FAIR COMMENT | Alito L. Malinao
Despite positive spins made by our so-called research analysts, Covid-19 is still as ruthless and deadly as ever.
In the daily Covid bulletin issued by the Department of Health, the number of infections still fluctuates but has not gone down to the level recorded in March this year. But what is worrisome is the number of deaths that has not fallen from 100 during the past few days.
The only explanation for the continued rise of deaths is that our hospitals and medical facilities cannot cope in treating patients for them to recover from the virus. The DoH must explain why so many patients die. Is this because of lack of medicines or are our facilities inadequate to save patients? And what is it doing to save more lives instead of just issuing daily bulletins?
Last month, one of my former neighbors in our subdivision in Bacoor, Cavite, and his wife, died of Covid. The husband, a close friend and text mate, was the first to succumb followed by his wife who died two weeks later. Both of them were in their early sixties.
Another friend of mine who lives in Quezon City, his wife and two young children also got infected with Covid. They got the virus after attending a party. Luckily for them, they are now recuperating but after more than three weeks in a hospital their medical bill could be enormous.
My wife and I finally got our second dose of Sinovac last May 31 or almost a month after we were vaccinated for our first dose on May 3.
I have to give credit where credit is due. The vaccination rollout in Bacoor City and its barangays had been orderly. There was a house-to-house visit by barangay staff to the homes of senior citizens where we were given vaccination forms to fill up. Two weeks after the submission of our forms we were informed by text on the time and date of our vaccination. We had our jabs at the spacious Bacoor Coliseum which is 15-minute from our house.
I am not so sure how long the efficacy of Sinovac lasts. But I have read that Pfizer has announced that its vaccine is effective only for six months and after that one would need a booster shot.
Protocol and lockdown
I could be accused of splitting hairs but I have often wondered who among our health authorities have started to use the word “protocol” in referring to health standards. The dictionary will tell you that “protocol” refers to a set of rules on etiquette and procedures to be followed strictly in diplomacy and military. If there is a violation of accepted norms, then there is a “breach of protocol.” In journalism the accepted mantra is the simpler, the more concise and understandable the word is, the better. So instead of health protocols, which is grating, why not use “health standards” or “safety measures?”
Another word that I found exasperating is the word “lockdown.” In other countries, when there is a lockdown, the streets are empty, people are not allowed to go out, there are no transport services, and business establishments are closed.
But here in the Philippines, people still move around during lockdowns. In Manila, officials have even coined ludicrous terms such as “soft,” “hard,” and “granular” lockdowns.” Only in the Philippines!