After over 69 (nice) days in lockdown, the DOH, the same guys who told us in February the COVID-19 situation was “contained,” are telling us that we have entered the “second” wave of infection, which they are somehow painting as a good thing, because, get this, they think the first wave has finally passed.
In this time where an infection could cost lives, being vigilant is a must. Here are 8 signs that this so-called “second” wave is the least of our worries.[Editor’s Note: The DOH has since backpedalled and clarified that we are in the “first major wave of sustained community transmission”.]
8. We have no idea how bad the first wave was is.
Without access to mass testing, we have no idea who has and who doesn’t have COVID-19. It’s a bit ridiculous to assume the first wave is over and done with when we have no idea who has and who doesn’t have Covid-19. To even remotely suggest that the first wave is over is laughable, because, again, we have no idea who has and who doesn’t have COVID-19. Those handful of people who have been testing, a good chunk of them politicians? Great. Now how about everybody else who’s been at risk for ages?
7. People are trying to obfuscate what mass testing is and what it’s for.
Mass testing? Walang ganon, mars!#MassTestingNowPH
(References are indicated below.) pic.twitter.com/qeJi0ZQios
— Scientists Unite Against COVID-19 (@TestCOVID19PH) May 22, 2020
Because people think every failure of this government is a political talking point that needs to be defended to death, they are willing to be disingenuous and play up the strawman that mass testing is impossible because we can’t possibly have 110 million tests for the entire nation. Do not be misled by this thinking, because that is not what mass testing is.
Angel Locsin said it best: if we had a mass burial today, does that mean we are going to bury all 110 million Filipinos? Then obviously, mass testing does not mean testing each and every Filipino just because.
6. We can’t even figure out what the rules are.
Everyone wants to know what the difference is between ECQ and MECQ and GCQ and MGCQ. Once you’re done reading their 200-page manual, you’d still have no idea. Meanwhile, people who have patiently waited and cooped themselves up for over two months, when finally allowed to go to the mall, will go to the mall. It’s not being pasaway. It’s them following the rules the government itself set, and then finding themselves blamed for it, because gaslighting is apparently our go-to now.
5. The people enforcing the rules clearly don’t even follow it.
EDITORIAL CARTOON: A PNP official was eager to give Metro Manila police chief Maj. Gen. Debold Sinas the benefit of the doubt for a party that violated quarantine measures. Where was this understanding when hungry Filipinos were punished for allegedly defying the same protocols? pic.twitter.com/V1UbTSO5zz
— The GUIDON (@TheGUIDON) May 15, 2020
Yeah. We don’t need to discuss this now, do we?
4. The only curve we’ve managed to flatten is our GDP.
Other countries going into their second wave of COVID cases after flattening their curves
Duque definition of second wave in the PH pic.twitter.com/RlKzcMen3c
— Austine #MassTestingNowPH (@austinedal1) May 20, 2020
Way to go! We expected a bit of an economic slump, but a negative GDP? With close to 300 Billion in emergency funds at our disposal? Someone is sleeping at the wheel, and we’re in the passenger seat with him.
3. Semantics means nothing while people are dying.
Call it the first, third, or theta wave for all we care. The point is, people are still dying, and we haven’t tested enough people to have more concrete steps in place other than live in a post-apocalyptic setting that would make Mad Max think it’s a little too extreme.
2. We really need to stop trying to look good and instead do good.
Who cares about the optics? This crapfest looks bad any angle you look at it right now. The fact that the more powerful sectors of this country care more about how they look than what they’re actually doing only goes to show that our priorities as a nation are shot. We keep comparing ourselves to Japan or Singapore and how they managed to deal with the first wave, yet in the end, countries like Somalia and Vietnam, countries we often scoff at as supposedly being worse off than us, are dealing with the pandemic fairly well.
1. We need mass testing first and foremost (as if the other items didn’t make this obvious).
Without an R and D department funded by the government, a cure or a vaccine is out of this country’s hands. With that in mind, mass testing is really the most important thing we can do to manage this disease. Think about it. If someone knows they are COVID-19 positive, then they can be treated for it, and can be kept away from other people. We would have a better idea of how to trace who came into contact with said people, and deal with them as well.
Containing this disease will remain to be a pipe dream for as long as the government tries to pretend that the most obvious solution is the one we need to ignore.