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How Being Positive can be a Negative

How does that happen? How does a city go from being Covid free one day, then putting one residential area on lockdown the very next day? How does a straight A student who just aced an examination, then flunk a big quiz on the next day? Clearly, Naga wasn’t Covid free when City Hall was claiming or wanted to believe that the city were so. All along we have been presented a picture that tells us that “everything’s okay, don’t worry”. It started with declarations of low mortality rate of what was then referred as “NCOV” and the futility of face masks, to a rather lenient set of policies of prevention of assemblies of not more than 200 participants sitting/standing 2 meters apart from each other, to releases that say that reports about PUIs going positive are all fake news and the city is free from the dreaded disease, to downward direction of yes, the city has a positive case. The next thing you know, a populated area of Concepcion Pequeña is on lockdown.

Well, what do we learn from this? We weren’t actually Covid free all along despite all noble efforts for the city to be calm because we’re all clean and clear. (Although, even before the middle of March, rumors have been circulating that there’s at least one positive case in Naga.) Now, the national government has confirmed what the local government would love to deny. Now, for a somewhat clearer picture, since March 5, the virus could have been lurking around the city. If authorities say that infection occurs in close physical distance, some or probably many residents that the patient have come in contact with, could have been infected. In turn, they could have been infecting more people. For all we know, we could have ran into someone who already had the virus.) I would not want to scare you or cause panic, but that’s how it really is.) On the other hand, we have to express appreciation for the quick and just response of putting the immediate area on lockdown, and the disinfection of identified areas that the patient had been to.

Let’s break the case down with what we know so far. Did the chain of infection in Naga start with the identified patient or did she get it from someone else in Naga? If the infection started from her, where did she get it? From out of the country? If so, that would violate the supposition that the virus only survives for as long as 28 days. Did she get in Manila? It may be difficult to trace the connections now. In the assumption that she already has it upon arrival at the Central Bus Terminal, could she have infected other passengers? The guys who gets tickets? The porters? The terminal could get crowded at arrival time. You know how things go when family comes home from abroad. Imagine the incidents of hugging and kissing, even handshaking or just the physical distance without touch.

Now, for the sake of argument, did she get it here in Naga? If so, from whom? Could someone else have had the virus earlier and has just not exhibited any symptoms? If this were he case, other residents or even people who transit by Naga could have been infected. Did she get it in Albay? Well, there have been confirmed cases in the province. It would not be impossible. However, what is certain is that a person in Naga has been tested Covid 19 positive; and persons around her could have highly been infected.

So, what’s next? The area where she resides in is said to be already in lockdown. Maybe, authorities should take special care of the patient’s family; since there’s high probability that the virus could be lying dormant in them. Let’s hope that the patient has not been very friendly and the virus has not transferred to the neighbors. We would rejoice and be relieved in a report that no other person in the area would test positive. (Come on; nothing is impossible.) However, in the realm of probabilities, if one resident has tested positive, who’s to say that one of our neighbors could be the next one to join her in that list?

Although, we have yet to hear of a city or country which successfully extinguished initial embers of the pandemic. Authorities would talk about how China and South Korea have gone past the peak, and how other countries are just climbing that crest and cases would increase. Would they say the same about Bicol? The Lord forbid.

“A cheerful heart is good medicine; but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22

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