If it isn’t war, it’s disease.
That the earth is also dying due to climate change is another factor that should be making us run for the hills and returning to a life of simplicity and repentance.
But, yes, here we are at a time of grave dangers, as the simplest virus can cause outbreaks, just as the virus that is corruption can spread and persist like the wildfires in Australia.
It’s only January, the beginning of a new decade, and already we are inundated with major challenges that are proving to be life and death.
Before the ashes of Taal’s volcanic eruption could all fall to the ground that is now reduced to a white wasteland, we are confronted with another mask-inducing scare called coronavirus.
The case of the boy from Wuhan City in China who landed in Cebu recently is causing the scare meter to amp up.
After all, China has confirmed four deaths due to the said infection, and the virus has already spread to Japan, South, Korea, Thailand and now the Philippines.
People traveling from Wuhan are now the subject of intense scrutiny in all countries around the world, and here we are with a mother and son from that same place arriving on 12 January, bringing a potentially deadly virus to our shores.
The Department of Health (DoH) is investigating the case.
The child is currently in a hospital in Cebu City, and is reportedly “stable and afebrile,” DoH said.
The specimen of the boy was sent to Melbourne, Australia for further testing, and DoH is awaiting the test results.
The Wuhan virus is said to be of the same family as the lethal Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which also began in China.
The World Health Organization (WHO) said that the outbreak is believed to have originated in a seafood and animal market in Wuhan.
Although the WHO has assured that there is “no confirmed 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) case in the Philippines,” paranoia seems to be building in our shores.
If the result of such paranoia is a strict and thorough monitoring of entrants into the Philippines, so be it. These days, one can never be too careful with one’s health considering how deadly simple viruses have evolved to be.
The new strain of coronavirus, which originally got passed from animal to human, is also passed from person to person.
People with weak immune systems, especially children and the elderly, can easily contract it.
The boy from Wuhan tested negative for Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-COV) and SARS which are both diseases caused by a family of viruses called coronaviruses.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, coronaviruses can spread through the air by “coughing and sneezing; close personal contact such as touching or shaking hands; touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose or eyes before washing your hands; and fecal contamination.”
To keep ourselves protected, even as health authorities rush to figure out the details about this new strain of coronavirus, is something as simple as practicing good hygiene.
The DoH states: “The public should wash their hands frequently, avoid contact with wild animals and people with flu-like symptoms and cover the mouth or nose when coughing and sneezing.”
Simple, really. No need to panic.
Now, where can we find those high-quality face masks?