WUHAN, CHINA COVID-19 - Let's Get the Facts Straight! PART 2

11:57:00 AM Pinoy Boy Journals 0 Comments

Let's get the facts straight. Covid-19 originated in Wuhan, Hubei Province in China from a seafood market that also sells exotic wild animals for CONSUMPTION sometime in December 2019.  Let that sink in. Fast forward to the present, the Philippines has more than 4,000 reported cases, with more than 200 deaths, as of this writing. Italy, Spain and the United States have more positive cases, with higher numbers of deaths. The world is close to having a million people infected with Covid-19 in the days to come. And it's not showing that it is slowing down anytime soon. To tell you that this pandemic is very alarming is such an understatement.

Back in January when the first reported case from Wuhan, China was reported in the news, I already had a bad feeling about it. Knowing about SARS, Bird and Swine Flu from before, and that it's also from China, which is relatively not too far from the Philippines, the virus reaching our shores is not too impossible to happen. Somehow, the leader of this nation has quite a  strong fascination for, and great affinity with China. There are more direct flights from anywhere in China to the Philippines than before. Worse, some are chartered flights straight from Wuhan to the Philippines. Instead of shutting down all flights from China during the start of the pandemic, the decision was just to let it pass. No biggie, as the health department and the government might think of. From hereon, instead of preparing for when this virus reaches the Philippines, the issue suddenly became discrimination of Chinese nationals. There were also a lot of fake news that propagated in social media by this time, which made factual news very hard to reach to the people. 

February came, more than a month since the first reported case from China, and the government has pretty much laid low and downplayed the situation. It's a virus, for chrissake. People can get infected with it. And infected people can infect other people. It's a domino effect, and if you've heard of the Spanish Influenza Pandemic of 1918, you would know that it wiped out 50 million people around the world, and has affected more than 1/3 of the entire population of the world. Yes, it's a virus, just like Covid-19. 

Around the first week of March, there were one to two cases from Chinese nationals returning to the Philippines that tested positive. The Philippines was actually the first country outside China with a Covid-19 positive. Let that sink in. These people came from their Chinese New Year holiday. I could vividly remember that people in the government assured everyone that it's all under control and chances of infection is very low. Asked if it's time to finally cancel all flights to/from affected countries, the answer was no. I assumed that the government was thinking that this virus can be contained. Again, it's a viral infection which means people can get infected with it. And infected people can infect other people. How is this not sinking in to the heads of our leaders? How is this not a concern? Most especially since there are more documented and undocumented Chinese Nationals arriving in the country in the past 2-3 years. 

As weeks pass by, more and more persons under monitoring and persons under investigation grew.  Most of which came from trips abroad. And that is the reason why shutting down our airports was quite a crucial decision that should have been made months ago. Now, more than ever, contact tracing came in too late, as these people who tested positive have been carriers for weeks now. This means, for asymptomatic positives, they may have passed the virus to other people, without them even knowing it. And the worse has yet to come. The situation grew worse, and the number of Covid-19 positives is getting higher. The cancellation of all flights, came in too late. I assume, by this time, we can all agree to this. Preparation for a pandemic is key. Part of the blame is that WHO announced it too late, too. Most countries downplayed the situation thinking COVID-19 is containable, and doesn't pose any threat. We should have known better. The Philippines, in particular, started the enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila only in the second week of March. That's roughly two months since the first reported case of Covid-19, with more cases being reported. Because the government started too late, It is only now that the health department started creating protocols and guidelines to help solve this crisis when it could have been prepared months prior. By this time, more and more health practitioners have become infected, and tested positive for Covid-19. My former cardiologist got infected, and died in the line of duty. I wrote about him HERE. Let that sink in. Lack of PPEs for workers are to be blamed for this. Imagine, going to war without an armor, or even protection. It's basic, and need not be said. I think we can all agree that the health department failed to foresee this need, and in turn it paved the way for more deaths of doctors, nurses and other hospital workers. Information is also key here, which the health department and government failed to do so. If they did this successfully, you would not see people close to each other as if physical distancing protocol doesn't exist at all. Not a lot of people understand how contagious a virus is. We're talking about a micro droplet that can be transmitted to another person, without knowing about it or even seeing it. 

It's only through the kindness and generosity of celebrities and other personalities, drives for donation started. And it's a glaring display how actionability by private individuals and groups have overshadowed the help that should have been by the government to the people begin with. This means more money to be allocated for buying personal protective equipment for frontliners, more hospitals prepped to be eligible to become treating centers and fine adjustments to have actual PRC based testing. More importantly, enough budget to sustain the livelihood of the poor.

Being quarantined for more than a month now, i realized that there's just too many thoughts running through my head that i needed to get this out of my system. I have been witness to how Wuhan Covid-19 progressed from when it started until it finally reached the Philippines, and what the government has been doing (or the lack of it) to contain this virus. 

I may not be a fan of the old man sitting president, obviously, but i am a reasonable fellow. I follow the laws, and protocols and guidelines set to contain the situation at hand. But i also have a voice, and my social and moral responsibility is to voice out my opinion on the said matter, not only for myself but also for all the people in my community. i only want what's best for our nation. Why? Because we're all in this together.

The only solution to contain the virus is a vaccine, which may or may not come after a year. Mass testing is mandatory. For the simplest reason, how do we treat Covid-19 patients if we don't know who they are. These tests and treatments are administered by health care workers or the suicide squad as some people call it. It's mandatory that they get protected, too. PPEs which include gears, masks, etc. must be the top priority for them. Imagine a hospital with dead health care workers. And the people, the Filipinos ,really lack discipline which to be honest, goes to other nationals, too. If we would only distance ourselves from people, and follow the enhanced community quarantine protocols, this nightmare will be over. 

And of course, we should not forget the power of a prayer. During this time, our faith gives us hope that this, too, shall pass. It's only a matter of time. 

All of these, like in any community, won't be possible, if we don't have leaders with the best plans of action. That's why they are called leaders - because they lead a nation. What is the strategy? How do we beat this? As a voter, tax payer and citizen of this nation, it is my right to ask these questions. These are important matters which need to be addressed the soonest possible time. Time is of the essence. It's frustrating to see numbers going up, stats show that this nightmare is far from over. Until, the people, finally see a formidable plan, we will all die in desperation, frustration and anger. 

Hope - the only thing that keeps us all in touch that we will all overcome this. Hopefully, soon.

Photo sourced from HERE.