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Community Immunity

So, since last weekend, going out has meant you have to put on your face shield on; not just a face mask, a shield to cover your entire face. This is supposed to reduce the spread of the virus. Personally, the face shield feels more comfortable than the sometimes suffocating mask. At least, I could breathe more easily with that transparent plastic in front of my face. Somehow, that’s better than a mask which tore apart at the seams probably because of getting wet with my sweat. How is an expansion of covering of the lower face to full face take us extra leaps in reduction of transmission? Well, I guess if the experts say it could do wonders, let’s give it a chance. I guess anything is worth trying just to see some progress in this Covid problem. The authorities seem to be getting desperate that they would be willing to throw whatever on the wall and see what sticks. Maybe, that’s still better than having the authorities not try anything at all. I could make do with this. Still, it could have been worse. Although, in our part of the world, we’re on the end of that best to worst spectrum.

Kids who love an extension of the already extended vacation love it. Those who are excited for some sort of regular school operations probably frown about it. Resumption of classes has been postponed to October 5 which incidentally happens to be the UNESCO World Teachers’ Day. I wonder how they would go about it. Will they have a Teachers’ Day Celebration on the first day of classes? For some clarification, the rescheduling applies to public schools. The private schools which already have started classes in the past weeks would carry on with the lessons. The move is only logical. The government has seemed to lost control of the reins of the increase of cases which rampage like wild horses. At least, we could be grateful for that sensible decision to hold the opening at this time when no certainty of safety seems to be in sight. With all the hope that we can hold on to, (because that seems to be the only thing that’s left for us to do right now), maybe by the end of September, it could be safer for teachers and parents to meet to get and submit modules. If not, well, opening of classes could be postponed again.

A friend related this to me. He was startled to see an acquaintance whom he knew had tested positive in a mall food court. With genuine concern, he asked how the acquaintance was. The latter who happened to be a bank employee supposedly said that he was okay; having tested negative and coming back to work for the third day at that time of the conversation. With much curiosity, my friend inquired on what happened since his positive testing. The bank employee told him that in the facility, they were merely given vitamins, told to eat well and get a good number of hours of sleep. (That sounds like a regimen for elementary school children.) When asked of how bad it felt, the former patient claimed that “trangkaso” was a lot worse. That led my friend to wonder. This acquaintance of his recovered just by eating and sleeping right, and taking some vitamins. Maybe a number of us have unknowingly gotten the virus and similarly unknowingly recovered because when one feels bad, a person naturally takes a rest, eats fruits and takes some ascorbic acid. Maybe we have already developed some sort of herd immunity. Well, what do I know? That’s just a thought.

But there’s a certain type of immunity I believe the public has developed. Back at the time when there were no local cases, many of us were so vigilant for no virus to come across our borders. There were rumors of positive cases here and there. There were rumors of deaths. When news of the first confirmed cases broke out, alarm spread like wildfire. People were paralyzed with paranoia. Everyone knew the trail of the patient’s travels around the city to the neighboring province and back. Then another case allegedly popped up. A whole barangay was put on lockdown. Delivery services would not even want to get close to the area. But interest seemed to wane as case passes after each case. It seems that as this crisis takes longer, despite the number of cases and risk increases, people have developed an immunity towards paranoia and precaution. Some of us may have developed immunity towards protection and preparation. Some may have developed immunity towards positive aspiration; that the numbers may rise, infections may spread, solutions may be ineffective, we just want to get on with our lives no matter what.

“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong.”

1 Corinthians 16:13

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