The recent surge in Covid-19 cases in the country is alarming and disappointing.
Since the start of 2022, the number of new coronavirus cases has been expinentially increasing.
This is in stark contrast to December 2021 when hospitals nationwide announced a substantial reduction in Covid-19 cases.
Today, the emergency rooms in hospitals are crowded again. One major hospital chain in Metropolitan Manila announced that patients will have to wait for quite some time before they can be admitted to their treatment facilities.
Worse, there are fewer available health workers because many of them are currently under mandatory isolation since they have been exposed to the coronavirus as well.
Even politicians running in the coming elections had to take a breather because they contracted the coronavirus, or have been exposed to it.
Many campaign headquarters also had to suspend operations indefinitely after some of their volunteers tested positive for Covid-19.
Last week, Vice President Leni Robredo and her allies in the Liberal Party (LP) planned to blame the recent surge of Covid-19 cases on President Rodrigo Duterte. Blaming the President for just about anything under the sun is, after all, a strategy frequently resorted to by Robredo and her minions in the LP.
Obviously, Robredo and the LP shelved their plan, albeit temporarily, because everyone knows that the recent surge in Covid-19 cases is not President Duterte’s fault. To blame the President for it will only make the foolish Robredo look even more foolish to the electorate.
From all indications, reckless youths and irresponsible business establishment managers are to blame for the sharp increase in Covid-19 cases lately.
During the December 2021 yuletide season, many young men and women from the upper strata of society trooped to buffet restaurants, coffee shops, bars, and similar places of unnecessary amusement. While patronizing these establishments, they did away with health protocols like social distancing and the use of masks.
Because more customers meant more badly needed revenues, the managers of these establishments looked the other way as their young patrons ignored social distancing in the limited tables both inside and outside their facilities. Arguing that they cannot eat or drink with their masks on, they wore no face masks during their usual two to three-hour stay in the restaurant, shop, or bar.
That’s bad news because the coronavirus needs only a few seconds to contaminate a new host, and so on.
Establishments with outdoor dining facilities are the favorite destinations of reckless youths because these areas do not close early, unlike those inside big shopping malls.
During the last two weeks of December 2021, the reckless disregard for health protocols was very noticeable in the Glorietta and Greenbelt areas in Makati; Capitol Commons site in Pasig; Greenhills commercial complex in San Juan, and establishments at the reclamation area in Pasay City — all located in the National Capital Region (NCR).
A famous coffee shop chain compounded the problem of insufficient social distancing among its customers. Its promotion gimmick involving free 2022 planners caused long queues in all of its branches in the NCR. The physical proximity of each customer to another created an ideal situation for the coronavirus to spread from one unsuspecting host to another. More alarming is the management’s seemingly nonchalant attitude regarding the health threat it was tolerating.
There is also the example of Gwyneth Chua, the “Poblacion Girl” who violated her mandatory hotel quarantine by illegally slipping away from the Berjaya Hotel in Makati to attend a party. Chua later tested positive for Covid-19.
Exactly how many others Chua may have contaminated with Covid-19 is not yet ascertained. Anyway, criminal charges have been filed against Chua and her cohorts, and rightly so.
Finally, the hair-brained idea of re-opening cinema houses and similar venues should be shelved, before that scheme adds to the nation’s problems about Covid-19.