Briones: Not another one

·2 min read

Well, what do you know?

The World Health Organization has convened its emergency committee to discuss whether to declare the expanding outbreak of Monkeypox a global crisis.

Call it whatever you want, but I prefer to describe the agency’s latest move as fearmongering. Mind you, I don’t expect nations to take drastic measures like what they did when they implemented lockdowns to contain the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic two years ago.

Majority of affected countries have yet to fully recover from the fiasco. And it’s not like it has been smooth sailing these past few months either. Far from it. Because we’re in the middle of a worldwide recession.

I’m not an economist, but I’m pretty sure Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February had something to do with the steady increase of prices since then.

Of course, it didn’t help that the West imposed sanctions on everything Russian, including its petroleum products. Obviously that meant the price of fuel has also skyrocketed.

Don’t get me wrong. Nations can still buy Russian oil on the world market. In fact, it’s much cheaper than Brent crude oil, which is why the likes of China and India are on a Russian buying spree. So if that’s the case, why aren’t we, the Philippines, not doing the same?

Well, it wouldn’t look good if Uncle Sam’s little brown brother didn’t toe the party line. Let the public suffer, but God forbid we disobey Washington’s edict.

And I hear there’s a shortage of wheat. Although when you think about it, it shouldn’t concern us rice eaters.

Anyway, Russia, being the world’s biggest wheat exporter, says the sanctions must be lifted before it can deliver to customers, while Ukraine, the world’s fifth biggest wheat exporter, claims the war has prevented it from making deliveries. Either way, that is not the topic of this column.

But I just want to remind everyone that we’ve had our hands full trying to cope with all sorts of problems. So the threat of another health crisis is definitely not welcome.

On Friday, July 29, 2022, the Department of Health announced the Philippines’ first Monkeypox case, which should send shivers down the spine of hypochondriacs.

I guess the health department had no choice but to report it. Apparently, Monkeypox is trending in the West right now. And the Philippines can’t afford not to be with the “IN” crowd.

At any rate, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “those at higher risk during this outbreak include people who ‘had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing Monkeypox activity,’ including men who have sex with men who meet partners online.”

Uh huh.

By the way, did you hear Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife are in the latest issue of Vogue?

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