Malilong: Surge, no surge

The Other Side

SURGE — A sudden powerful forward or upward movement, especially by a crowd or a natural force such as the waves or tide (Google). In 2013, more than 2,000 people died in Tacloban from a storm surge brought about by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

In that sense, there is no surge of Covid-19 cases in Cebu province. There has never been. The number of new cases in the province logged by the Department of Health - Central Visayas Office during the last few days may have been higher than it used to be but only slightly.

Dr. Peter Mancao did not say that there is a surge either. I read The Freeman story that quoted him. He merely warned that a surge could happen if people do not observe the safety precautions suggested by health experts such as wearing a mask or avoiding a crowd. Apparently, he saw many instances of people not following the advice on his way back to the city from Badian and was concerned. By the way, Mancao is a registered voter of Carcar City where the family has its ancestral home so he has a reason, aside from his being a health professional, to care.

I remember Mancao issuing the same warning to Cebu City residents after the restrictions were downgraded from MECQ to GCQ. So did many others, and they were not even doctors, after we transitioned from GCQ to MGCQ. I was one of them and I did it out of a sense of duty and of concern for my own well being and that of my family. I was not going to let an idiot compromise our health by getting infected with Covid-19 because of his well, idiocy, and infecting others who could infect me. Happily, no one called me out for what I did.

If there was anything objectionable about the Freeman story, it was the phrase “may see another surge” in the lead paragraph. As I previously said, the province is not only not experiencing a Covid-19 surge, it never had any. “Another” was misplaced but I am not sure if it was Mancao who was responsible.

Apparently, the “surge” story so piqued the governor of Cebu to not only lash at Mancao but to prohibit Cebu City residents from visiting the province’s tourist destinations. I hope that Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia was only misquoted. Why make us collateral damage? Although the SunStar Cebu said she is doing it to “prevent a resurgence of Covid-19 cases in the province,” it does not add up since the DOH records show that there have been fewer cases in Cebu City during the past weeks.

Of course, it is not unusual for local government units to safeguard their boundaries and their people. That is their duty in the first place. In the U.S. for example, New York ordered the quarantine of travelers from a few other states after it was able to control the pandemic.

I do not expect Mayor Edgar Labella to issue a similar order in Cebu City even if, like New York in the US, it was referred to, at times derisively, as the epicenter of the Covid pandemic in Cebu. In fact, he joined Garcia’s call for Cebu City residents to refrain from going to the province’s tourist destinations. Stay at home, he said. We’re still on quarantine. Said like a good father of the family.

Unlike the province, the city once went through a Covid-19 surge. Let’s avoid going through another one.


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