Briones: That same old feeling

On the go


The word was on my mind when I woke up Wednesday morning, May 20, 2020.

I wasn’t even sure how to spell it or what it meant but I knew the word existed. So I made a mental note to look it up.

Well, what do you know? It’s an adjective meaning “looking or sounding sad and dismal.”

I guess you could say I woke up lugubrious.

I just didn’t have the word to describe how I’ve been feeling since the country was plunged into a health crisis because of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic. But now I do.

And I have every reason to feel sad.

While the rest of the country has eased some restrictions and is placed under either modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) or general community quarantine, the cities of Cebu and Mandaue remain on enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until the end of the month.

Which is actually fine. We’ve been at it for more than a month. So what’s another 10 days, right?

However, I can’t help but feel a tinge of envy that Cebuanos under the jurisdiction of the Provincial Government can go to the beach or exercise, albeit under certain hours, starting Wednesday, May 20.

I don’t know if that’s the case in Talisay City. I heard the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases granted the mayor’s appeal to place the city under MECQ because he was alarmed by the rising number of Covid-19 cases there.

At any rate, it’s nice to know that some people are slowly going back to their old business. Oh wait, who am I kidding? It’s not some people but everybody else on Cebu Island who is slowly transitioning to a semblance of normality while residents of the cities of Cebu and Mandaue continue to languish on ECQ.

The number of Covid-19 cases rose in the two cities after both local government units conducted mass testing using the rapid diagnostic test, even though some parts of the world stopped using that method because of its inaccuracy and because it doesn’t really test for Covid-19.

I’m not a doctor so I won’t go into the details, but experts say the “gold standard” for Covid-19 testing is the real-time polymerase chain reaction.

But hey, maybe Mayors Edgardo Labella and Jonas Cortes know something we don’t. They say it’s not yet safe to downgrade the ECQ. I’ll take their word for it.

But they better have something new to tell the public when the third deadline nears. A high number of Covid-19 cases won’t hack it anymore.

Until then, I’ll probably remain lugubrious.


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