Winning the war

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    ‘But yes, let me repeat: whenever we fall short of the worst case scenario being depicted by experts – and registering 36,000 or 37,000 instead of 40,000 cases is one good example, then we do can claim an ounce of success that should spur us to fall even far shorter of the next milestone.’

    WE’VE won’

    So declared Spox Harry Roque, after the national tally of COVID infected persons fell short of the 40,000 that UP experts warned would be the tally by June 30.

    As of yesterday, we had recorded some 36,000 COVID cases, 10% below target.

    Of course, Spox Harry was roundly ridiculed for his shout for joy; one wise guy on Instagram asked: “Akala ko ba COVID ang kalaban natin, UP pala?” That wise guy reminded me so much of myself, I have to admit. But I had no wisecrack on this point.

    On one hand, Spox Harry misses the point. Yes, it is COVID that is the enemy – even more than the Communists who we are told are the target of the Anti Terror Bill of 2020. And yes, we have far from vanquished the enemy. While we have, to date, recorded the world’s longest lockdown at over 100 days, some are wondering what we have achieved if we are in fact recording the highest growth in cases in the Western Pacific region as noted by the World Health Organization.

    On the other hand, Spox Harry is right – if we do fall short of dire predictions (I think the next “milestone” according to UP is 60,000 by end of August) then we ARE winning the battle in a way, because things are not as bad as they should have been.

    They’re still bad, but they could have been worse.

    I am just not too comfortable with these pats on the back, though, especially if they are “self inflicted.” Misconstrued, they may become a reason for complacency at a time when we should be doubling, even tripling, our efforts at combating this virus.

    (I am up to today still riled by a claim sometime in late February or early March that ours was “a model of containment.” I must admit that the source of that claim never regained credibility in my book. Everyone makes mistakes, yes; but mistaken claims like this costs lives.)

    These pats on the back may make people in authority feel that everything they’re doing is right, when such is not the case; I still insist that one of the reasons why cases are spiking is because the “aggressive contact tracing” we hear often in those televised government briefings are aggressive, yes, but only on paper. What’s my basis for saying this? Well, two of my colleagues tested positive after swab tests and had to be quarantined for more than 14 days after confirmatory tests turned positive again. They’ve recovered now and are back at work – but no one ever contacted me or my other colleagues who had been at work with the two prior to their first being found positive!

    We call that aggressive?

    But yes, let me repeat: whenever we fall short of the worst case scenario being depicted by experts – and registering 36,000 or 37,000 instead of 40,000 cases is one good example, then we do can claim an ounce of success that should spur us to fall even far shorter of the next milestone. Because it means we are slowing down the rise of the curve and hopefully can plateau it in the not so distant future before, finally, bringing it down to levels where we can truly be celebratory.

    One time on Facebook I made this post “The enemy is COVID not VICO.” To which I should add: The way to beat UP is to bring the numbers DOWN.

    That’s how we win this war!

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