EDITORIAL: Survival Instinct

At the rate events are rapidly unfurling, the worldwide massive vaccination will soon take place even including the Philippines. It could even happen at the onset of 2021.Within this week most of the Americans shall have already been inoculated. The same holds true to the United Kingdom, Canada and UAE.

China and Russia are now also in a frenzy to vaccinate their people. The Philippines therefore as a face saving move is left no choice but to join the cadence. Otherwise it will be very obvious that the government agencies in charge of fighting the corona virus pandemic have been foot dragging or engaging in bureaucratic red tape.

Along this line the prioritization system needs to be studied very well. There is no doubt that frontliners and even those in the military need to be vaccinated first. Prioritize also asymptomatic, who economically speaking belong to the more active and productive segment of the society. The seniors are no longer very mobile and therefore less exposed to infection.

Pragmatism dictates that by the natural course of events death is sure to come. It will just be a matter of time, vaccine or no vaccine. Birth is a miracle. Death is a certainty. Life is a mixture of success and failure, a balancing act between pain and joy. Those in the peak of their lives including the youngest ones, deserve to be given utmost priority. Senior citizens, due to age factor, will certainly suffer some illnesses and with or without Covid-19 they will need medical attention, so much so that their having been infected with the Covid-19 may just trigger or worsen their condition.

In no case however should their prevailing health problems be used as a tool to cover-up failure by those in the medical profession and make it appear that it is solely due to the Covid-19 virus. Extending so much priority to the seniors might deprive those who are in the prime of their lives better and longer opportunities.

They say that there are two reasons why senior citizens are to be vaccinated first. One, because their age renders them highly vulnerable and two, once infected with Covid-19, they might infect others considering that they are primary carriers of the virus.

If the more productive segments of the society are vaccinated first they cannot in effect spread the virus even to the aged people. On the reverse, if the senior citizens are not given priority, they cannot infect others who have already been priorly vaccinated.

It might be possible that a senior citizen contaminates a fellow senior citizen but that is a very remote possibility, given that one already of advanced age is susceptible to many other ailments, which may occur, with or without the virus. In no case should the virus be endlessly used to make it easy to manipulate government expenditures.

This early, certain sectors are quick to cite colonial mentality in describing the way Filipinos are responding to the different vaccines already in the market. While to a certain degree the view merits some consideration, care should be observed that we do not become xenophobic for while there is a historical justification for the anti-colonialism mentality (USA in particular), we should not lose sight of the fact that there were many other colonizers of the Philippines—Spain, Japan, Great Britain and China, the most prominent among the colonizers.

In any case neither xenophobia nor sinophobia should influence any decision affecting the use of the anti-corona vaccine. In this age of rapid development of information and transportation technology, there is no place for a recluse. All of us have become virtual citizens of the world.

Being indifferent to the Chinese made product is not necessarily sinophobic given that China, all these years has been perceived to be the great imitator, a world class copy cat and a rich source of poor quality products.

The Filipinos therefore have every reason to take negatively medicines coming from China. This is but a normal reaction. No political sentiment is at stake. It is a matter of the instinct to survive.