Lessons we might have learned
WE are probably not the only ones in the deepest dark of night silently whispering, “Why God? What’s the plan? What’s the purpose?” The Philippines has the same number of deaths per 1 million population as Iceland, and fewer cases per capita than Norway. Yet by the time this pandemic is over, most of us will at least “know someone who knows someone” who has fallen sick from Covid-19. These are depressing times. So what lessons might we have learned in the past few months? The road to “One World Government” encountered a catastrophic roadblock from the disease. Just when we were told that peace and harmony with justice for all would come under a big umbrella like the United Nations, the UN turned out to be toothless and nearly pointless. The UN has been in existence for 75 years and has revenues of over $50 billion. That is actually larger than what the Australian government takes in. The UN has 150 offices and employs “44,000 specialized men and women” and about 75,000 overall. The World Health Organization (WHO) itself has over 5,000 staff. Yet we found out that WHO was probably the last place to go for accurate information and advice on the pandemic. In the first few days of the pandemic, the WHO made statements that healthy people do not need to wear a mask. On April 1, WHO recommended that only patients and their caregivers should wear medical masks. On June 5, WHO advised the general public to wear masks. In May, WHO said it was temporarily halting a clinical trial of anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19 patients. In June it resumed the trial. In July, WHO again stopped a clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine. While it is true that the pandemic created a greatly fluid situation, WHO has a broad mandate to guide and coordinate international health policy. If we add the situation that WHO was taking information from China as fact without independent confirmation, does the world really want an international body like the United Nations trying to run things? We have been told that we need to “listen to the scientists.” Forget that the WHO is supposed to be all “science.” Forget that not too long ago, the science was settled that another ice age was upon us in the 1970s. Covid-19 is a very serious disease for the aged and those with comorbidities—other serious health conditions. But was it serious enough to merit locking down much of the world’s economy for months on end? While the politicians and the shielded elite inside gated communities will suffer on without that shopping trip to Singapore or exclusive Palawan island resort vacation, “The People” are actually suffering. While some are posturing, hoping for votes in the next election, others are trying to figure out how to educate their children and put food on the table. The pullback in Metro Manila to tighter quarantine restrictions had a devastating economic effect. Just as companies were starting to increase employment and reopening, they were cut off at the knees. That cannot happen again. We also need to learn from shortterm mistakes. This year is going to be a write-off no matter what happens in the next months. However, we must keep moving forward.