THE hysteria brought by the outbreak of 2019 novel coronavirus acute respiratory disease (2019-nCoV ARD) in recent weeks shows how our Kababayans process information (and disinformation) propagated by the mainstream and social media. After the World Health Organization (WHO) declares that 2019-nCoV ARD as public health emergency of international concern, many of our Kababayans began to panic and started overreacting over the fact that they may acquire the virus through various means.
Our national government even declared a temporary travel ban to China and its administrative regions such as Hong Kong and Macua, without considering its ill-effects to Chinese nationals and overseas Filipino workers. To date, there are three confirmed cases of 2019-nCoV ARD in our country, the victims are Chinese tourists who traveled from Wuhan, China via Hong Kong and have gone to visit Cebu, Dumaguete, and Bohol.
With this development, the untouched racist attitude of some Filipinos was brought into light. Fueled by irresponsible journalism, whose only purpose was to create fear and confusion, our innocent Kababayans started blaming the Chinese for the outbreak of this virus. Rather than express compassion and show support to our fellow human beings, many chose to alienate the Chinese for fear of contracting the disease.
The health department has issued bulletins and conducts regular press briefing to appraise us on how to protect ourselves and prevent the spread of the virus. And apparently, discriminating our Chinese brothers is not one of them. It is sad to note that our president has to call on the nation to stop the spread of sinophobia. This attitude does not help solve the issue at hand. Also, scientific studies and evidence suggest that imposing travel ban will not help contain the virus. The best way to limit the spread of this disease is through quarantine and our health department is already implementing this step for those who have travel histories in countries where 2019 nCoV ARD is identified.
So once again, Kagay-anons, spread the correct news not the virus.
Ang pamilyang Pilipino, ajah!
It is typical for Filipino families to be overly protective of their children, spouse, siblings, relatives, and close friends. Close family ties is a Filipino values that is apparent in every region in the Philippines. Whatever happens, it is the family that we Filipinos go back to.
Recently, a sad incident took place in our city. It was unlikely to happen for this family but it did. The family involved was a friend and until this day, I cannot fathom the gravity of the incident that I asked and wonder why it happened. It shattered them terribly and friends like me could only console them through our texts and calls. It gave them hope and encouragement that life is worth living. It may be a shattered reality but at the end of the day, my friend needs to be strong for her family. It is a known fact in our culture that the mother does not only provide the light but has to provide support to the Padre de Familia to make a strong household foundation. The mother will be the one to hold every member in her family to be united and face the unfortunate events.
It is during in times of tragic events that Filipino families would realize the importance of each member and even extended family, relatives and friends. I can only pray and hope that my friend would be able to surpass this trial.