Rising from the crisis
After another sorrowful observance of Holy Week, the message of Easter resonates louder: we can rise from this crisis, and there is hope that our lives will get better.
The economy took another hit as the National Capital Region and four adjacent provinces were reverted to the strictest enhanced community quarantine for Holy Week to contain a surge in COVID cases. From a daily record high of over 10,000 at the start of the week, infections have tapered off in the NCR and the provinces of Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna and Rizal, although the numbers remain too high.
In the meantime, vaccination in the NCR, epicenter of the pandemic in the country, has been expanded from health frontliners to the elderly and those with comorbidities, who are at highest risk of being seriously afflicted by the coronavirus.
President Duterte, in an implied acknowledgment of the underwhelming rollout of the government’s inoculation program, has announced his readiness to allow the private sector to procure COVID vaccines “at will.” His vaccine team, however, has since qualified that the original requirements remain, as stipulated by law, including the need for government participation in every procurement. The President’s initial pronouncement, however, recognizes the role of the private sector in speeding up the procurement of the much-awaited vaccines.
Private hospitals say their COVID facilities have become overwhelmed. Meanwhile, the contact tracing czar himself disclosed that contact tracing seriously deteriorated last month, even as the more infectious coronavirus variants rampaged and people became lax with their adherence to health protocols.
With the President of the Republic himself indicating a sense of helplessness against the pandemic, it’s difficult to get into a hopeful mood for Easter. Yet the Resurrection of Christ and redemption for the faithful continue to provide hope that tomorrow can be a better day. As Christ resurrected, we can rise again from this crisis. There must be no room for hopelessness.
A blessed Easter to everyone!