“If you look into your own heart and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?” －Confucius
The somewhat exaggerated response to the 2019 novel coronavirus (nCoV) has been akin to an alien invasion; fear of the unknown makes people think the world is turning upside down. The mad rush for clinical facemasks would not have occurred had incompetent health authorities not scared the public.
The Department of Health (DoH) has already assured the public they are “on top of the evolving situation” and maintaining close coordination with the World Health Organization (WHO) and other agencies.
The more panic, the more people believe they are infected and it’s this kind of worry that can affect one’s health. The country is not sick because of nCoV, it’s psychosomatic.
In order to combat nCoV is maintain good hygiene. Scrambling for masks is only necessary on DOH says the virus has spread to a certain area. Even Iloilo first district Rep. Janette Garin, a former DOH secretary, does not believe masks are enough to prevent transmission.
It is also crucial to avoid crowded areas, particularly locations with entry points for tourists from countries affected by nCoV.
Much remains to be understood
According to WHO, the exact source has yet to be discovered. In addition, most cases have been described as “mild” with around 20 percent experiencing “severe illness.” However, WHO and Chinese authorities say the extent of cases is “deeply concerning.”
Better understanding of its severity and methods of transmission are urgently needed.
WHO said they are continually monitoring developments and the director-general can reconvene the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee at very short notice as needed.
Travel bans will not stop the spread
Suspending flights arriving at Iloilo International Airport will not stop the virus if there are already warm bodies in the province that have been exposed. Travelers from China, Japan, and other currently affected areas have in the country since before the spread first made headlines.
Tourists spent their Christmas and New Year holidays at beaches in Boracay, Palawan, Bohol, Zamboanga, among other local tourist destinations.
Alex P. Vidal, who is based in New York City, used to be the editor for two local dailies in Iloilo./WDJ