TURNING POINT: Fear and the Pandemic

NAAWAN, Misamis Oriental (MindaNews / 31 March – From media reports, we heard only of the elite in society and the celebrities to have contracted and have succumbed to COVID-19. What really is the stat on infection along economic class line in the pandemic?

What economic class is prone to contract the disease? Of the 10,000 daily infection cases of late, how many comes from class A, B, C and D? Knowledge on this may help develop a rational battle plan against the pandemic and the choking economy.

For instance, if the poor working class is not so much affected by the virus, that is, they are found more or less resistant to the virus, then, by all means, they should be allowed to leave their house and make a living. Of course, they should be encouraged to make the observance of the minimum health protocols a habit, making it an automatic act like tying the lace of one’s shoes. If a particular class is prone to infection, then a system like “work from home” may suit them. Government and industry may have to adapt to the situation.

By this time, appropriate government agencies are supposed to have already gathered, collated, and come up with analytical studies on the illness and death arising from COVID-19. Such studies may further be deepened by looking into how the very poor—those living in blighted environment, including the homeless, the vagabond children in the streets and the “taong grasa”—outwitted and survived the pandemic. The information is a crucial input to the pandemic battle plan.

Resistance and resiliency are developed.

Have you ever wondered why the kids in the Baseco compound of Tondo, Manila, who frolic almost daily in E. Coli infested waters of Manila Bay, do not suffer from diarrhea or cholera? And the wounds of scavengers who live in hazardous dumpsites do not get infected with tetanus?

Have you seen a taong grasa with a running nose, or is coughing?

It seems that those who are not in the position or have the capacity to fear may not be affected by what scares and strikes down many. Understanding the whys on this may yet lead to a science against the raging pandemic.

(MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines.)