DAVAO CITY was on top again in the list of the leading five areas contributing to the most number of new CoViD 19 infections the other day.
Imagine another 157 new cases were discovered on that day alone in the city! And, this has been this fate since many months ago in this time of the health pandemic.
It is quite unfortunate because this is happening even as the civilian and health authorities seem to be indefatigably doing everything possible to arrest the infection.
Yet again all their efforts appear to have failed based on the result of the daily monitoring of the Department of Health (DoH) on the number of new CoViD 19 cases.
We wonder how much frustration this situation has given Mayor Inday Sara Duterte-Carpio and the other leaders of the city who are in the thick of planning all the strategies adopted by the local government to arrest the rise of new cases.
Of course, it must be acknowledged that this difficult task of fighting the unseen enemy should not just be the responsibility of the government. Everybody is affected here. Meaning we can be all victims should we not cooperate or refuse to play our individual role in the gargantuan efforts.
If the people will just let the government and its authorized officials fight the battle and we just be fence-sitters watching them do the fighting for certain they could easily be defeated. We need to play our role which actually is really not too difficult to do except that we have to make some sacrifices.
So at this point in time, we believe that the leaders of Davao City have already done enough in the fight to get out of the wrath that we are in as far as CoViD 19 is concerned. We guess that we the people in the city now have to examine our conscience and check whether we have honestly done our fair share in the battle.
After all, our responsibility is simple – follow all the health protocols mandated by government authorities and make sacrifices such as denying ourselves the freedom of doing with gusto the many things we were used to do prior to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Davaoenos are now anticipating the arrival of the anti-CoViD 19 vaccines that the city government is negotiating to buy from a foreign pharmaceutical company. The mayor has announced the vaccines are coming within the first quarter of the year. But even as we are happy with the arrival of what is believed as the ultimate solution to our problem with the dreaded virus, the solution itself is having with it a built-in problem that we have to contend with.
And we the people not just of Davao City but nationwide are a major part of that attendant problem. We have allowed ourselves to be victims of our ignorance and fear. We allow misinformation by the various social media platforms and other alternative venues of communication to influence our thinking, thus prodding us to make uninformed or erroneous decisions, and even beliefs.
And yes, there are also other people and vested interest groups that are peddling around believable information about the vaccines, all of them can easily be attributed to certain interested groups more likely the competing pharmaceutical firms and those they have bought favors from the government. There are also professionals including Nobel Prize awardees, who are using their credentials to influence the ignorant into having second thought on the vaccines.
Now a nationwide survey shows that only roughly fifty percent of the Filipinos would want themselves inoculated when the vaccines arrive. There is also the problem of our too much belief that any western country manufactured medicine is more efficacious than those that come from the eastern nations. Again, this is one of our traits that a treatise developed by our military friend Col. Ezra Balagtey would want us to do away with.
We cannot help but assume that the fifty percent who are not willing to be vaccinated also include those polled from Davao City. The mayor herself appears to be acknowledging this reality when she disclosed the other day that the local government is crafting a plan to launch a massive information drive on the vaccine. Indeed it has to be massive and far-reaching.
Let the authorities not forget the area and topography of Davao City and the number of its residents living in the very rural areas. We are all supportive of the planned information drive and we are willing to help through this space. But in our opinion the broadcast media will be the strategic vehicle for the information drive if we have to reach every family in the city.
And as far as the many informal settlements in the city proper where many are also considered vulnerable to the virus, the barangay officials and possibly resident volunteers could play an important role in making the campaign a success. We suggest that the city and national health authorities tap them.
We also strongly recommend to the local leadership to start the massive information drive on the vaccine as early as possible. This will surely assure that when the vaccines arrive there will be more than fifty percent acceptance.
That definitely will do justice to the city government’s spending so much money for the purchase.