Stepping up and out of it

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It’s still the V that can only capably beat the V. Vaccine over virus. Nothing else for now. Globally, they’re now pleading for the rich nations to spare something for the poor nations. The USA for one is set to set aside an ample allocation for global distribution, starting with what’s most basic: the lifting of patent manufacturing restrictions. It’s G over G: greatness over greed.

When this shall happen, amid the continuing global surge taking place in poor countries, we can only get down on our knees and plead. Why? It must because dear Philippines seems to be out of the immediate radar of the drug makers. We are just that in the priority menu, compared to India, Pakistan, and Nepal, whose deadly virus happenstance is recording unparalleled tallies of tragedy.

Or is our reputed intimacy with another Asian super power having to do with what we’re all being made to endure? Remember that at year’s start, it was bruited about that a merry mix of Eastern (SV and SPh) and Western vaccines are on the way. It’s not nearly halfway through the year and all we’ve got being jabbed in the arm of priority vulnerables are the former, while the latter seem to have hit monumental roadblocks suddenly materializing down the road.

Oh well, this may indeed be destiny, hammered onto our senses simply because we’ve gotten too close to Asia’s giant of a power, despite the torrent of incidents happening on disputed sealanes, despite the stern warnings from another giant of a power that being close, in pandemic times, is a big No-No.

 

 

Clearly, anything of global consequence has direr results for us. India continues to reel from a 3rd wave, this time from a super-variant that seems impervious to standard health protocols, despite rapid vaccination from a country that has manufactured its own branded vaccine.

Over in the United States, it appears that their own covid response has produced remarkable results, indicating a dramatic turnaround from the dismal case tallies in just three months.

Oh yes, now their President is minding the global need for vaccines, ever ready to dispatch succor drugs for the less developed countries, since they’ve gone past the target jabs, and unwilling Republicans are still out of sight in sites. Supply appears to have overtaken demand.

 

Right here in our midst, the latest focus is on the vaccination program. Fine, it’s only Sinovax that’s available on-site. But the latest is the other vaccines are definitely coming, if not next week then the week after that. So ebullient a prognosis, except that this has been a roundabout assurance resonating since three or four months back.

“Better something than nothing,” the senior citizens in us have been telling themselves.  At a time when cases right here are in a relentless surge up — streaking in days, slowing down later — vaccination is the only uncontested savior for most, the elderlies with comorbidities even.

 

About the one thing that’s worrisome is the dismal show-self effort noticeably discernable just by visiting the on-site centers where the eligible identified groups of individuals can get the shot in the arm.

This must have hurried up our information experts to press on the pedal for more updates designed to encourage vaccine acceptance. Fine, there may only be one such brand, but as our man-on-the-street wisely exclaims, “First dose means having 50% efficacy, the second dose, another 50%. That makes the vaccinated 100% safe and protected.”

 

 

There is always a better way, from where we sit. How about a no-nonsense, non-stop repetitive get-vaccinated messages flooding all information lanes, online and in trad media? How about a massively conducted public education and advocacy campaign that cuts across all sectors, are community-based, and representative of an “all society” response to an extraordinary need?

Of course, this is not to demean and belittle the public information conveyors that government has unleashed since the vaccination program was announced three months back. Everyone engaged in this effort may well have been stretched out too thinly, not unlike the medical frontliners who have been too maxed out, given their minute-by-minute exposure to transmission occurrences. Our PIOs have been the very epitome of uncomplaining, work-to-the-bone type of public servants just doing their darned best to dish it out, minute-by-minute.

 

In a way, vaccine reluctance or hesitancy may well have developed over the years by confused messages that people are getting. The experts have been in the forefront of this besieging information. It’s like getting them grouped in a large room for an expert thing to say. Put a hundred of them, and you’d get a hundred differing views.

That’s exactly what we’ve been experiencing these pandemic times as we continued to grapple with difficult choices, not wanting to take chances that could spell direly in the end. After all, why take chances on some things that can be weighed in closest to our chest?

While daily attack rates by the virus have considerably gone lower, the case count remained on that high, past the rooftop, even if a bit seemingly slowed down, now scaled down to 6,500 to 8,000 in a week of somewhat loosened restrictions.

This must when we can sense, not really see, the proverbial light at tunnel’s end. At the end of any good or bad day, it’s still staying safe, well protected, as we eke out something to live for the next day.

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