THE Filipino is known to have the value of "ningas-kugon," this is a Filipino term for the tendency of individuals to start a new task with much enthusiasm, only to stop working on it entirely soon after. Virtue ethics proponents had planted this value in the minds of our forefathers and thus was handed from generation to generation.
In March of 2020, when coronavirus disease (Covid-19) entered the shores of our beloved country, everyone was cautious and even the government was looking for measures to stop the spread. All health protocols were enforced, and everyone cooperated. Suggestions of how to curb the surge came in from all corners and even businesses cooperated. The behavior of the virus and its variants were studied well. Cure and protection were searched by everyone.
When the vaccines came in. Most Filipinos believed that “Manna” from heaven had arrived. It allayed the fears and anxieties of most Filipinos. And in a while, he forgets about the virus and turns back to his old ways and practices. The election fever made it worse. He forgets that every day, there are a lot of “unreported” Covid deaths around the world. Social media wants us to believe that the numbers are down and we need to go back to normal and live with Covid.
A sector of the community today is saying that it is the elections that have cured us of the pandemic in the Philippines. News of Covid surges in Shanghai and some parts of Europe do not hamper election activities in the country. Candidates boast of the number of people attending their sorties. If they care, they should have advised their supporters to stay home and help fight the virus. But what happens, a show of force and numbers is the name of the game in the pre-election activities.
Is it the election season that has stopped or slowed down the transmission of Covid-19? If this is true, then this is a great medical breakthrough. Medical schools should investigate this and come out with a very good scientific result because, if this is so, then we should schedule elections every time there is a pandemic or even endemic disease. If this is true, then it is a great miracle.
For almost two years, a lot of places in the country have been placed under quarantine or lock-downs because of the virus surge. However, lately, we no longer see a surge but the health department continuously reminds us of a possible surge or a possible reproduction of a new virus. All these calls fell on deaf ears and we continued with rallies, sorties, and alike.
For more than four months, the Filipino had placed his health concern on lower ranks and had his campaign for his candidate as the top priority. Without fear of getting the virus, he bravely goes out and fights people who are not on the side of his “demi-god”. After this fanfare, for sure, when the election fever dies down, the Filipinos start to complain and blame once more the coronavirus and another surge will surely come out.
What I fear most is the last two weeks or less before the big day. I fear that one morning, we will wake up with the alarming news that Omicron BA 2.12, “XE” or the stealth Omicron is here and has infected most of us. It is here that we wake up from this dream and that elections are not a cure but opium to the Filipino people!
Congratulations to Fr. Don Besana, OAR.
April 30, 2022
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