As most of you know, recently I posted an Open Letter to Governors, Mayors and Legislators. After going through the current scientific evidence, I encouraged them:
“In essence, COVID-19 is not a deadly as we all once feared. … Many countries are starting to move away from lockdowns. …. For the sake of your own citizens and your own conscience, please ease the lockdowns. If your area will be identified as low risk, accept it with thankfulness, not fear. If your area is marked as high risk, petition for a lower-risk category if warranted.” (Open Letter On Lockdowns To Philippine Governors, Mayors, And Legislators )
Thousands saw that 27 May 2020 Open Letter. The day after I posted it, friends sent me hopeful messages. The IATF, the country’s top advisory body on COVID-19, recommended lifting lockdowns in many parts of the country, albeit with some conditionalities. Because they were not happy with the IATF recommendations for their areas, the Governor of Cebu and the Mayors of Baguio and Cebu petitioned the IATF to lower the risk categories of their respective areas.
Whether or not these were the result of my Open Letter which was sent to them or not, is immaterial. What was important was what they did. They moved towards a more scientific consideration of their situation. Unlike the last time, they now had courage not to yield to their fear that prodded them to seek a higher risk category from IATF.
But not all have overcome their fear. Some of them petitioned not to be placed in a lower risk category that IATF had recommended. One frustrated medical doctor said very graphically: “There is a mouse in your house. To get rid of the mouse, you burn the whole house. Is that the best solution?” Sad, some still do not get it. (See The Avoided And Unanswered Question: People Just Don’t Get It!]
But this story has a happy ending. The mayors who petitioned for a lower risk category got their wish. At least this was true of Cebu and Baguio cities.
I am thankful that the IATF is starting to see the need to lift the lockdowns. However, I hope the remaining local chief executives begin to see the light of day soon. As we shall demonstrate in the next few days, many countries are starting to realize that lockdowns not only have limited value. On the contrary, lockdowns can worsen the death rates of countries, not to speak of the devastating impact on their economies and their citizens!
There are some deeper lessons that I learned from this episode. I will share them at the appropriate time.