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Masks

It is almost the end of July and the DoH is far behind in its target of testing 1.63 million Filipinos by the end of this month.

Dinah S. Ventura

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It’s called “caution fatigue,” apparently.

People, after four months and running, are starting to get either careless of uncaring.

These are dangerous behaviors in these COVID-ridden times.

Even our dauntless congressmen are experiencing “caution fatigue,” it seems, albeit in a different way.

Some of them were out there this past weekend — out and about on social media, that is — lashing out at those who twitted them for their uncaring attitude about public sentiment on the ABS-CBN franchise issue.

Okay, fine, just unfriend me!

Thus, went one former University of the Philippines (UP) Iskolar whose batchmates were taken aback by his hypocritical stance on oligarchy.

Congress (which is a word that was memed these past days, too, for being the term used for a bunch of baboons) had been so high-strung and strung-out over the franchise issue that all some people wanted was to change the channel.

Really. But how?

It would have been nice to watch FPJ’s Ang Probinsiyano instead. Coco Martin was much-needed to put out some fires in that other “show.”

Gone was the playing safe mode, many could see — it felt like a shooting spree the way they shot down all arguments, legal or moral.

It’s like that word “basta!”

This seems to be running in many minds, the way some people go out these days without masks, forget to wash their hands often or just mosey on to someone else’s space without regard for the other person’s paranoia.

This could well prove UP right.

The Philippines’ coronavirus cases may well peak at 100,000 by the end of August if we are not careful.

An expert from UP, a report in this paper said, warned that it could happen should “efforts to tweak the health protocols in the battle against the pandemic fail.”

Shall we pit Mathematics professor Dr. Guido David’s analysis against the people’s rising malaise?

The importance of our basic protocols cannot be discounted.

According to studies, one report says. “wearing masks lowers the chance of transmission by up to 85 percent, while maintaining a physical distance of one meter reduces the risk of transmission by 80 percent.”

In our populated communities, it can be hard to keep the required distance, and people would have to make an extra-conscious effort to maintain some space between them and others.

The UP prof “noted that cases are increasing by at least a thousand a day.” This could really be traced to the way some citizens disregard or forget to follow the rules.

Photos of non-mask-wearing and clustering have shown this much. It is also why new virus hotspots have emerged lately. The highest numbers are in the National Capital Region where more non-essential activities have been allowed.

David’s recommendation? “Authorities should tighten border controls, ramp up coronavirus screening and bring those who test positive for the virus to isolation facilities instead of going on home quarantine. The home quarantine is not working anymore.”

He also noted problem areas in mass testing and public transportation.

It is almost the end of July and the Department of Health is far behind in its target of testing 1.63 million Filipinos by the end of this month and 10 million or about nine percent of the population in the coming months.

Obviously, there are many issues that have to be addressed as extreme priority, yet many mask-wearing politicians are more concerned about converging their beliefs as a congress.

Meanwhile, many ordinary citizens are feeling the economic effects of this pandemic, causing some to unmask their frustrations with carelessness or uncaring.

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