Being safe than sorry

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Whether we like it or not, the deadly threat posed by the new Coronavirus is so real, the published reports on the depth, scale, and reach of the spreading infection — not yet a contagion at this time — continues to hover day in and day out like a menacing sickle about to crash down.

We have not thus far heard of it being a climate change affliction, the kind that has made viruses too lethal in evolution these past decades. Of the coronavirus, strains have developed over the years as lethal pulmonary diseases, but this one is a standout simply because nothing by way of antibiotic medication has yet materialized. Sure, the health researchers worldwide have been scampering for the antidote, more so in recent weeks when Wuhan became a universal household word. But it’s a race against the clock, for sure, as efforts persevere.

Locally, we can only brace ourselves amid the global health emergency that has caught us in tenterhooks, enough for crowd-drawing events to get cancelled (as the Panagbenga 2020 Feb 1 grand opening parade) and the centerpiece events Street Dancing Parade on the 29th and the Grand Float Parade the next day still on hold. Tourism stakeholders are of course on prayerful wish that they continue to be staged. They’ve always been the principal beneficiaries on huge tourism events — the hotel, restaurant, and sundry businesses whose lifeline of support is tourist arrivals. Already, we’ve been hearing so concernedly of accommodation cancellations, even if no tourism lockdown — as Mayor Benjie clarifies — has been done.

To be sure, there’s no sense in letting this ncov threat dissuade us from getting our life be immobilized. We’ve got to get on moving, threat and all, get past its horrible sickle dangling from the air every time news feeds put us on a lethal ride across the globe. It’s here and now, as no less than our government health officials have been agog all over, telling us the latest scary update on travel restrictions, on quarantines, on airport lockdowns, on PUIs (person under investigation) going through isolated testing and treatment.

For now, it is best that prudence takes the better half of what we think. Extraordinary measures may not yet be called upon, but the wiser precaution remains: stay hygienic, stay out of close contact with anyone, with face mask on or off, stay out of crowded places, where contact-convergence can happen. In short, stay healthy every step of the way, 24/7.

Methinks this lethal happenstance is climate change induced. Diseases are getting more deadly, viral infections getting more virulent. For all that has taken place in recent decades, aren’t the global occurrences of natural disasters just getting more and more too sweeping across the continents?

Mighty goals can only be achieved from milestone beginnings. And, sad to say, not much in terms of substance, have been done to scale done the daily bombardment of the earth’s atmosphere of the toxic fumes that we eject — industrially, commercially, agriculturally, let alone from where we live life without remorse.

A good starting point is our day-to-day mobility, where we fume over the unchecked traffic jams sprouting in every roadway. Carless days are nothing if not done in a massive endeavor and executed without having to wait for an imposition. Walking days must be the new norm, asserted from within us, not enforced from without — by authorities constantly alert to anything brewing.

Rehabilitation? Fine, let us be determined that the very core of our collective endeavors, national and local, will positively expand into a community-driven passion to get us through the rehabilitation effort ahead — our outdated, inefficient sewage system, our dwindling forest canopy, our congested roadways, our battered parks and public spaces — to push the city back into the threshold of manageable carrying capacity.

As reiterated, there is much to exalt when wave of national sympathy to Baguio’s plight and urgent needs has come into our midst, no doubt in kind response to the kind of local governance that now presides over domestic requirements. Anytime there’s that national predisposition, we take it with gladsome gratefulness. Anytime, national money comes our way, we erupt in jubilation, thankful that our needs are high up there in national attention.

But, we locals must do our well-deserved part. Hard work, real complete and competently endeavoted staff work, the likes of which we remember FVR in his heyday used to require from us. That’s what loosens up national aid, that’s what will realistically get us going full blast in re-directing the pathways towards rehabilitation. Honest-to-goodness homework, that’s what any rehab effort can get us going.

Time and again, amid the difficulties we have historically faced, we always counted on our sense of belonging and pride, discovering every which way that things can be done. Time and again, given the strong conviction and perseverance that go into the effort, we have succeeded every way drives us into.

After all, a greening Baguio is all it takes for us to use the chance of getting better. Better air quality, better water quality, better quality in what we do and accomplish. The nationally-aided rehabilitation give us the golden chance of a lifetime that we should never allow to slip us by. For these are exciting opportunities to harness each other’s time, trust and treasure towards the better Baguio that we are called upon to achieve.

Now that time is on our side this time, it’s high time it be done the right way.