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Over-marinated, undercooked

Right now, the vaccine is the only thing believed to protect an individual against the worst effects of the coronavirus.



Do you sometimes feel like adobo, marinating in soy sauce and vinegar, peppered, salted and spiced, ready to be cooked?

By this, I do not mean “feel like having” as much as “feel like being” the tenderized meat itself — just another animal in a world that’s fast being gobbled up.

It’s probably normal to feel like this — trapped in a pot and cooking in our own juices right about now, when the enhanced community quarantine looms (ECQ) ahead like a specter (or a spoon).

It’s back to ECQ, the tightest restriction that our government could design back when Covid-19 was just beginning to tie a noose around the world.

Today, there is Delta, a more ferocious variant of the ever-mutating life form that hits the lungs and chokes out the breath from human beings if they are not careful.

Once again, the planet is at its mercy.

The World Health Organization (WHO) last week reported cases of the Delta variant in “124 countries, along with 3.4 million new cases of Covid-19 around the world, 12 percent higher than the previous week.”

The Delta variant is 60 percent more transmissible.

In the Philippines, cases started out at four not too long ago, and now it is in the hundreds. In the United States, where vaccines are widely available but where only about 68 percent are vaccinated, government is calling for everyone to get the jab done.

Studies show that “the sharpest increases in Covid-19 infections are in places with lower vaccination rates,” an article on Aljazeera said, citing US infectious diseases expert Anthony Fauci’s opinion that it is a problem when only about 50 percent of the population are fully vaccinated.

Right now, the vaccine is the only thing believed to protect an individual against the worst effects of the coronavirus, with non-vaccinated people suffering the brunt of it, if not being felled by this invisible enemy.

Our task forces against Covid-19 — Inter-Agency and National — finally consented to the ECQ in spite of Health officials dilly-dallying, the usual debates stemming from suspicion of politicking, as well as urgent calls from local government units to impose restrictions anew.

The plan is a little undercooked, however, as if everyone in the kitchen is trying to please each other and ending up with a very confused dish.

Restrictions are heightened, for example, but hearing officials talk, there is that unspoken wish for the economy not to shut down as fully as before. With government aid uncertain for the 400,000 or so that rely on daily income affected by the ECQ, this could present problems once more.

The only plan that sounds sensible is that national government “will deliver 6.5 million doses to local government units in the National Capital Region (NCR) Plus to intensify mass vaccination,” it said in a statement.

It added that “Plus provinces Rizal, Laguna, Cavite and Bulacan will also be supplied an additional 2.5 million doses.”

In the Philippines, a country of 110 million, there are about eight million who have already received their second dose based on vaccination trackers. If you think about this fact against the Delta’s ferocity, you certainly could assume we are cooked.

What’s going for us is that 95 percent of frontliners are already fully vaccinated. In India, where the Delta variant was first detected and caused a massive, terrifying surge, medical workers are said to be falling ill even those that had been vaccinated.

The urgency of this Delta scourge cannot be emphasized enough.

And yet here we are, arguing about whether to act now or later, ECQ or GCQ, this or next week… believe OCTA Research’s dire warnings or be calm like Rosario Vergeire.

And why? Maybe because the economy cannot suffer another beating. Maybe because there are no available funds for Season 4 of dole outs. Or maybe because we relish marinating in our own juices too much before the flame hits the pot.