FAIR COMMENT | Alito L. Malinao
I may be accused of hair-splitting but I just would like to point out some terminologies used by our health authorities and local officials in dealing with Covid-19 and the new Delta variant.
I found it grating to hear the word “protocol” when referring to safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
The dictionary would tell you that protocol, a noun, refers to customs and regulations dealing with diplomatic formality, or an agreement between states, or a supplementary to an international agreement. Lately, protocol is used as rules in the format of messages that are exchanged between computers
In issues issued by the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States you will never encounter the word “protocol.”
The mantra in journalism is that you have to use the simplest, the most concise and easily understandable word or words to express your ideas. So instead of DOH protocols why not use DOH guidelines or health safeguards or safety standards, words used by WHO and the CDC?.
It is also only in the Philippines that you will encounter the word “granular” lockdown. It was Mayor Isko Moreno Domagoso who coined this term in March 2021 when several barangays in Tondo, Manila recorded high Covid-19 infections.
Obviously, the good mayor, who is titillated with the prospect of running for president after only one term as mayor, did not look up the meaning of the word “granular” before using it. Because the Miriam-Webster Dictionary would tell him that “granular” means “consisting of small grains or particles” and has nothing to do with putting an area in lockdown.
If what the mayor means is a lockdown of a certain area, then he should use the simpler “area lockdown,” “purok lockdown” or “block lockdown.” What is sad is that some national government agencies are now using this wrong choice of word.
In fighting the virus and helping prevent its spread, we should be guided by science and what our health professionals have been reminding us time and again and these are 1) get vaccinated; 2) observe physical distancing; 3) wash your hands regularly; 4) wear face mask and face shield when in a crowded area; and 5) stay at home as much as possible.
Stupidity at its worst
The United States, the richest and the most powerful country in the world, is now experiencing one of its worst debacles. I am not referring to its debacle in Afghanistan but its losing battle against the virus.
The U.S. has more than 40 million Covid cases and 650,000 deaths, the highest in the world. It is difficult to imagine that this is happening in the U.S. which manufactures Pfizer, Moderna and Janssen, the most effective anti-Covid vaccines. Its healthcare services and manpower are also superb.
But why are cases and deaths on rise again in the U.S.?
The answer is the stupidity of some Americans, particularly the Republicans. Big states such as Texas and Florida with Republican governors have refused to follow the mandate from the federal government headed by President Joe Biden, a Democrat, for them to get vaccinated and to wear masks. To them, this is an infringement of their rights and freedom. What a stupid reasoning!