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Living with the virus

May 20, 2020 - Wednesday 4:05 AM by MDM

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Living with the virus appears to be for the long haul. It is not something you wish Typhoon Ambo would just blow away with its gusty winds and heavy rainfall.

It hangs on the air and clings to objects barnacle-like, waiting for just the opportunity to claim its next victim. It has no shape nor sound. Worse, there is no vaccine to counter it yet.

President Duterte has warned the “worst is yet to come” if individuals, communities, and governments do not sustain their efforts in suppressing the virus.

The implication is clear. Apart from what the government has mandated its citizens to do, the challenge the virus poses on individuals is to comply with safety protocols and to maintain a proactive attitude in dealing with what needs to be done on day-to-day basis.

The other implication is that safety precautions like social distancing will go to naught if individuals do not cooperate. It must be a one-for-all, all-for-one protocol — with no exception.

The reasoning behind this is simple enough: “Social distancing puts space between individuals. If someone is sick and there are no people around, a virus cannot spread.” By keeping your distance, you are also keeping other people safe. Keeping distance, it is stressed, will protect you more than a mask can.

Helping curtail the spread of COVID-19 may also boil down to one basic protocol: avoid holding on to objects unless unnecessary. This means commodities, posts, structures, ramps, structures, posts, ramps, or to just anything that you have taken a fancy to outside of your home. It is also preferable to take the stairs rather than the elevator when at work.

The worst, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque warned, is when people become complacent and drop safety precautions. He said Filipinos should take a cue from other countries like South Korea that flattened the curve but later experienced a spike when its people relaxed.

For a country like the Philippines with limited testing capacity, a second surge should be avoided at all cost.