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Dengue and Other Dangers

What’s the most dangerous animal in the world?

Okay, you’ve probably heard about this, and it’s already an old piece of trivia by now. Much to the disappointment of those who should say, “lion”, “tiger” or “hyena” which are products of our childhood memories of Tarzan, Jungle Book or The Lion King, it’s you’re not so friendly, neighborhood mosquito. (I wonder why Marvel didn’t make a supervillain based on this pain of a pest. I guess, Mosquito Man doesn’t have much of a ring to it.) You probably know where I’m getting to. Once again, we, Bicolanos, the whole region is united in topping the charts. This time, not anymore in the category of barangay officials in the drugs watch list; but in dengue fever outbreak. Heck, we even made it to the national news with a couple of doctors confined in BMC due to dengue fever.

Interestingly, the statistics seem to follow proportionately with the Bicol provinces’ population and territorial area. Camarines Sur goes first, followed by Albay, then Sorsogon, Catanduanes, Masbate and Camarines Norte; not one province is spared from the virus. (I guess, this is what they mean with “all for one, one for all”.) The proportion pattern gets blurry at the bottom. Masbate is larger in area than Catanduanes. Catanduanes is more populous than Masbate. However, more or less, the dengue ranking is still somehow consistent with people and property. So, what does this tell us? As long as there are person and plot, there will be dengue. The larger the land, the more populous the people, the greater the damage of dengue. The less the land, the petite the people, the diminutive the damage of dengue. So, if we continue that reasoning, man and land go hand in hand with dengue. As long as there is man and land, there would be dengue. If so, this virus would be an inescapable and inalienable institution in humanity and habitation (at least in this part of the world). I hope not.

I have some questions lingering in my mind; ones which I sought answers for. I tried to settle them with solutions; but I could not get any (or maybe I just have not yet hunted hard enough). Is not the deterrence of dengue reached the level of elementary textbook ubiquity? It has become all too common to promote the toppling down of every barrel, basin or bowl with stagnant water, and the fumigation across the nation, all in the aspiration of total eradication of this cursed cause of disease and death. The state even staged a massive vaccination in prevention of this fatal fever. Oh, the Dengvaxia. Now, that was a disaster in its own right. If the authorities approved its application, then why do online sources unanimously claim that dengue fever is a condition that has no cure or antibiotics for treatment? Was that all a big sales scam? Oh well… Okay, excluding the discussion of that infamous vaccination, don’t they tell us that it’s all just a matter of cleaning up the physical environment? Then, why are we exceeding the threshold of an epidemic?

Yeah, we could blame it on a mutating strain of virus or the rainy season, or an ineffective implementation of prevention through vaccination, but where are all these mosquies coming from? And what happened to all those herbal medicine? Maybe we’re not really cleaning up. Maybe we’re not consistently cleaning up. Maybe, we’re too lazy to practice all too easy principles and procedures of prevention?

Is it not phenomenally fascinating that despite the length of history of dengue incidents, it seems that we’re not enjoying learned lessons, and we’re sinking even deeper down the hole. If we have exceeded the threshold of an epidemic, then, what is this? A plague? Wait, are there not somewhat similar social struggles? Ones that in the same line, we have long strived to stop but despite what we believed to be, are best efforts, have continued and even exceeded its epidemic level? Just consider corruption, illegal drugs, poverty, violence and whatever else you can think of. Maybe, we’re not really cleaning up. Maybe, we’re not consistently cleaning up. Maybe, we’re all too lazy to practice all too easy principles and procedures of prevention and progress. Then, if a social institution innovates to implement an elucidation, it all goes on an inversion; and the situation ends up worse than before. What scares me is the possibility of the same principle of proportion to population and property, that these ills are inescapable and inalienable to humanity and habitation. Once again, I hope not.

“I will incline my ear to a proverb; I will express my riddle on the harp.” Psalm 49:4

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