Although Mandaue City is currently way behind Cebu City in the number of cases of Covid-19 infections, it’s not far-fetched that it would catch up with Cebu City even if it imposes higher fines for violation of the minimum health protocols, like the wearing of face masks in public places, compared to its neighbor cities, unless everyone, particularly the food vendors alongside the roads, observe the minimum health protocols.
The bulletin of the Department of Health (DOH) showed that as of Feb. 8, Mandaue City had a total of 470 active Covid-19 cases with 34 new cases. But August Lizer Malate, head of Mandaue City’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC), reported that 502 of the 8,121 individuals who were swabbed from Jan. 1 to Feb. 6 were positive of the virus. He said 80 percent of those who tested positive for Covid-19 belong to the working class. However, they could not determine where and how they were infected with the virus.
Despite the number of deaths and those hospitalized but survived from this deadly virus, there are still non-believers or those who crookedly think that Covid-19 is the creation of big international pharmaceuticals and drummed up by the World Health Organization (WHO), such that they comply, but merely putting the face mask on their chins and face shield on their heads.
It’s about time for the EOC of Mandaue City to go around and check on the full compliance of protocols by business establishments. I’ve passed many times along H. Abellana St., and I feel sorry at the sight of the vendors without masks, or if they do, it’s only on their chin, while tending to their goods and food. Last year, I took photos of them and sent these to the FB page of Mandaue City, but it was not given serious attention.
In the malls, which I seldom go to unless necessary to buy food and home supplies, majority of those inside the supermarkets and shops don’t wear properly their face masks and face shields. The mall security guards at the entrance are strict, barring those without face masks and face shields to go inside the mall. But most shoppers, once inside the mall, put their face shields on their heads and the face masks on their chins.
I’ve said this many times that our health is our personal concern and care, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic. But these hard-asses and non-believers that Covid-19 is real need the full force of the law for them to follow, hence, the need for our government officials and the police to strictly enforce the minimum health protocols.
Perhaps, the DOH report in the last quarter last year that the cases went down, which they flashed loudly as an accomplishment, could also be a factor that most of us have become complacent, especially those who, or any member of the clan, were spared from the wrath of this deadly virus.
Folks, let’s not be over confident just because the vaccine is about to arrive. But remember that not everyone could get it right away since the health care workers and frontliners have the priority. What’s concerning, if not more baffling to us ordinary mortals, is that even the experts in the discipline of science say that the vaccine is not a guarantee against the virus. This is not to scare anyone, but this is a sincere message of precaution.