By: Alex P. Vidal
“Life is about having a good time, and it was a good time. We did some things well and some things poorly, but that was always the case.” – Norman Lear
PARENTS of children who live in the cities and provinces in Western Visayas with high percentage of dengue fever cases, based on the statistics of the Department of Health (DoH), are still restless and getting paranoid.
They fear that even a simple insect bite on their kids’ skin will land them in the hospital.
Most of these worried parents, who can hardly make both ends meet, think they will face a terrible financial meltdown once their kids undergo medical proceedings for a mere insect bite.
Even if a red mark on their children’s skin was caused only by a bite of an ant or any insect that doesn’t carry a life-threatening virus, the parents panicked and feared for the worst.
This explains why government district hospitals in Iloilo have been inundated with patients mostly children with high fever and other signs of dengue infection.
Unless the dengue scare has been nipped in the bud, hospitals would continue to swell; this would justify the declaration of the state of calamity by the local governments.
Much has been written on how to prevent or fight dengue fever, but the ones suggested by Dr. Janice Litza, a Board Certified Family Medicine Physician based in Wisconsin, on May 12, 2019, are probably the most practical and logical. Dr. Litza suggested the following:
- Stay indoors or under a mosquito net during peak mosquito times. The dengue mosquito has two peak periods of biting activity: in the morning for several hours after daybreak and in the late afternoon for several hours before dark. Nevertheless, the mosquito may feed at any time during the day, especially indoors, in shady areas, or when it is overcast.
- Use insect repellent when outdoors. It is important to protect yourself from mosquito bites when you will be spending time outdoors in mosquito-infested areas. Apply insect repellent to all exposed areas of your skin before heading outside
- Cover your skin. You can reduce your chances of being bitten if you cover up as much of your skin as possible. Wear loose, long-sleeved shirts, socks, and long pants when you will be traveling to mosquito-infested areas
- Get rid of standing water in your area. Mosquitoes breed in standing water. Mosquito breeding sites include artificial water containers such as discarded tires, uncovered water storage barrels, buckets, flower vases or pots, cans, and cisterns. Help to reduce the mosquito population in your area by getting rid of any standing water that has collected around your house or campsite
ALLIES of Mayor Geronimo “Jerry” Treñas in the Iloilo City Council should not worry about the administrative cases for dereliction of duty as public officials filed against them by their former colleagues, lawyers Joshua Alim and Plaridel Nava.
Better still, they shouldn’t overreact.
In fact, they should expect more cases in the future (if they misbehave) now that the two firebrands are “outside the kulambo,” so to speak.
Administrative cases are normal for government officials. The least they can get if found guilty is a rap in the knuckles.
No one will go to jail. No one will lose a “lucrative” committee chairmanship. No one will be subjected to humiliation like in a criminal case where an accused public official can lose both his reputation and position if convicted for stealing the people’s money.
Cases like the ones these Treñas allies are facing is an indication that democracy is alive and kicking in Iloilo City.
(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)