At this time of the pandemic, it is very difficult to find the ideal balance between caring for our health and safety, and jumpstarting our economy. But I praise presidential assistant Joey Concepcion for coming up with a win-win solution to this very difficult predicament we’re in.
As an alternative to lockdowns, which prevent all of us, vaccinated and unvaccinated, to get on with our lives, consequently forcing enterprises to suffer dismal losses, Concepcion’s proposal to establish “Bakuna Bubbles” in the metro is gaining ground and is definitely worth a try.
This state of “micro herd immunity” comes about when vaccinated people will be allowed to do their usual daily activities, from their homes to their workplaces, to commercial establishments, or to the malls. In other words, they will be free to do what they used to do before the pandemic.
This excites those of us in the tourism industry even more because we can then replicate this in our domestic tourist destinations. More people getting vaccinated means there will be more of these “bubbles”.
What happens to those who have not yet been vaccinated? They will also be allowed entry to these bubbles, but they have to present proof of a recent negative RT-PCR test. Although this procedure will give them access to the same places as those available to the vaccinated population, it certainly is not a guarantee that they will be protected from the virus, so it would still be best to have themselves vaccinated.
In effect, these “Bakuna Bubbles” protect the unvaccinated residents by restricting their movements until they get vaccinated, minimizing their chances of being infected and hospitalized. It has been reported that 85 percent of COVID-19 patients in hospitals are unvaccinated individuals, as the absence of protection makes them most vulnerable to this virus.
What does the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) think of this proposal? The experts in the agency are open to this suggestion but they feel more confident that the desired results will be achieved only when the local government units have vaccinated at least more than 50 percent of its residents.
The proponents of this strategy want to try it out first here in the National Capital Region (NCR) because boosting businesses in the NCR will have a significant impact on the country’s coffers as it is responsible for one-third of our country’s gross domestic product (GDP). The good news is, by the middle of this month, more than 50 percent of the NCR population will already be vaccinated, paving the way for these “bubbles” to come to life.
These “Bakuna Bubbles” will certainly benefit micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) severely affected by the series of lockdowns and other quarantine restrictions. In fact, a lot of them are on their way to extinction, so we have to do what we can to stop that from happening because these MSMEs comprise more than 95 percent of businesses in our country, and are responsible for approximately 63 percent of our country’s employment.
The business from the vaccinated population will fuel these “bubbles” and bolster MSMEs towards jumpstarting our economy. If we do not find a way to help these businesses now, our economy may no longer have time to recover.
To the unvaccinated who point out that this strategy reeks of discrimination because it restricts their mobility, it has been announced by legal experts that our Constitution allows this restriction because it is for the common good. It’s the same reason why nobody made a fuss when the past lockdowns restricted everybody’s mobility.
So, let’s get on with our lives through these “Bakuna Bubbles”. Let’s start our journey back to making this pandemic’s “new reality” as close as possible to the beautiful life we had before this dreadful virus turned our world upside down. Then, 106 days from now, God willing, we will once again have a really MERRY CHRISTMAS!
For feedback, I’m at [email protected]YOUR weekend CHUCKLE
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