CEBU

Cabaero: Raging brown waters

Beyond 30

RAIN is colorless but the water turned brown when they fell on the ground and rushed downstream bringing soil, sediments, roofing and appliances during the heavy downpour Sunday.

There was no warning for the deluge that came morning and afternoon of Sunday, Oct. 4, 2020, although the past rainy days should have given people living near rivers the time to monitor, prepare, then act before the rivers became swollen. Photos and video of the swollen Butuanon river showed fast-flowing and sometimes swirling waters turned brown by what the water picked up on the way down. Some roofing material, furniture and appliances such as television sets were seen bobbing in the moving waters.

Health officials have warned that brown floodwaters are dangerous because they carry sewage from canals and outdoor bathrooms. Equally worrisome is the state of the mountains and hills where the rainwater flowed from and before rushing into rivers and streams.

The brown rainwater runoff meant there were not enough trees or structures to hold the water and stop it from rushing down. It makes you wonder what happened to efforts to save watershed areas. How about the campaign to clear rivers and dredge them to prepare for rainy days?

You can expect the government to again be reactive and promise to do something about it. They should have acted much earlier, before the rainy season and the pandemic.

There were no deaths from the Sunday downpour, but the government should not wait for a worse outcome to take action.

* * *

There are questions about the medication and treatment that United States President Donald Trump is getting after he tested positive for the virus that causes the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

The interest is there because he is the US leader and he made controversial statements about the gravity of Covid-19 as a threat and he promoted at one point the use of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, in treating Covid-19.

The protocol for the treatment of Covid-19 patients includes having a chest x-ray or CT scan and blood test to monitor the patient’s condition. Since there is no cure for this coronavirus disease, medicines used on the patient are only supportive, to help manage the symptoms of fever, shortness of breath or blood infection. These include the use of antibiotics, steroids, vitamins, melatonin and oxygen. In some cases, patients are given convalescent plasma from a recovered individual.

Covid-19 survivors who underwent hospitalization have an idea of the treatment and medicine being given to Trump as they had some of these during confinement, except perhaps for the expensive and difficult to access ones that were handed to Trump such as the antibody cocktail and the anti-viral drug Remdesivir.

How the US president’s treatment is different from the usual protocol and the lessons hospitals and doctors can gain from Trump’s case will help in the evolution of treatments for Covid-19 patients.


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