pays of, reason why the our local numbers have not gone through the roof. Dapat ingat in making Angat, Baguio!
Make no mistake about it: for Baguio to be Angat, it has to be raised from the platform of Ingat and Dapat. While the variant continues to linger — thankfully not yet into our borders — being safe, at work, outdoor, and wherever one goes, remains an utmost need. Buhay and Kabuhayan — these are the pillars of any recovery.
Let us all win this struggle as a race against time, just by being the Filipino race.