By Atty. Farah G. Decano



WITH the recent news that one out of three Covid survivors eventually suffer from mental issues, “akubid,” I predict, will soon be part of Pangasinan’s rich vocabulary to refer to someone who is psychologically unstable.  Remember the word, “atipus?”  Atipus refers to someone with the same condition as a consequence of having endured Typhoid fever, a multisystemic illness that leaves the survivor with probable psychiatric complications.  The word eventually evolved to simply mean crazy.

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Ivermectin as an Anti-Covid medication? Naysayers sweepingly exclaimed, “it is an anti-parasitic drug for animals, for heaven’s sakes!   Why take it at all?”  It was easy to condemn Representatives Michael Defensor and Bernadette Herrera for advocating this drug on this ground alone.  For, indeed, how could government officials whose expertise is on legislating be authorities for the upkeep of health?  It was easy to dismiss representatives Defensor and Herrera as merely, “akubid”.  

But the courage of these no-nonsense legislators form Quezon City to be adamant about the Ivermectin as an anti-Covid measure earned curiosity from the public. The citizenry realized that Ivermectin has a human-grade variant!  It is used to treat human intestinal conditions caused by parasites. Now, with massive support for the Ivermectin as an anti-Covid drug from various groups, including the business sector, the Food and Drug Administration recently made a turn- around and granted compassionate special permit for the medicine on the condition that the administering physician takes full responsibility for its use.  Hala, akubid?

Public pressure must have forced the FDA to look into the merits of the Ivermectin.  Afterall, the FDA mere did not issue categorical statements against the drug. It merely warned the public to wait for the results of trials before using the controversial remedy.  For the FDA to make a turn-around now about the drug is not shameful if such is based on verified data and scientific analysis.  What would be reprehensible is, when this change of mind was due to the agency’s caving-in to escalating public pressure and, this seeming reversal of policies was a mere strategy to pass the buck to the administering physician.  This is cowardice. Akubid amo?

My thoughts also go to the quick naysayers about the cheaper alternative. Who are they? Like Ivermectin which come in variants: human use and animal use, I cannot help but categorize these critics into three:  the genuinely concerned, those whose investments in Anti-Covid Vaccines would be threatened by Ivermectin, and those in government, who might want to protect their future commissions from companies. I have no respect at all for the third one.  Akubid ya maong.

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Vaccination is now in full throttle in some parts of the country, of course, with prioritization in place.   Good for them.  I hope the LGU Health Offices would sufficiently notify the public about the requirements of vaccination for those with co-morbidities.   I am glad that we have a competent Health Officer in Dagupan City who has been exhibiting calm, grace, and cheerfulness despite all the unprecedented pressures that come her way. Keep it up, Dr. Opal.  Aliwa kayon akubid. Ingat po.

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I saw on TV an annoyed constituent of an LGU in Metro Manila because she did not know that a medical clearance was required for her inoculation.    We cannot be fence-sitters during pandemic. We must, on our own, seek information and be pro-active. We must be responsible citizens for the health of our community.  We must not behave like an entitled akubid.             

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