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ROUGH CUTS | Let’s be responsible for our protection

A FEW weeks back the subject of our column was on the continued violation of some people of the various health protocols laid down by government in order to arrest the spread of the deadly Corona Virus Disease 2019 (CoViD 19).
And we also shared our observation that despite the warnings issued by health authorities the people seem to have their fate in the current health pandemic totally dependent on the government’s responses. They cited as primary reason that the government has the moral responsibility to give them all the assistance they need amidst the crisis because it is the authority’s closing of the economy that has put them in the present financial straits.
Despite all the efforts done by government however, the people apparently focus their attention more on the negative things that has been happening in the fight against the dreaded virus. And many prefer to ignore the good things the government has been doing that have clearly prevented our country from becoming the Italy of Asia as far as the CoViD 19 pandemic is concerned.
Because of this personal observation of ours we hazard out an unsolicited recommendation that the Inter-agency Task Force on the Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) take a new tact in dealing with the crisis as well as do some attitude-changing strategies. That is, to find ways that the people stop living with the notion that they do not have any role in helping themselves out of the health emergency.
Yes, since it is common observation that many seem to leave their fate in surviving the pandemic on the government, we find it worthwhile to make them realize that their protection is as much their responsibility as it is that of government.
Our suggestion, though it is like delivering a blow on the moon, was to shift the bigger responsibility of protecting the people against the virus to themselves using as parameters the protocols issued by the government.
How? Well, by simply obeying government issued mandates like social distancing, wearing of face mask, avoiding large crowd gathering, keeping clean, voluntarily reporting to health authorities if there are doubts of possible infection, and of late, wearing of face shield while taking public transportation or getting inside enclosed public places like malls and churches. Summarized, it is instilling discipline in one’s self that is all being asked of from every citizen of this country.
Unfortunately, many prefer to invoke the constitutionally-guaranteed personal freedom in dodging from the mandated health protocols. Most often given reason by those apprehended of violating the protocols is that they have the right to live, so they need to get out of the house or refuse being quarantined so they could continue with their livelihood in order to survive the pandemic.
And if only to put more weight to their protestation they usually argue that with the restrictions from the government supposedly to protect them from dying of CoViD, they’d add that, “Yes, by staying home, we may be able to avoid the death caused by the virus, but just the same we could still die of hunger.”
Well, that is one argument that is definitely difficult to rebut given the government’s lack of resources in providing assistance to the people in this crisis that is yet uncertain as to its end.
And even as we are strongly advocating for a compliance by the people of all the government’s mandated protocols we have to admit that whatever reason we have for our advocacy is hardest to defend when the issue raised by the people is their freedom to live and survive the global health pandemic.
Nonetheless, we would like to share some ideas we have learned from a certain Dr. B. Calinawagan who is given the opportunity to share his/her wisdom through the facility of the communications platform Facebook.
We hope that those who can find enough time to discern the meaning of his/her idea can understand the relevance of playing their part in this ghastly drama now disturbing the social and economic foundations of countries all over the world. Here is Dr. Calinawagan’s thought:
“The health care workers are not your frontliners any longer. They are your LAST LINE OF DEFENSE. We, the people, are the frontliners now. The war has shifted to the community and it is up to us. This cannot be won in the confines of the hospital…
“Let this sink in. WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PROTECTING OURSELVES, OUR FAMILY, THE COMMUNITY, AND THE COUNTRY. Lifted restrictions does not mean carelessness and that life is back to ‘normal’. Gatherings in large number are still NOT OK. Be responsible.”

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