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EDITORIAL: Health as a personal priority

EVERYDAY for the past five months, all of us have tried, one way or another, to practice health protocols mandated by the health department to stop the spread of COVID 19. It is a struggle for those who are just getting by economically to adapt to the ever changing protocols – division in motorcycles for those riding pillion, and now the use of face shields, initially thought of for those using public transportation but are now mandated as a supplement to wearing
face masks.

Yesterday, a web forum was organized by the Mindanao Institute of Journalism on the topic “Where do our disposable PPEs go?” Yes indeed, where do they end up after we use them?

The figures presented by the resource persons, among them the Interfacing Development Interventions for Sustainability, showed shocking figures of waste – and this does not include exact figures on this period. We don’t have to go far to see that these disposable PPEs, especially face masks, are everywhere – on the streets, sewers, coastal areas and floating in the sea.

A veteran radio commentator said that in Samal strait, the islets of floating garbage now includes face masks and bottles of alcohol, further polluting this body of water. Households have to be educated so that they can start segregating their PPEs from their usual residual and recyclable wastes. But again, this is subject to another discussion on the use of non-disposable masks.

The medical facilities strictly adhere to their own waste management protocols. The Rad Green Solutions is one of the private companies that ensure waste in hospitals and medical facilities are properly disposed using the highest standards mandated by national government agencies like the Department of Health and the Department of Science and Technology.

We have to aspire to be healthy. Apart from staying at home when possible to avoid contracting the virus, proper diet and exercise, plus enough sleep should be conscientiously practiced. With gyms still running at 50%, many find ways to keep fit while at home by being creative in making their own exercise regimen.

We could not afford to be sick. Not at this time. Rather than spend money on medical treatment, it is better to watch what we eat and maintain a healthy lifestyle in addition to the health protocols. This should be the personal goal of every Filipino.

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