Our responsibilities to our relatives, friends
By Ermin Garcia Jr.
BE forewarned and be forearmed.
Given the drastic actions already taken by countries where confirmed COVID-19 cases surged overnight because of lax implementation of health and physical protocols. i.e., enforcement of wearing of facial masks and shields and social distancing, it’d not be farfetched to see the same thing happening in Pangasinan by January 2021.
More zonal lockdowns should be expected after the Christmas and New Year festivities because I strongly doubt if the admonition of the national IATF to keep family reunions to the barest minimum will be observed. But even we did, let’s look at what’s going to happen.
Family members and close friends are normally viewed as asymptomatic. We don’t view them as possible carriers when they really are whether we’ve been in touched with them recently or not. There’s the first line of risks and threats.
Then, because we are comfortable in the company of asymptomatic relatives and friends, we can’t possibly feel threatened being close to them physically, or even the need to wear our face masks when we get into a car with them. Right?
Ok, here’s the lowdown.
In a gathering of 10 asymptomatic persons, it’d not be unusual to believe that each one had an interaction with at least 10 people at least 3 days before the get-together. And, if we accept how COVID-19 spreads horror, infects the unsuspecting us, then know that the level of risks of being infected in that gathering of 10 friends /relatives (all deemed asymptomatic persons) is 1000 times! Not from only 9 persons but including those with whom we interacted.
Horrific, isn’t it? Well, that’s the only way the surge could be explained.
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SAFE, CONSIDERATE PROTECTION. But things can’t appear to be as hopeless because we can still be way ahead of COVID-19 for the duration of holiday season. Here’s how!
- Ask relatives and friends to be definite about plans for get-together, particularly for meals around a table and indoors.
- Recommend an outdoor get-together if possible.
- Ask for list of invited guests. This way you can discern whether one of those expected to attend is known to be a nightly habitue of bars, or a constant party-goer being the life of the party. In both cases, he or she is definitely a “high risk” carrier.
- In deference to your host and invited friends, observe at least a 3-5 day strict home quarantine before the date of gathering. (The host should suggest that as well to invited relatives/friends). Restrict your exposure to other persons outside of your normal circle.
- Make a mental note of persons in the gathering. (You must know that you have access to them in the event you’ve come to learn later that you have been identified as a close contact of a confirmed case prior to the gathering).
Make these as your personal responsibility and accountability to the persons in the gathering, meaning the persons you love!
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A GOLF COURSE IN PANGASINAN. I’m entirely in agreement with the plan of former Guv Spine to pursue the golf course project at the eco-tourism zone in Lingayen for the following reasons:
- The sight of a world-class golf course can easily inspire many to adopt the same environment in their communities, i.e., presence of trees, clean and clear ponds and lakes, manicured lawns in their front and backyards. (In fact, when I saw the improvement of the Capitol grounds in his first term as governor, my first reaction was Guv Spines must have spent a lot time in golf courses in his free time. I was right. Only a golfer would appreciate manicured, green lawns).
- The popularity of golf worldwide is growing leaps and bounds.
- Golf as a tourism activity (and destination) produces high tourism revenues because players generally have more extra cash to spend on other activities.
- The presence of a golf course induces the construction of improved road access, 2-5 star hotels and facilities and development of other allied tourist activities for families.
- Pangasinan, despite its being the biggest province in Luzon, it is the only province without a golf course. Batangas, Cavite, Metro Manila, Pampanga, Tarlac, La Union, Cordillera and Ilocos Norte have world class courses.
I sure hope Guv Pogi, the basketball enthusiast, will share the vision of his dad, Guv Spines, the golfing addict!
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PANGASINAN’S DREAM: I sincerely welcome P/Col. Ronald Gayo as the province’s newest PNP director. And in the same vein, I thank P/Col. Redrico Maranan sincerely for his meaningful accomplishments for Pangasinan during his stint as provincial director.
Hearing Mr. Gayo say he’s keen on further intensifying the campaign vs. illegal drugs is music to the ears of thousands of families who feel and know they are vulnerable to the clutches of drug syndicates operating in the province. Many families are still vainly trying to keep their families together as one member continues to be held hostage by the syndicates.
For the past weeks, PDEA has been accidentally running into existence of drug dens in the province, an indication that intel sharing between and among PDEA and local police are far from effective and current. I hope Mr. Gayo, a well-trained intel officer, can look into this ASAP because as he very well knows, the operation of a drug den only means there are huge shipments of drugs into the province.
There is more to be done in this campaign. I hope Kabaleyan Gayo will be up to the task to keep our province totally drug-free!
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ONE UNFINISHED MISSION. There is one unfinished mission of Mr. Maranan (based on recent order of DILG Sec. Eduardo Año). It is the long overdue education of tricycle drivers and motorcycle riders on the law that bans their use of the center lanes of highways, and its enforcement.
Sure, a number of police stations had small signboards (that call attention to the law) installed in some parts of highways but there were no signs that it was being enforced. No mobile police patrol has been seen enforcing the law, hence, the continued widespread flouting of the law by the tricycle drivers and motorcycle riders. There even appears no consciousness or awareness about it on the part of both motorists and riders.
Can you take this on too, Mr. Gayo?
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On a personal note:
- I must say I’m impressed with Dagupan POSO’s control of the nightly crowd that visits the Quintos Bridge to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the area. Implementing the physical/social distance protocol is critical. Take a bow, POSO chief Rob Erfe-Mejia!
- A question for the Malasiqui police chief: Is it necessary to keep the steel barricades on both lanes of the highway at your Sta. Barbara border checkpoint? Since your police detail no longer checks motorists crossing the checkpoints, shouldn’t the barricades be removed since these are already serious road hazards?
- Does the Lingayen-Dagupan archdiocese have plans to feed the impoverished families on Christmas Day?
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