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PIA Press Release

Commentary: Put care in scare

By Bong Pedalino

Maasin City (22 June) -- While people may have reasonable fear of being infected with the contagious AH1N1 virus the way it is now fast spreading at an alarming rate, this reality should not be a cause for panic.

We worry, of course, but this concern should not prevent us from doing the right thing, and doing the thing right, in our day to day routine.

In short, we must take care amidst the scare.


We must understand that even if the World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the peak level of alert, this was qualified to mean a widespread geographical distribution, not the heightened virulence or potency of the virus, or its mutation.

In the case of the Philippines, the Department of Health (DOH) has been informing and enlightening us on a daily basis the updates on the situation, with its tireless advocacy on what to do and what not to do for one to be spared of the disease.

And if we notice long enough, it is easy to realize that while the number of positive cases in the country keeps on rising by the day, those who have recovered were also increasing just as well, almost in a ratio of four is to five (for every five cases, four had been sent home with a clean bill of health).


The bottom line in the scary situation now prevailing boils down to a matter of personal hygiene, and all about fortifying oneís body resistance or immune system.

In technical terms, the DOH calls this a policy shift, from containment to mitigation; the premise is that while the virusí spread cannot be contained, the best counter action is to mitigate it, or downgrade its ill effects.

That is the reason why the DOH advised those with influenza-like signs such as fever, cough, cold, sore throat to confine themselves at home while under medication, no longer at the health center or at the DOH-designated referral center.


Because at home, simple treatments on taking doses of prescribed medicine is matched with a loving and supportive atmosphere, not a social stigma suffered by victims who are viewed as highly contagious objects, leaving a non-endearing mark on the person, even long after such an individual has fully healed.

Because at home, authorities like health and public officials can pay a visit, media in tow, if only to proclaim to one and all that there is really nothing to be afraid, that the AH1N1 hereabouts is just a mild strain, not unlike the seasonal, ordinary influenza, so the healing process can take over sooner than later.

Because at home, we can put care in scare, and we will never be intimidated even if the self-limiting virus is everywhere.


LOCAL FRONT: During the blessing and inauguration of the Poverty Alleviation Center (PAC) in barangay Combado last week, City Mayor Maloney Samaco advised the heads of the city agriculture and social welfare departments Ė two frontline offices occupying the center -- to do everything so the lot of their respective poor clients can be improved. The wisdom of Confucious comes to mind as the Mayor elaborates on his message. Confucious once said, ďGive a man a fish and he will eat in one day. Teach a man how to fish and he will eat in a lifetime.Ē The new PIA provincial office was also in the same building, and we readily accepted the Mayorís challenge for us to disseminate the good news coming from the city DSWD and Agriculture offices.

ODDLY YOURS: Fatherís Day was born two years after the first Motherís Day observance. One day in 1910, Mrs. Sonora Smart Dodd was listening to a Sunday sermon in Spokane, Washington, about the virtues of Mothers, the occasion being the second anniversary of marking Motherís Day. The Preacher extolled maternal sacrifices for their children, but to Mrs. Doddís mind it was her father, William Jackson Smart, who had sacrificed raising herself and five other brothers following the early death of his wife, Doddís mother. She then proposed that a Fatherís Day be established to honor unsung feats of fathers everywhere. The idea caught fire, carried by newspapers, and advocated by political leaders. Mrs. Dodd had wanted a permanent date, June 5, as Fatherís Day, which coincided with her fatherís birthday. But Ministers complained there was no extra time to prepare sermons for Fathers, so the day was reset as the third Sunday of June, the date movable. And it was that way since. But adapting the practice was not easy in coming, In 1916, US President Woodrow Wilson and his family observed the day, and so did President Calvin Coolidge in 1924, In 1972, President Richard Nixon permanently established Fatherís Day. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]

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