Sadanga under “new normal” with common sense

Local entrepreneur Dan Saclangan is looking forward to a better Cordillera tourism-wise particularly for farm tourism to be allowed. Saclangan operates the Living Gifts Nursery which showcases thousands of varieties of cacti, succulents and other plants located in Alno, La Trinidad, Benguet and has been helping his fellow “plantitos/plantitas.” **RMC PIA-CAR

BONTOC, Mountain Province– “I am just being practical and thinking aloud with common sense!”
That was the statement of Mayor Gabino Ganggangan when asked what led him to issue a distinct and bold advisory.
The Municipal Inter-Agency Task Force of Sadanga promulgated its calibrated or revised Community Response to COVID 19. This was relayed by Mayor Gabino Ganggangan last week who said that it is not an executive order but just an advisory.
In the advisory he issued and posted in social media, Mayor Ganggangan clarified that the health protocols being practiced are not being relegated. Appropriate responses to the pandemic are contained in the advisory.
The municipality and the province, as well, have experienced and observed all the quarantines, MGCQ, GCQ, ECQ, but the virus cannot be stopped and can only be slowed down.
Further, the advisory states that there is no medicine to cure this COVID-19 but can accordingly be defeated by the anti-bodies or immune system of individuals.
The MIATF states that COVID-19 has been causing fear among the people and has caused lockdowns and quarantines that resulted to economic, cultural, and social dislocations to communities.
This stand is supported by many people per comments on the same post.
It says that community lockdowns are inappropriate. “Instead, let us focus our response to the management and care of the person/s infected according to the severity or health situation of the patients”, advises the Mayor.
Further, the municipal manifesto states that as high as 95-98% of all infected persons have recovered on their own and that only 2% died as per world data.
That the cause of death of those who died were actually due to pre-existing illnesses or comorbidities and not directly due to COVID 19, it further avers.
Therefore, on these premises, the advisory states that the communities be allowed to go on with their usual normal daily life activities.
It also says that the 14 days mandatory quarantine to isolate all PUMs and PUIs does not help to heal the patients as “isolation causes boredom, irritativeness (sic), lonesome (sic), and negative feeling leading to psychological and mental stress to the patients.”
Contrary to the sentiments of some detractors of the mayor, the advisory does not advocate to disregard the health protocols but put some “common sense” into what are being done.
“It is advised that everyone should take a glass of warm water with lemon or calamansi squeeze every day. This is to boost our immune system”, stated the advisory.
“Everyone who gets infected of COVID-19, common colds, flu or any other variant of the virus are mandated to do “soob” or the inhalation of hot steam twice a day preferably in the morning and in the evening”.
“Only those tested positive and in the severe case situations are to be isolated at home and to be given focused attention/intervention by the health personnel in addition to their family care giving. These patients must be given free vitamins, and medications on the other symtoms of comorbidities”.
It emphasized that homecare is best than going to the hospitals where much attentions are not given to the patients just the same.
“All prohibitions or restrictions such as lockdowns, 14 days quarantine and travel bans and other prohibitions that are used to be imposed are hereby lifted and discouraged as a community response”, recommends the advisory.
These actions are more damaging to the economic life of the communities and are counter-productive, the advisory clamed.
Travel documents such as test results, medical papers and travel authority are not required to go to the place and travelling out of the municipality. The traveler should be responsible to know and comply with the requirements of the place of destination.
It also advises local people not to wear face masks or face shields when alone in workplaces or elsewhere. Breath fresh air as much as possible, it states.
Does it mean that if people are in crowd drawing events, they have to practice protocols such as wearing of facemasks and face shields, social distancing and washing of hands?
The mayor directs the health personnel to “come up with master list of individuals who are considered as high risk or most vulnerable sectors with existing health problems or comorbidities and old senior citizens who are to be closely monitored by the health personnel.”
He recommends for each barangay to utilize their Barangay Disaster Risk Reduction Management funds to purchase vitamins and other immune boosting medicines, food supplements, fruits and other substances for their constituents.
Realizing that COVID 19 is here to stay, he said “we have to accept and respect COVID-19 but we have to live back our normal lives amidst this virus”.
“We are not scientists here in Sadanga but this is our common sense. Take it or leave it, no debate”, the mayor finally quips.
Meanwhile, one of the more known critic of the advisory is Dr. Martin Apopot, a town mate of the mayor, who is puzzled why the mayor is suddenly throwing (in) the towel in the fight against COVID-19.
He said quitting the fight is not in the best interest of their home town and other nearby communities. He underscored that lifting the restrictions will result in the spike of cases and that contingency plans of the communities are inadequate.
He also stressed that quarantines are necessary safeguards against infections and limits the spread of the virus. It will compromise the safety of people as protection is not for the patients but for the others not affected by the virus.
He asked the mayor to reconsider the decision and stand. “Science is our guide along with common sense”. he said
“Let us see what happens next”, said a frontliner in the province.** Roger Sacyaten

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