Briones: Bottom line

On The Go

DESPITE everything that is going on right now, we should all count ourselves lucky because we have so much to be thankful for.

Yes, the whole of Cebu is under a state of enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), which means we can’t do many of the stuff we used to take for granted, but, as Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia reminded the public during her press conference Tuesday afternoon, March 31, 2020, “this is temporary.”

Are we all on the same page, so far? Good.

Before I continue, let me share the definition of “temporary” so that people who have been criticizing the governor for “overreacting” in trying to save the lives of millions of Cebuanos from the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) can think twice before opening their mouths.

The Cambridge English dictionary puts it simply: “not lasting or needed for very long.”

In our case, the inconveniences that the public is being forced to undergo will last until noon of April 28. In the meantime, we just have to accept that we are indeed living in strange times.

First of all, we are up against an invisible enemy. One that is not alive. The novel coronavirus does not discriminate. It transcends gender, race, religion and politics. It’s an equal-opportunity killer.

As of March 31, five persons had died from Covid-19 in Cebu City alone. And those were just the patients who were tested and found positive of the virus.

In an ideal setup, Garcia would be the one calling the shots for the whole of Cebu. She is, after all, the governor. Except for the independent cities of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu, the 44 municipalities and seven cities that comprise the province are under her jurisdiction.

By the way, she has been calling the shots for the most part. But along the way, she consulted mayors of the towns and the component cities, even Mayor Edgardo Labella of Cebu City and Mayor Junard Chan of Lapu-Lapu City, to discuss their “coordinated and unified” measures against Covid-19.

The governor has a bigger responsibility because she has to think about the whole province of Cebu. What she has done may be unpopular to some, but in the end, it is for the welfare of all the Cebuanos.

And that’s what people forget. The governor is asking them to stay at home to protect them and others from the virus. Really, that’s the bottom line.

To her critics, Garcia has this to say: “I don’t know about you, but my choice is clear. Blame it on me because I believe this is the way we should go while we can still do something about it. We don’t want to be forced in a situation when we are already helpless and there is nothing much we can do.”


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