THE year 2021 had us reeling from the ups and downs of new Covid-19 cases with the month of September having the highest number of new Covid-19 cases. It slowly dropped from then on and now we are still feeling somewhat content with having one- or two-digit number of new Covid-19 cases per day.

This contentment somehow became our Achilles heel after having done our best efforts to prevent the spread of the virus; wearing a face mask, practicing physical distancing, wearing a face shield, and even avoiding mass gathering.

These past few days we are seeing an increasing trend of daily new Covid-19 cases. Health officials attributed this to the new variants being detected in the Philippines, the Omicron and the Delta, which are said to be more contagious than the old variants already circulating in our country.

However, new or old variants, this could have not spread vigorously if we did not put our guards down; even with strong temptations to party, to stroll along places where there are crowds of people, or to drink liquor in public places because "after all it's the holidays."

These activities are a great contributor to the massive spread of the virus; and coupled with few individuals' acts of recklessness and intentionally going above the law, it will not be surprising that the surge of cases will be happening anytime soon.

Our best defense now is to be vaccinated. Vaccination protects us and our more vulnerable family members, like those with lingering diseases or those whose immune system is not yet fully developed.

As what Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said, Covid-19 Omicron and Delta -- the variants that are more transmissible -- have already reached our community, there's no way for us to be complacent lest we will be experiencing the inconvenience and discomfort we experienced when the pandemic first broke out.

If we only put health first in our mind, then we can party, stroll, and drink later with much more comfort and convenience.