By Virginia Jasmin Pasalo
WHEN I listen to Dr. Tony Leachon, former Special Adviser to the National Task Force on COVID-19, the conclusion is that the Philippine Healthcare system is on the verge of a collapse. To him, and most of the scientific community, there is no other conclusion given the statistics and the government’s ineptitude to handle the situation. Almost driven to panic that medical practitioners and health workers will eventually wear themselves out, he recommends that everyone should become their own health givers, and must learn not only the basics, but to learn how to self-administer test kits, to convert their homes into family health care facilities, and such other functions that may no longer be provided adequately by the health care system. In other words, in the dire scenario that he paints, each individual must take care of his own health.
I cannot dispute the logic of his presentation, given that the basis of his conclusions were taken from actual data, whether the “elephants in the room” recognize it or not. The statistical graph indeed points to the fact that nowhere in it can we see the rise of new cases abating, the situation made more serious by the “fucked up” speed with which the government acted to secure the vaccines, which he wants to require for all citizens. The risk in being vaccinated he says is just 10% compared to the likelihood of getting COVID which is at 30%. Ergo, the choice is a no-brainer, vaccination it must be, with all its attendant risks and the waiver for the responsibility of drug companies to account for adverse effects in patients.
This analysis is as basic as mathematical linear equation where A + B= C, where A, B and C are known quantities. If we assign values for A, B and C, where A = 4 and B = 5, we get an immediate answer for C = 9. However, mathematics also recognizes the existence of the X factor, where X is a variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome of an equation. “In mathematics, a variable is a symbol which works as a placeholder for expression or quantities that may vary or change.” If we accept the fact that not everything can be known in a given situation, we can rewrite the equation using Urbai Mathematics which retains all the values given for A, B and C, and represent X as the variable. Substituting the values for letters A, B, and C, the equation is then expressed this way:
A (4) + B (5) + X = C (9) + X
The X in this equation represents the collective creative energy, nature’s ability to heal itself, the accumulated wisdom and knowledge of a society’s indigenous culture, the human capacity to love and co-create, luck and most important, the spiritual connections and Providence that bind and animate this process. X then is a symbol of Hope, Faith and Love. X is the work. X is the prayer.
Einstein himself believed that there must exist hidden aspects of reality, “not yet recognized within the conventional formulation of quantum theory” and that our appreciation of certain “hidden variables” can alter the outcomes of logical conclusions.
The collapse of the Philippine heath care system may be imminent based on logical analysis, but as a people, we are resilient, given our history of triumph over disasters, including environmental calamities, and dictators, even if it takes us some time. We are able to call on this strength and summon the confluence of events and prevail, despite the rottenness of the socio-political and economic system, which up to now we are struggling to correct with many failed attempts.
Note: Urbai Mathematics is a living equation whose formulations are constantly evolving from the experiences of the members of Urbai. Urbai is a group of women leader-healers organized before 2012. The name is derived from Urduja (women leaders) and babaylan (healers).
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