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HONORING MY MOTHER | Ako si Mr. Swabbing




AS MY son and I made one really-necessary drive back to the city proper yesterday, two activities of equal significance were simultaneously happening near us.

There was an ongoing free swab activity taking place in Maa for all public utility vehicle drivers and then, an opened community pantry near a mall in Ecoland, which attracted thousands of locals who lined up for two blocks.

To be clear, I have only seen photographs of the free drive-through swabbing activity on social media which showed a long line of taxis, tricycles and other PUVs leading to Crocodile Park in Maa, with their drivers filling up forms while being administered by health authorities in their PPEs.

This free swab for Sars-CoV-2, sponsored by the city government and undertaken by the Davao City Health office, likewise availed for the city public transport drivers a free tuberculosis screening, as they, of all people are more in danger of contracting bacteria or other pathogens from their clientele. So, for the rest of our concerned high-risk essential workers, the activity runs from April 26 to May 8.

On the other hand, we witnessed first-hand the growing-by-the-minute crowd line leading to the aptly-titled Matina Community Pantry in front of SM. Sadly, my initial reaction to this otherwise noble endeavor was the lack of social distancing measures, despite the presence of a few police and others tasked with crowd control.

Much later to our relief, we have learned that, because of exactly this observation, the said activity was eventually halted and closed down by the organizers for fear of a possible spread of the coronavirus that was still very much around, despite the lessening number of positive cases in Davao City.

Who in social media could not help but learn about the so-called community pantry fail that happened earlier in the month, where a group of women literally “cleaned up” the whole pantry table, so to speak, even as the motto of the whole community exercise had been to only “give whatever you can and only take what you need.”

After that unfortunate incident, the concept of the community pantry had become a viral phenom which later gave birth to a slew of mêmes all over social media. Subsequently, it had become transformed into a political weapon by all members of that venerable spectrum that make up our intelligent and woke society.

For historical buffs who may have read a lot about primitive and indigenous cultures, their practice of community sharing had been as natural as loincloth, without any hidden agenda or underhanded motive.

Honestly, can we say the same for these so-called “community” pantries? Therein lies the irony of wearing a mask during this time of Covid: while it may extremely be perfect for protection, it works both ways, and can hide wolves donning sheep’s clothing. Just to be safe, be wary and study carefully each noble motive that comes your way. Or better yet, inquire in your most polite and cutesy manner. Remember. Liars go to hell.

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