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The Heat is Still On

Why is it so hard to decide? Why does it take too long? When clouds get dark, even before the first drop of drizzle falls, you would be yelling at the children playing out on the street to rush inside. When mosquito bites start to sting your skin, you would quickly yell at the children to go inside to avoid getting bitten. When cars and trucks rumble back and forth down the street, you would yell to the children playing outside to get inside to avoid getting hit. We would protect the children, even our adult selves from the drop of drizzle, the minor mosquito bite, the threat of thundering traffic or any impending danger. We would not waste any time and get inside the safe confines of our homes. Now, why is it that in the middle of this crust cracking, hypertension heightening, skin scorching high temperature, we hold consultative meetings, compare situations on different sites and contemplate whether the children should run home from the danger of discomfort and disease of intense heat. I cannot, for the love of life, simply understand why we have this seemingly lenient leeway towards heat. If it were raining, or swarming with insects, or careening with cars, we would let the kids in, then why, in the middle of the heat, would we wait for our vision to be all yellow, get dizzy and have headaches before we realize that we should be going home? Why do we have this bias in favor towards heat?

Do leaders want to be safe from making decisions which would later turn out to be erroneous? Are authorities being careful that they might make a mistake of suspending activities because of this so-called intense heat when after all, we all could just maybe drink water fan ourselves, change our sweaty shirts and still go about regular tasks? What possible danger do they want to be safe from? Would some civil society group accuse them of negligence in suspending classes because precious class hours of the school calendar were wasted? We would probably understand if our officials hesitate in the decision of disbursing funds, granting permission to certain events, or some implementation of changes in policy. Mistakes in any of those could lead to misdirection of programs, misuse of funds or misappropriation of resources that could further lead to administrative cases of negligence, graft or corruption. Okay, those we would understand. But this care and caution over suspension of activities to avoid complications from the high temperature, this , we simply can’t grasp.

Maybe, it’s a case of this 21st century phenomenon of fear of missing out. For instance, if thunder suddenly cracks while a group of children are playing outside on the street, one child would not want to be the only one to run home. He/she would probably look around at how his/her playmates behave. He/she may wait and watch if the other kids would run home too. He/she would not want to be the only one to run home and risk incurring the negative reaction from his/her playmates. Maybe, something else would happen and he/she may miss out. Maybe, that’s the case with our decision makers.

But that would not be the case because thousands of schools all over the nation in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, from Kindergarten to college have already suspended face-to-face classes. In the last article, I wrote that they were over a thousand. Immediately after I wrote that, news reports claimed that they were more than four thousand. I could have been wrong with the initial number of it quickly grew by 400%. So, if our local leaders are waiting and watching for our neighbors, they have already sent their kids home already, and our kids would be the only ones playing outside on the street. The other kids who have gone home might be thinking, “What are they still doing out there?”. So, if they are afraid of missing out, it would not make sense. If they’re waiting for others, it would not also make sense

Maybe, they’re holding on to face-to-face classes because they would not want to hold modular lessons. After all, physical interaction is still the ideal mode of instruction especially for young children. Well, that is one noble cause. But would not the efficiency of delivery decrease and the chances of discomfort and disease increase when children as young as 5 struggle through solar waves conducted through concrete walls. Maybe, they stay in well-insulated classrooms and are sheltered from the heat. So, maybe they should come to class on heavy rains because they’re also sheltered from the rain and flood inside the classroom. What about the travel from and back home?

2 Peter 3:17: “Therefore, dear friends, since you have been forewarned, be on your guard so that you may not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure position.”


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