THE news that the transmission of the novel coronavirus in Cebu City has slowed down is interesting and certainly inspiring. Mary Jean Loreche, spokesperson of the Department of Health (DOH)-Central Visayas, told the press that the percentage of people who tested positive for the virus was lower at 4.1 percent in August 15 compared to 9.7 percent in July 15 and 30.2 percent on June 15.
Loreche even suggested that Cebu City is maybe ready now for the modified general community quarantine (MGCQ). But, the IATF (Inter-Agency Task for Emerging Infectious Diseases) had extended the GCQ status of Cebu City until the end of the month. The GCQ status was supposed to end on August 16.
Reports have it that on August 16, 2020, Cebu City recorded 20 new coronavirus disease (Covid-19) cases, four recoveries and no additional death. Cebu City now has a total of 9,383 Covid-19 cases with 7,205 recoveries and 615 deaths. DILG Usec. Jonathan Malaya attributed Cebu City's slowdown in the transmission of the virus to the creation of cluster clinics, barangay isolation centers, and quarantine facilities, deployment of contact tracing teams, and widespread testing.
Again, allow me to remind everyone that this is not a reason to celebrate yet because the Covid-19 contagion has slowed down. It's even with more resolve that we maintain if not improve the situation. How to do it? Even without the policemen or the soldiers to enforce the quarantine and the health protocols, let's continue to observe and comply with the wearing of face mask when in public, social distancing and personal hygiene.
Sadly, however, there are still some people who seem not to care for their own health or for the others that they may be in contact with. Here's what I noticed in the morning of Saturday on my way to Danao City. While the traffic light was stop at the intersection of Abellana Street, Mandaue City and the Highway, I took picture of the lady vendor (perhaps the owner) of a sari-sari store, who was talking to a customer with her face mask on her chin. The same scene I saw on the opposite side of the road where there are also sari-sari stores wherein the tindera and a customer were talking to each with their face masks on their chin. Why? Your guess is as good as mine.
In the afternoon of that day on my way home, I dropped by at the pocket market in Talamban to buy fish and vegetable. But I did not buy fish because the face mask of the two lady fish vendors was on their chin, while the vegetable vendors have worn their face mask properly. I admonished the fish vendors but they just grinned. I called up Barangay Talamban to report the matter.
What I have seen that Saturday may be considered few and insignificant. But when I posted the picture on social media, it got hundred reactions and comments saying that the same is true in their places not necessarily in Cebu City or Cebu. What this simply suggest is that most homo sapiens will only comply with the law, rules and regulations in the presence of the law enforcers.
For Cebu City to attain the MGCQ status and perhaps graduate to the new normal, it should strictly enforce, without fear or favor, its ordinance that penalizes the non-wearing of face mask in public and at work and non-compliance of social distancing to instill discipline. The other local government units should do the same. In other countries, the wearing of face mask is a national law. But here it's localized. Is it better, or not?