A Day of Reckoning
“In every life, there comes a day of reckoning—a time when unsettled scores demand retribution, and our own lies and transgression are finally laid bare”— Emily Thorne.
When China finally disclosed the human-to-human transmission of Covid-19, it was too late for the world to put up deterrence for its spread.
China, as reported by international news, deliberately suppressed and covered up what was an anomaly in the sudden surge of death attributed to that deadly virus unearthed in the City of Wuhan. In spite of the danger of viral contagiousness rapidly engulfing that particular City, it celebrated Chinese New Year without restriction and regard to the impending risk of exposing everyone else to the deadly decease—and, it did. But, the heinous act of all was when China unleashed these already suspected chronic viral carriers—its citizens to travel unrestrictedly without warning all over the world.
The rest is history, as we know it and remains unfolding news at present.
When pressed by media on why the government has not shut down its borders to the Chinese, Pres. Digong flatly and audaciously declared, “He doesn’t want to offend its friend and ally”—such a ridiculous reasoning and absurd excuse in the face of the impending health risk to all Filipinos and when many countries had already initiated banning them from entering their respective land. The President, in his early media conference, even jeered at the virus, which he sparingly pronounced as “veerus” (innocently or otherwise) and fiercely stressed, as is his wont from time to time in many of his incomprehensible rhetoric and ranting, to slap it when he sees it (since the “veerus” is invisible to the president’s naked eye, a chance meeting between them is impossible, a jokester rebutted).
The DOH on its part did nothing likewise. Sec. Francisco Doque, echoing the line of reasoning of the President, preferred to tune in instead to the notoriously unreliable and deceptive Chinese propaganda and to the lethargic prediction of Chinese-inveigled W.H.O. that everything was under control. Only after almost 2 months had passed since the first warning of an impending pandemic from independent scientists all over the world that the government finally acted and imposed the ban on these Chinese tourists from Mainland. By that time, half a million of them had already been in the country. It is noteworthy that even Russia closed its border with China—its old comrade—two weeks ahead of the Philippines.
The countries that heeded the early call in the banning of these Chinese tourists have, at present, the lowest rate of Covid-19 casualties. Report on the ten ASEAN member nations as of this writing shows that the Philippines tops the list on the number of CoVid cases and deaths. Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Thailand followed respectively. All were the same welcoming-Chinese tourist countries like the Philippines. They all closed their borders at the last minute when finally W.H.O. could do nothing anymore but to declare it as pandemic. Sadly by then the infections were widespread in their territories without them even knowing the severity of it.
The next lower ranked countries in the list; Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia, Myanmar and Laos are countries that are either indifferent to Chinese presence being victims of Chinese loan trap that bedeviled their countries or with little attraction and strategic interest to the Chinese; hence, fewer Chinese visited them. Vietnam, in particular, a perennial nemesis of Chinese and whose fishing boat lately was rammed and sunk by Chinese Militia (the same as what the Chinese did to our fishing boat a year ago) in the disputed territory near the Spratly Islands, has unsurprisingly fewer Covid-19 cases at present.
It is deplorable and amusing just the same that the Philippines, after all the Chinese insidious transgressions to the world, is the ONLY country today that openly declares its allegiance and undying friendship to the Chinese.
This was manifested by no other than the returning foxy (sexy?) presidential spokesman, Harry Roque where he boastfully claimed in his press conference that the Chinese are “OUR BFF” (Best Friend Forever). This was viewed though by many as bordering between tactlessness and imbecility—either way a disgraceful proclamation in this time of international crisis, which unfortunately “HIS BFF” (not “OUR BFF”) created.
The president as well, profusely extended his profound thanks to the Chinese for the PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) and testing kits donations (initially reported to be defective, but after strong protestation by the Chinese Ambassador, the same were swiftly approved by DOH) this was why he loves the Chinese, he added (the latest shipment of the same were sold to us for $2 Million or roughly P100 Million!).
On the other hand, is it not the moral imperative of these Chinese to extend help for free to the most suffering countries like ours with their extra PPEs and testing kits they produced and stockpiled in millions since they are now able to “control” the surge of the pandemic in their own backyard? And besides to the greatest extent, because they are the ones responsible for recklessly letting loose this “veerus” to the whole planet in the first place?
But, it seems though our government owes the Chinese a great deal of indebtedness. The president in particular over appreciates their meager donation and characterizes it as an act of “gracious kindness” and sort of exhibits an extraordinary fascination of President Xi Jinping observed to such a degree as almost kissing his butt. What the heck?
We all understand that this is not the time for criticism or negativism in the midst of our struggles in containing this pandemic. Lest this writer be misunderstood as well as neglecting to commend to the highest degree the many sacrifices of our front liners—our true “BFFs” and heroes! Furthermore, this should not be perceived or mistaken as agitating divisiveness because it is far from the truth. We need to unite and take to the heart the call of the extraordinary times we are all in. That’s the only way we can survive as a nation given the present circumstances.
The government, for all that has been said and done, on its end should do its part and refrain from announcing to the whole world that we, “Filipinos love the Chinese” as if they are the saviors of humanity rather than its opposite. It should stop completely from gloating its “profound intimacy and friendship” towards the “veerus” originator while the world mourns the almost 170,000 deaths (and counting) and begs to God the healing of over two million of its victims—otherwise, this will not only alienate us from the rest of the sane world, but also shows how pathetic we are as a nation.
Let this be a reminder that accountabilities will not be lost and will surely find its way in due time in the name of those who died and suffered of Covid-19.