Friday, February 3, 2023

With great power…

by the Weekly Sillimanian | November 6, 2022

As per Executive Order No. 7 signed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Oct. 28, the public is no longer required to wear masks indoors and outdoors, except in healthcare facilities, medical transport vehicles, and all types of public transport.

The wearing of masks is “encouraged” for those who are elderly, symptomatic, with comorbidities, immunocompromised individuals, pregnant, and those unvaccinated.

EO 7 also mandates the continued implementation of “minimum public health standards” including “good hygiene, frequent hand-washing, observance of physical distancing, and maintenance of good ventilation especially in indoor settings.”

However, as appealing as it sounds to ‘return back to normal,’ it is worth noting that COVID-19 still has its fist wrapped around the country. As of writing, there are still 111 known active cases present in Negros Oriental according to the Department of Health. The risk of infection is still a reality and wearing masks along with maintaining good hygiene are active ways to continue to protect ourselves and the community.

In a study, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that the “consistent use of a face mask or respirator in indoor public settings was associated with lower odds of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result.” 

We from the Weekly Sillimanian acknowledge that the lift of the mandate on wearing face masks both indoors and outdoors may be a relief to many, but considering that the virus has yet to cease – posing as a threat to the health of the community – prevention is still always better than cure. Thus continuing to take precautions is still just as important.

Wearing a mask protects both the wearer and the people they come into contact with on a daily basis. It is essential to take into consideration the health and safety of family, friends, schoolmates, staff, and the people we are surrounded with each day.

The executive order has consequently entrusted the Filipino people with the duty to be responsible for their decisions, and it is our hope that Sillimanians will take it upon themselves to be cautious and practice the aforementioned public health standards to mitigate the possibility of a resurgence in COVID-19 cases.

Ultimately, the power rests with the Silliman community to continue to fight against the spread of COVID-19, and in doing so, upholding the responsibility entrusted to them.

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