AS I am writing this column (Saturday, July 24), heavy rains brought by habagat are still pounding Laguna province.
Two days before, another piece of bad news: the Covid-19 Delta variant, which is more contagious and more life-threatening than earlier strains, has already entered Laguna province.
Two cases were reported in Calamba City, and God knows how many people are already infected.
And on Saturday morning, a magnitude 6.6 earthquake jolted us all as we are still enduring heavy rains and floods.
Disasters do come in threes, as the old saying goes.
Despite the fact that at least 47 cases of the Delta variant had already entered the country, I cannot help but notice a seeming "lack of urgency" from the government officials running the country's Covid-19 response.
All they keep telling us is, "We're ready for the Delta variant," but their actions don't seem to connect with their assurances.
As usual, the country extended travel bans to two countries hit by the Delta variant – Thailand and Malaysia – after noticing a spike in local transmissions.
Moreover, we haven't seen any steps to ramp up contact tracing, much less enforce health protocols.
But what really got into my skin is the President's decision to call an "emergency meeting" to discuss steps to combat the spread of the more contagious Covid-19 variant – the next day!
What kind of “emergency” meeting is that?
If your house is on fire, would you wait until the next day to call the bumberos?
Covid-19 response officials in other countries: swift response, no questions asked. Time is of the essence.
Covid-19 response officials in the Philippines: “Masusi po naming pinag-aaralan ang mga hakbang (We are still studying measures)…”
My advice to our officials: Quit studying. Just do whatever you have to do.
One piece of good news is that nowadays, people don’t wait to be urged to be vaccinated against Covid-19 anymore.
According to health officials interviewed by OpinYon Laguna, residents are now volunteering to register and have themselves inoculated.
The problem is, when order breaks down at the vaccination sites, things could quickly spiral out of control.
Take for example an incident at a major mall in the province where people crowded up the mall’s entrance as they wait for their vaccine – without physical distancing being enforced.
That’s a big problem, especially when you realize that instead of getting yourself protected against the virus, you could get infected by that “superspreader” crowd.