ONE thing seems certain to continue; our fascination with numbers and playing with words or semantics. I was looking through a report from an independent research group OCTA on Covid19 that mostly re-interpreted stats brought out by the official task force, Inter-Agency Task Force in Emerging Diseases (IATF), and it reportedly noted a decreasing trend of the pandemic in the country. It also added that the Philippines had been able to keep the reproduction number of Covid19 to below one. The reproduction number refers to the number of people that one positive case can infect.
In the same report however, the research group had recommended that the basic health quarantine protocols in at least 16 areas and regions, including cities,which it described as “high risk” be reverted back to their original ECQ status, which they started with earlier in the year. The reason for this is the incidences of contagion in these areas. Doesn’t this sound a bit confusing, or even contradictory, having a decreasing trend and an increasing incidence at the same time? If one has ever played the group dynamics game called “Pass the message”, then perhaps, you could relate. What is the report trying to put across anyway? I’m leaving it here.
A few days ago, the acting mayor of the city had sent out an appeal to local citizens that there had been a rise in the number of positive cases in the city. One popular conjecture floating around is that this so-called second wave could all be due to a number of things: the adaptation of a more relaxed health and safety protocol (the MGCQ), then the re-opening of the food market in Roxas and lastly, the lifting of the liquor ban. Second wave or whatever, the thing to remember here is that, the first wave of stupidity has not even finished passing us yet. People still insist on going out to go somewhere, but there’s nowhere to go.
Then, while on the subject of waves, I remember Toffler’s book “The Third Wave”, which described the transition of developed countries, from being an industrial age society, under a “Second Wave”, to the present information age, thus 3rd wave society. So true, so very digitized have our lives become, with knowledge at the touch of a keyboard. Unfortunately, it’s back to Einstein’s comparison with how infinite is the universe…
Finally, just a few hours ago, an executive order from the city mayor had just aired: the city’s curfew hours from seven in the evening to five in the morning will again be placed in effect starting October 15 up to December. At this, the only thought is: all we had to do was to collectively follow rules to bring down covid. Now it’s back to square one of sorts.