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IT seems like smoother sailing from here on till Christmas, many say. The continued decrease in the number of positive cases of covid-19 in the city appears to be the firm anchor in this present thinking. As such, based on one of the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) covid-19 updates, it was even reported that this month, we had just recorded our lowest number of positive cases in a day.

This week, the city mayor announced through an executive order that henceforth, those who wished to enter the city need not anymore present a copy of their Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain Reaction or RT-PCR test results, as what had previously been required months back.

As cited in reports, the need to jumpstart the economy, plus the successful vaccination drive of the city (which is still ongoing), have us where we are presently.

In hindsight, what should have served as a clear gimme was the city resolution from a few weeks back, which did away with the protective barriers in all public utility transports. At that time, there had been a lot of comments (including from this guy right here) that the move may have been untimely, as justification for such may have been absent or lost in translation.

Nevertheless, the facts are clear as cards laid on the table: Covid-19 cases are down (check), we need to pump up the economy in the city as soon as possible (check) and more important, as restrictions become less strict here onward, the populace though wary, should try to get back as close to their normal ways. The mayor has even added that, in spite of these, we should still remain wary and at the least, maintain the basic protection protocols in order to be safe moving forward.

While all these developments, particularly the ones regarding the easing of regulations, generally applies to everyone, it might likewise be wise to see how we can transpose these within each of our family units. Even with doing without face shields for example, we’ve decided that in crowds and closed spaces, we’ll still continue to do so. Meanwhile, two dads I know said their families would still avoid the Christmas crowd and not go out on vacation during the holidays. In all, to each his own really, just as long as we are not complacent.

Does social distancing still apply then? Thank you for that wonderful question. The easing of regulations does not necessarily mean we can now go touch hands, rub elbows and hug our friends, no limit. The QR code still applies, ask first if they’re covid-free (just kidding). But seriously, vaccinated or not, Covid still out there. It still poses a threat. Same as Day One. Therefore, whether there be restrictions or not, the odds don’t change a thing really. In the end, it’s merely not enough that we only think safety at all times. Let’s practice it no end. As one late hero of mine coins the action word clearly, “Let’s doh it!”

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