Espinoza: Second spike in Covid-19 cases possible

Elias L. Espinoza
·3 min read

ALL eyes are on the recent US presidential election results after President Donald Trump refused to concede, despite concession being traditional, to Democrat candidate and now President-elect Joseph Biden Jr. because he was allegedly cheated. Many right-thinking Americans, including some few Republicans, were stunned by Trump’s attack on the integrity of their democratic election system and their sacred right to vote in the absence of any evidence of fraud.

I thought all along that it’s only in our country (my apologies to my responsible and sensible fellowmen) where candidates who lost in an election would right away accuse their elected opponents of cheating. Now, the US, supposedly the bastion of freedom and democracy, is the butt of jokes in the world simply because their president won’t give up even if majority of the Americans have decided he should be out of the White House by January 2021.

Some of my pro-Trump American friends would disagree with me though. But let’s just wish that the messages that circulated on social media warning of another civil war in the US is totally fake. You know, when the US sneezes, third world countries, like ours, catch colds.

Let’s instead talk about the Covid-19 pandemic that we are currently facing, which incidentally also puts the US on top of the list in number of infections and deaths. It’s been more than a month that Cebu, including Cebu City, has been placed under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ) after the number of infections and deaths slowed down and in order to make our economy move again.

We thank God for slowing down this virus with everyone’s cooperation by complying with the health protocols. But I’m concerned about another possible spike in cases (God forbid!) every time I see people in groups talking, and some aren’t even wearing masks, teenagers playing basketball without masks, people eating in restaurants not minding their distance from each other, and minor children carolling on street intersections.

The Department of Health (DOH) and the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) have not lowered the minimum health protocols of wearing masks/face shield when in a crowd, social distancing and constant washing of hands with soap or putting alcohol. The IATF still has not allowed events for huge crowds.

I understand that our government has put everything in place to continue the gains that we have achieved in minimizing, if not stopping, the spread of Covid-19. The local government units upon the prodding of the IATF have passed ordinances with penalties and fines for people who do not comply with the minimum health protocols. But we’re soft in the enforcement of these health laws.

People should be allowed to go out of their homes only for important purposes. In this Christmas season, I’ve seen many people of all ages out of their homes, but I noticed that the enforcement of health protocols is lax. Is this validation that the deadly coronavirus is waning? It’s everyone’s wish for this virus, which made our lives miserable, to vanish.

Experts predicted that Covid-19 would be around until next year and the vaccine would only be available by the end of 2021 or early 2022. Do we just let the hardheaded suffer and die from the virus for as long as they don’t infect others? I believe that the better part of prudence is for the government to continue to strictly enforce the health protocols until everyone will receive the vaccine.