Delta is here. In Cebu. In the last three weeks, deep down, we knew. After all, what could have fueled the surge? But for as long as we were told otherwise, we chose to believe in something other than the truth.
All cases stemmed from returning overseas Filipinos. No community transmission in the country. And Cebu had special immunity. The lies we tell ourselves.
Could we have stopped Delta from landing on our shores? Perhaps, not. But we could have been a little less welcoming and stopped it from entering and staying in our communities.
We could have stopped being overly optimistic as Delta swept the world. We could have looked to the tragedies of India and Indonesia and learned to project and prepare for the worst.
And we could have told ourselves the truth—that Cebu does not possess an amulet to protect its people from Covid-19, much less the Delta variant.
A few, brave souls did tell the truth. But they were derided and dismissed as doomsday prophets and economic terrorists. Had we taken these warnings seriously, Delta wouldn’t have had a chance to gain a foothold in our communities.
But didn’t we say that quarantine for arriving travelers was painful and prohibitive? Well, so is hospitalization and death—for all of us now in the community.
Why do we keep repeating the lies? Covid-19 is no big deal. Do we have a cure? No. Do we have herd immunity? No. Less than seven percent of our country’s population has been fully vaccinated.
Why do we think that Covid-19 is something we can just live with—without making any real changes in the way we live? Post-pandemic, if we ever get there, will require a change in lifestyle and mindset. There’s no going back. Let’s stop lying to ourselves.
Why do we say that Delta is not a variant of concern because it’s not more fatal, only more transmissible? Greater transmissibility means increased illnesses and hospitalizations. We cannot risk a collapse of our healthcare systems.
No one is getting sick. No one is dying. There is no shortage of hospital beds. We are nowhere near our critical care limit. Everything is manageable. Maybe for now but not for long if we keep saying these lies to ourselves.
When you know someone who had to wait three days to get a hospital bed, that’s not a rumor. When you know someone whose grandmother’s cadaver had to lie in a freezer for days because of queues in all the crematoriums in the city, that’s not fake news.
When someone dies in an ambulance queue waiting to enter a hospital’s emergency room, that’s one more tragic case, one more preventable death, one more loss of life, too many.
Covid is gone. There is no need to get the vaccine. The lies we tell ourselves need to stop. Or these lies will end up killing all of us.