Keeping BARMM Safe Despite the Virus: The Collective Responsibility of the Bangsamoro People

As the Covid-19 cases spike throughout the country, thanks to the Delta variant, the nation faces  a tougher public health battle against the scourge that has ravaged humanity worldwide for more than a year and a half. Hospitals overflow with the afflicted, many having to bear the long wait for a vacant hospital bed, a few fated to die while waiting for even a few minutes of medical attention. Nurses threatening to walk out over unpaid benefits they rightfully deserve for holding out for so long against the strain of saving patients’ lives while endangering theirs. Cemeteries and crematoriums awaiting the influx of bodies that have to be immediately consigned to eternal rest. And just recently,  a reported shortage of medical oxygen has put patients’ chances of survival at even higher risk.

All these while many have become complacent, even defiant, regarding health protocols and quarantines.

As a fledgling region with comparatively fewer hospitals and facilities to deal with possible further surges in cases, the BARMM and especially its people, cannot afford to be complacent. Its limited capabilities to handle a Covid surge, the smaller numbers of vaccinated, along with the stubborness of its people, many of whom have shown themselves to be unconcerned with the welfare of those vulnerable, may prove to be a recipe for an impending public health disaster.

It then boils down to “an everyone for himself/herself” approach, each one would then hold the responsibility to protect himself/herself and loved ones from contracting the plague. The region, small and struggling as it is, needs the cooperation of its people to weather this crisis. The regional government cannot succeed in curbing the damage if people still walk around without a care for what should also be their responsibility towards others: the responsibility of keeping everyone else safe, whether or not they believe that the virus is real.

PMT

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