The proverb, “Health is wealth,” means that the state of well-being, being free from disease or diseases, both physical and mental, is indeed a wealth. The adage is an ancient one from the great classical Roman poet Publius Vergilius Maro who said, “The greatest wealth is health.”

There is no argument that Covid-19 would be with us until it’s over. Or, we have to wait when the World Health Organization (WHO) will declare that we are all safe from this virus.

Unfortunately, the recent health bulletin of the Department of Health (DOH), with the Omicron variant in our midst, doesn’t paint a rosy picture for the nation. The DOH on Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 25 reported 17,677 new Covid-19 cases, raising the total number of infections to 3,459,646.

Because Cebu City is under Alert Level 3, Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama issued the “no vax, no entry” executive order that allows only fully vaccinated people, 12 years old and above, to enter business establishments to prevent the further spread of the coronavirus. However, fully vaccinated minors ages 12 to 17 must be accompanied by a fully vaccinated parent or guardian.

The business sector in Cebu City though is not pleased with the “no vax, no entry” policy of Mayor Rama.

Rey Calooy, in an interview, said the government has to strike the balance between safeguarding public health and helping the economy recover. Calooy chairs the Filipino-Cebuano Business Club Inc., which represents the micro, small and medium enterprises.

“Businesses, especially those that belong in the micro, small and medium enterprise sector are still struggling to get back on their feet from the wrath of Typhoon Odette. I think that this ‘no vaccination, no entry’ policy will further bring us down,” Calooy said.

Everyone is affected by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and by Typhoon Odette, which ravaged parts of Cebu last month. Perhaps, Mr. Calooy could recommend to Mayor Rama the better option, as he suggested to the mayor to “strike the balance between safeguarding the public health and helping the economy recover.”

Perhaps, Calooy could let the employers and employees that belong to the Filipino-Cebuano Business Club Inc. lead as model by showing to the public that all of them have already received the free anti-Covid-19 vaccine that the government provided. Or, take part in the campaign in encouraging the doubting Thomases to be vaccinated and not just shout out narratives. I bet some of their workers have yet to be vaccinated.

I don’t see any difference between President Duterte’s call to the unvaccinated to stay home, except to buy necessities, like food and medicines, and the “no vax, no entry” policy of Mayor Rama. If I remember it correctly, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Ahong Chan had done that earlier than Mayor Rama so that Oponganons rushed to the city’s vaccination centers because they want to continue to go to the malls. I don’t recall someone complaining.

The big question that perhaps hangs in everyone’s minds is, why give the privilege to the unvaccinated hard-ass minority over the vaccinated people? May I ask the business leaders, do we have to gamble our health over wealth? Instead, the Filipino-Cebuano Business Club should help the government’s vaccination campaign by disallowing the unvaccinated hombres from their establishments.