THE LIFTING OF THE USE OF THE VAXCARD Is considered a “breakthrough”.
A “breakthrough” because since Day One of the pandemics, Bohol was noted as being the “most strict” destination as far as the COVID-19 protocol implementation was concerned.
In fact, Bohol could be one of the provinces that last lifted the use of the vax card. True to form.
Funny to note that even the nearby province of highly- populated (and, therefore, riskier) Cebu had long lifted the use of the vax card, thus it was so awkward for one to freely enter Cebu and then come back to Bohol seeming like entering another republic. It was like entering East and West Germany with the Berlin Wall in the Cold War days.
Passengers upon disembarking from Ocean Jet in Bohol get into a long queue since each one has to present their vaccination card at the docking area. It seemed awfully ridiculous for people to notice why Bohol is “still” afraid of Mr. Covid when seemingly everyone had gotten into what is called the “new normal.”
This long overdue lifting on the use of the vax card is perhaps a remnant of the previous administration’s misplaced over-strict policies as far as health protocols were concerned. People will remember the defeated Gov. Art Yap for the mismanagement of Bohol amidst the COVID crisis.
In fact, without fear of contradiction, we can easily say that one of the reasons why Yap suffered a big debacle during the last election was because of the issues .confronting the strict health protocols in the province. In fact, we recall a certain Maricar Auguis, a Boholano, who jumped dead from the Mactan bridge out of frustration that she could not go home to her hometown in Bohol during the pandemic days- due to strict considerations.
While there were strict measures, Bohol ironically also figured in much controversial mishandling during the pandemic, the most unpopular of which was the policy of then-Gov Art Yap to let beneficiaries wait for his arrival before relief goods can be distributed, the delayed release of the bags of rice purchased from the National Food Authority while people hear of the frequent bug down of RT PCR machine purchased by the provincial government. What was the cost-and who was the supplier of the machine, the OGCA may want to inquire.
Now that COVID seems to be on its tail end of being an infectious disease due to massive vaccination that was done (endemic they call it), it seems many people have quizzically remained paranoid about the effects of still being contaminated with the disease.
For instance, now even a simple cough would already alarm people at this time. It would seem almost comical if it were not annoying that people who get infected with the Omicron brand of COVID can get well even only after three short days.
Cynics are beginning to question what then is the difference between this and getting down with the flu. But because COVID has a well-advertised “brand name” (pardon the slight sarcasm borne out of sheer annoyance) people become so conscious when they get even the slightest of symptoms. This is very anti-productive for human progress.
With the antigen kits sold all over, we cannot blame the pissed-off folks (frankly Covid-talk-fatigued) who suspect that the “exaggeration on the effects of COVID” could be part of a business scheme among global big-time drug/pharmaceutical companies to rake in sales and profits by cashing on exaggerated fear.
In fact, the silly use of the old face shields was a clear “business proposition”- to most people- which were only used because they were stricken with excess paranoia about COVID.
That is why, sometimes we salute brave, thinking governors like Gwen Garcia of Cebu who was the first to challenge IATF about using face masks outdoors- she did not budge an inch. Now it is a national policy, see?
Pardon our annoyance but we have to ask (not just a rhetorical question), but frankly, what is the prevailing true state of COVID in the Philippines? Can the 110 million Filipinos have one single truthful official word from the Department of Health?
Again, pardon the pessimism. But given the gross record of financial scandals in that department, can the words “truthful” and “Department of Health” really go together? Just asking.