Due to pressing professional engagements, I have been traveling a lot this past week. I must have flown around eight (8) times during the past seven (7) days.
It just so happened that this was also the time when the number of positive cases of Covid-19 infection has been jumping alarmingly. As of this writing, the Department of Health (DOH) site lists 49 positive cases.
This is alarming indeed because the increasing number of confirmed infections raises the likelihood of undetected infections and, of course, the possibility of contamination rises with it.
This is why the government is taking increasingly stringent and drastic measures to try and impede the spread of the virus and contain it.
Government personnel are hot on the trails taken by known infected patients to do contact tracing to try and find possible infections or persons who should be quarantined. Classes have been suspended in the capital, activities involving large crowds have been postponed and public officials have gone on self-quarantine after possible exposure to infected persons.
There is even talk of a possible lockdown of Metro Manila.
The times are troubling indeed.
However, what is even more troubling, alarming and dangerous is the disproportionate degree of panic that is affecting a lot of people. I mean it has gotten to a point that it is already difficult to find THE ordinarily ubiquitous bottles of rubbing alcohol and even tissue or toilet paper, not to mention surgical masks whether you are in Luzon, Visayas or Mindanao.
Grocery shelves and drugstores are being emptied of these items and, increasingly, panic buying of food is also resulting to an escalation of the scarcity of daily necessities.
Some people are acting as if they are already living in a zombie apocalypse and alcohol is the magic elixir that will save them.
Should we be worried? Yes! Should we be taking precautions? Of course!
However, we should not be buying every bottle of alcohol and box of surgical masks in sight nor should we be hoarding enough food for six (6) months without going out of our houses.
While I am on this, what is it with TOILET PAPER? Why is it also disappearing from grocery shelves? Is there some magic that this two-ply restroom wonder has that I do not know about?
Again, panic reactions like this will only result to the deprivation of such basic necessities from those who really need them.
Reactions to the situation should be kept reasonable and calibrated. I mean there are around forty-nine (49) known positive infections of Covid 19, most of them in Metro Manila and I know of only one (1) in Mindanao, the patient in Cagayan de Oro. So, why are some people in Davao City already acting as if the virus is already at their doorsteps?
The City Government of Davao has been monitoring the situation and taking the necessary precautions. The guidelines issued by Mayor Sara already covers very reasonable and logical precautionary measures to address the present situation and I am sure that if the need arises, our local government will act accordingly.
What is important for now is to remain calm and reasonable and to take the suggested actions. Keep washing your hands, use sanitizers, clean frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant, avoid crowds, wear masks if you have coughs, the common cold or flu like symptoms to prevent infecting others and, most important of all, DO NOT PANIC!
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