“Let us keep an open mind.”
In any emergency situation, it is only natural to act swiftly, as the instinct to survive is innate. We choose whatever we think is best at the moment. We get a hold of the things either most proximate and accessible to us, or those which are already tried and tested for the situation.
At the start of the pandemic, we were placed in a similar fight-or-flight response. The world was caught by surprise. Understandably, we struggled to keep everything afloat. However, the community transmission of COVID-19 signaled the need to perform emergency measures to save and preserve not only the lives of the general public but also the men and women at the frontlines.
Since then, the government has been working hard to combat this pandemic and help save lives. The national government, through the IATF and DOH, continues to obtain and procure the much needed vaccines to inoculate the Filipino population, in its effort to curb the spread of COVID-19 through herd immunity. We have also been extending our help to both public and private hospitals for them to maintain their operations. The local government units have been in constant action as they implement quarantine measures while providing aid to their constituents.
Notably, when the pandemic began, the Department of Health procured personal protective equipment for our medical frontliners. While this controversy has been blown out of proportion due to the alleged overpricing, we should keep in mind the circumstances at the time when the pandemic just started to go full swing. There was a shortage of PPEs. Many factories and businesses were forced to stop operations due to the enhanced community quarantine. It took a while before the properly identified essential establishments were allowed to operate, with their compliance with public health standards established for COVID-19. It is not surprising that the prices of PPEs shot up as the demand was high here and abroad, while supplies were limited.
Our health workers needed the PPEs as soon as possible. The risks were high. Their lives were at stake.
We cannot deny that the situation called for an urgent action when the pandemic first swept through our country. We needed supplies that are reliable and already proven compliant with World Health Organization standards. We needed to equip the front lines fast with adequate defense against this dreaded virus.
With this, I urge the public to keep an open mind on this matter. In this crisis, every minute counts, every life matters. In these fight or flight moments, we choose to fight. Hence, it is only right that we give necessary protection and support to the brave men and women fighting for us at the frontlines