FROM Covid-19 epicenter to being low risk is as good a recognition as any. It hurt when we were treated like the island’s pariah, barred from traveling outside our borders in order to contain the spread of the disease to our neighbors. It will not hurt anyone if we gloat a little now.
We must have done something right to get to where we are now. Our hospitals no longer have to turn away patients for lack of rooms. Our health workers are no longer as overworked (and underpaid?). And the harsh chatter from critics that we thought would never end has actually abated. (I do not expect them to say thank you to Mayor Edgar Labella and OPAV Sec. Mike Dino for ignoring the defamation heaped upon them but I wonder if they have at least felt sorry for themselves for acting so irrationally at a time when we needed to stay together to fight the pandemic.)
A younger friend who is a resident physician of a private hospital said they haven’t had a Covid-19 patient since the last week of August. And the quarantine center, set up by generous businessmen - mostly alumni of the Sacred Heart School for Boys (now the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo) - at the old SHS campus has suspended its operations, hopefully permanently, because it had no more admissions.
But we will let the numbers speak for themselves. In the last week of September, the whole island of Cebu tallied a total of 332 new cases. Of these, 53 were from Cebu City, 43 from Lapu-Lapu, 36 from Mandaue and 200 from the province.
The total dipped to only 291 the following week although Cebu City’s figures rose slightly to 71. Lapu-Lapu, Mandaue and the province accounted for the decrease with 18, 36 and 166 cases, respectively.
These are still significant numbers, a grim reminder that the dreaded coronavirus is still around. We cannot afford to be complacent again like we did in June and July. What is happening in many countries in Europe which are now experiencing a second surge of the pandemic should serve as a lesson to us all. Let us take care of ourselves. Please.
Since I have started gloating a little anyway, let me gloat some more, particularly to my friends in Walk and Talk (they know who they are) who caused us enormous pain by their celebration of our loss in Game 5 of the NBA championships. I regret to report, guys that my Los Angeles Lakers are champions again.
For almost a decade, I have been telling myself at the end of every season that we will be back next year. It was less an act of defiance than a prayer that we will finally see the pieces fit and we will win the title again. And we just did. In convincing and dominant fashion yet. As Mayor Edgar texted me during the second quarter, we were witnessing an “onslaught.”
To my friends who have been hoping that LA would stumble again, I say better luck next year. We are still under quarantine, the practice of law is no longer as productive and the prices of commodities are still high. It’s the same life, in other words. But at least we are the champions, my friends!