Daily Star LogoOpinions


Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, June 30, 2020
Front Page
Star Business
Opinion
Sports
Star Life
People & Events
Twinkling
with Ninfa Leonardia
OPINIONS

Is the COVID urbanized?

Ninfa Leonardia

There was a time, not too long ago, when countries all over the world, well, most of them, at least, regarded American tourists as very welcome, because they were known not only to be big spenders, but also friendlier and easier to deal with than those from other regions. Alas, those days have gone by, and reports say that the European Union is now even considering the banning the travel of its people to that region. And the Coronavirus pandemic is the cause of it all!

***

That must be because the latest reports claim that the U.S. appears to have the highest average in the number of cases of infection. Could it be that the people there are too careless about protecting themselves? But the weapon against this virus is a very simple one, and I am referring to the wearing of masks, which experts have confirmed to be the most effective guard against it. And it is not expensive, unlike what it would cost one to get treated after infection, which might not even work!

***

Others may think it was overkill on the part of our city officials to make the wearing of masks mandatory, but the numbers do show that we have less – and cross your fingers – less cases than, say, Cebu, where, I heard, many still go around without the safety covering. That was probably why, returning students and employees from Manila coming home to Bacolod and Negros Occidental were quarantined in Lapulapu City, rather than in Cebu City where the risks are greater. Yesterday, we went to the airport to meet one of my nieces coming home from London, and that’s how we found out.

***

But going to the airport is no longer as easy as we were used to. Grim-faced guards halt you at the entrance, telling you that only the driver can get in if we were not passengers ourselves. And so we parked on the highway, just outside the main gate, to wait, and watched other vehicles also turned away. For almost two hours we waited, and then were told that anyway, we could not even see the one we were meeting because a bus from the city was fetching the passengers and bring them straight to quarantine areas!

***

And so, since the niece we were meeting had come from London and had already been quarantined in Cebu before being sent back to Manila for the trip to Bacolod, we patiently waited, thinking we could take her back with us. But no! Protocol declared that the passengers go on the city bus, to their specified quarantine sites, and we could not even wave at her, but consoled ourselves when she texted that she saw us in our vehicle. Up to this writing, we have not met her yet!

***

Well, we were probably not the only ones so frustrated, but we can only be glad that all our loved ones are now home and accounted for – except those who are actually residing abroad and in other places in the country. Such are the penalties also brought by this pandemic that the world has yet to conquer, with all its learned and talented scientists and medical practitioners. I wonder if statistics have ever been taken on the effects of this virus in the rural areas? Are there as many infections as there are in the big cities?

***

I wonder about that because, really, I have not heard reports of people from the farms, the distant barangays and puroks, being infected. Or is it only because of lack of communication? Or could it be that their “sirujanos”, witch doctors and faith healers, are doing a better job? When we were children, spending summer vacations in our grandfather’s farm, and we developed fevers, our grandma would call a “manugluy-a”, an old neighbor who would make the sign of the cross by rubbing a slice of luy-a, or ginger, on our temples, foreheads, behind the ears, neck, wrists and ankles, and we miraculously recovered! But who would listen to that in this day and age?

***

But still, we Pinoys can still be thankful that we seem to be coping better than other countries in fighting this COVID plague. I thought before that it could be because of our warmer climate, but Mexico, is also said to be having a very bad time and a reporter even ventured to pronounce that “Mexico City is dying”! Not only because of the virus itself, but because of businesses that have suffered from it. It seems about 40 percent of the businesses that used to operate can no longer reopen now. And theirs must not be the only country in such dire straits. We Pinoys still have much to be thankful for, so let us all remain prayerful and grateful for the protection we have been given.*

back to top

   
  Email: visayandailystar@yahoo.com