Briones: Just as expected

Publio J. Briones III
·2 min read

THE people had been forewarned.

Do not be lulled into complacency because the number of coronavirus cases had been going down for weeks leading to December. And do not rejoice that this number went farther down last month.

Officials of the Department of Health 7 and Cebu City’s Emergency Operations Center did say the trend would not continue after the holidays.

There will be reckoning after the Fiesta Señor celebration.

For some, the prospect of still not having a job can be daunting, especially if they are the breadwinner of the family. For others, it’s the return to money-pinching after having squandered away their hard-earned savings because they were expected to be generous during the “season of giving” even though the future remained uncertain.

But never mind that. It would appear that their faith in God had given them the strength to survive this pandemic.

I can imagine them placing their fate in God’s hands while they attended the Misa de Gallo and, now, the Sinulog novena mass. Perhaps, they believe this health crisis is God’s doing. You know, as a kind of punishment for all the s—t that’s going on. Maybe they believe that by acting piously, they can atone for their sins and find redemption for themselves, their family and their loved ones.

Unfortunately, Sars-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19, doesn’t distinguish between a devout Catholic and a non-practicing one. At least, not that I know of.

So why risk it?

Church officials had announced that the masses would be shown online so the faithful could watch them in the safety of their own homes.

Let me just remind you that one of the reasons Covid-19 cases have been up recently is because safety and health protocols, which, by the way, have kept the metro and the rest of the province relatively safe throughout this whole time, have been ignored.

Perhaps I don’t or cannot understand because I was not brought up in a religious household and did not spend half of my formative years in a “devout” Catholic country.

Don’t get me wrong. I know that during these times of uncertainty, many have relied on religion to keep them going and I don’t begrudge them for that. In fact, I envy them. Sometimes, I wish I had the conviction to surrender myself to God and just hope for the best.

But I hate to say it. Covid-19 cases will continue to go up in the next few days or few weeks. As expected and as predicted.

Of course, the government will probably come up with draconian measures to try and contain the outbreak and will chastise people for not complying with quarantine measures. But if you ask me, it could have prevented this whole thing from happening in the first place. After all, it had known all along what would happen if it didn’t.