imyeyes-banner-sqIn My EyesBy Edward B. Antonio

A harder stance, please!

We don’t need to wonder why our COVID-19 cases suddenly soared to very high levels, fellas, higher than during the epidemic’s world peak in our country.

If there is one country who is wise enough or unwise enough to control it, it should be ours.

If there is one particular town that is wise enough or unwise enough to control it, it must be our own town.

And if there is a house whose family members are wise enough or unwise enough to control it, it must be our own house.

In other words, the virus spreads because we are too wise or too unwise.

The guidelines might be wise but people are too unwise to follow or too wise themselves that they seem to be wiser than the guideline makers.

“Natangken a talaga ti ulo dagiti tao (People are too hard-headed),” says my good friend Mang Maing.

We have too many toothless laws.

Bungal,” Mang Maing says.

One “very wise” radio analyst said that the infection rate keeps on rising as a result of the opening of economy last March 1. He gave some “very wise” pieces of advice on how to prevent its further spread, lambasting the masses for being too hard-headed, which I agreed. But he stopped short of blaming President Rodrigo Duterte for declaring an open economy last March 1 or to the local government officials for following the order.

My eardrums are near to breaking for his repetitive pieces of advice, almost daily, that a housemate can already memorize his lines.

Now, we are back to stricter quarantine protocols, fellas, tightening once more our already tight economy. That little sliver of economy opening has increased our daily infection up to kingdom come and yet, life seems the same.

I don’t blame the government for its seesawing declarations of “now-we-open, now-we-close” policy. With the depletion of our coffers, the government, indeed, is in quandary where to get the money to run our COVID-stricken country – in terms of economy and health. You add to this our problem on the Spratlys, Scarborough Shoal, Mabini Reef and lately, the Julian Felipe Reef where the Chinese are slowly encroaching to claim them as their own.

“Our economy is ailing,” said one high-ranking government official who owns a chain of business establishment, which, when you read between the lines, it means: “My businesses have closed or are running very poor that I don’t have enough money for use in the next election campaigns.”

Why the very loose imposition of stricter health guidelines, fellas?

“It’s because this October is the start of the filing of certificates of candidacy and you must not infuriate your electorates,” says Mang Maing.

Maybe.

While driving along the national highway, I came across a town where the majority of the people seemed to be living in a pre-COVID scenario life – no face masks or face masks down to their chins: tricycle drivers and their passengers, vendors, biking kids, people waiting for ride, motorcycle-riding individuals and couples, bus passengers, jueteng agents and bettors, people buying in the bakeshops, frolicking teenagers holding their android phones and standbys.

The scene infuriated me.

Driving further, I came across a PNP patrol car with an officer standing beside it.

I alighted and told him my observation.

“Sir, may I ask if the PNP has been authorized to reprimand or even fine non-facemask wearing individuals?” I politely asked.

He admitted they have been authorized.

“Yes, it’s the duty of the PNP and the LGU, but people here are really hard-headed. Sir, I will present your observation in our next joint meeting with the LGU so we can impose stricter guidelines. Actually, there are so many hard-headed individuals we cannot cope up effectively with the numbers,” he said.

“I think it’s the duty of everyone to remind our fellowmen to wear their face mask and observe social distancing, but there are those who take these reminders negatively,” I said.

He nodded.

Well, this town is one of those with the least COVID infection in the province, fellas, but I think there is no need to be complacent. Prevention is still better than cure. I hope the PNP would be harder on these hard-headed people in the same manner they play hard stance on motorists without driver’s license or without helmet.

If others can’t wear their face masks, surely we can, fellas.

If you decide to engage in public activities, continue to protect yourself by practicing everyday preventive actions. Keep these items on hand and use them when venturing out: a mask, tissues, and a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, if possible. If possible, avoid others who are not wearing masks or ask others around you to wear masks.

Well, these guidelines have been here for a year already but people seem to play deaf and blind. They really don’t care. These are the kinds of people who should be infected with the UK, South African or Brazilian variant (the mutated one) and ought to suffer in their deathbeds before they succumb.

If these people are minors, then their parents should answer.

If they are adults, they should be fined.

If they are senior citizens, they are ought to be given “senior” reprimands usually given to toddlers. Sometimes these senior citizens and adults are the ones giving the bad examples.

If they are tricycle drivers and their passengers, vendors, biking kids, people waiting for ride, motorcycle-riding individuals and couples, bus passengers, jueteng agents and bettors, people buying in the bakeshops, frolicking teenagers holding their android phones and standbys, they should be brought to the PNP headquarters for a reprimand-lecture and fined. If they won’t pay, they should be put inside jail for an hour or two.

If you can’t bend a metal, hit it hard with a sledge hammer.

If you can’t bend it that way, soften it using acetylene flame.

Still can’t? Cut it with a saw!

Hard-headed people need harder treatment.

I think this is what we need.

A harder stance, please!