ONE of the many sectors of the population most adversely affected by the on-going Coronavirus (CoViD-19) pandemic is the fishers’ group.
Yes, fishermen all over the country may be lucky. In their workplaces which are the fishing waters there can be no such thing as convergence of massive crowds. The small-time fisher folks do their livelihood either by their lonesome self, or in company with one or two others.
So, they can freely move around when they are out there in the open seas. Of course they have to confront all the health protocols when they are on the shorelines preparing for their fishing paraphernalia and boats, or when they call it a day and bring to the shore their catch. It is in the said area where fishermen are nearer each other talking about who among them are fortunate to have a good catch or who are not.
It is also on the shore or beach lines that fish merchants come to meet the fishermen and haggle for the price of their catch. So it becomes natural that there will be close personal contacts involving the fishermen, the fish buyers, and even the co-called “merons” who seek opportunity to be given a fish or two by some “Good Samaritans.”
But are the fishermen lucky? Some fisher folks in Samal who were interviewed by GMA’s One Mindanao News correspondent Jandi Esteban said the fishermen in that island city are still in the muck because of the pandemic.
For how can they when, according to the fishermen, even if they have good catch people have less money to buy their fishes. Moreover, the fishermen added, the fish traders with substantial capital are also taking advantage of the situation. Their buying prices are too low claiming that they have difficulty in bringing the fish to the market since there are so many restrictions of movement due to the pandemic.
They also said that they are hesitant to personally, or let their spouses do the selling of their catch because of fear of getting the deadly virus.
But they thank the local government unit of the Island Garden City of Samal under Mayor Al David Uy for doing an innovative way of rescuing them from their precarious situation. According to the fishermen the LGU buys most of their catch for distribution to the various front liners in the city’s fight against CoViD 19.
And this claim by the fishermen was confirmed by an official of the City Agriculture Office who said that Mayor Uy has directed the buying of the Samal fisherman’s catch so they can have better income. At the same time, the front liners are assured of free supply of fresh fish from the city government.
For this gesture we salute the young Mayor Uy. It is a noble way of helping his constituents in these trying times.
The people of the island city can now say that they have not made a mistake in choosing a youthful leader who is keen in discerning what needs to be done to let his city see through a very uncertain situation in a pandemic of serious economic impact.
Again, we take our hat off to you Mayor Al David Uy. We are looking forward to your achieving a major dream of yours — that of having your city connected to a more stable power provider. We share in your vision that only an IGaCoS with a stable and efficient power service will allow businessmen who see potential in the city dare gamble to sink in their money in the area.
We commiserate with the family of the late Oliver Isleta, a Davaoeno nurse who worked in a hospital in Fresno, California who died very recently of CoViD 19. According to the family, Oliver left Davao for the US in 2006 and was able to land a job in a Fresno hospital. When the pandemic started spreading its deadly effect in the US, California was one of those states worst hit.
Isleta then became a leading front liner in the fight against the disease being a nurse. Yet, according to Isleta’s wife Jeanette, despite being provided with the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), the virus still managed to infect her husband and in due time he became a CoViD patient instead of a front liner.
The father of Isleta also disclosed on television that when he had an earlier talk to his son he noticed that Oliver had manifested a disposition that he was recovering. But in his last video chat with his nurse son, he saw him seemingly catching his breath. And for that he was already entertaining the morbid thought that he would lose Oliver who at that time was already intubated. And sadly, his family and that of his son’s finally lost him last September 1.
What was most painful for the family, according to Oliver’s wife, is that they were made to decide whether to have the nurse-patient remain intubated or detach him from it.
It was not clear in the interview whether Oliver’s family decided for the continued intubation or detaching him from the oxygen supply. But whatever, the nurse from Davao is now dead because of coronavirus infection.
Yes, it’s one big irony that Isleta was out there in a foreign land helping save the people of that place from the deadly pandemic, and dying in the process.
Good thing that there was some kind of a consolation for Isleta’s personal sacrifices. According to his wife, her husband was given posthumous recognition by the hospital where he worked.
In this time of the CoViD 19 pandemic what the people are eagerly awaiting are reports concerning the “flattening of the curve.” This condition is seen indicative of a continuing slowing down of the pace of the virus infection on people.
Here is one very timely yet relative joke to the situation with some degree of seriousness in its message. Captioned: “Tips to avoid ‘fattening of the curve’,” it goes this way:
- LOCKDOWN your refrigerator
- PHYSICAL DISTANCE from the dining table
- Avoid RAPID TASTING, and
- WEAR FACE MASK when hungry.
Now, dear readers, you’d surely not like to see the effect if you do not follow the tips while we are in the pandemic. Would you?