Getting ready for your date with COVID-19? 1

Getting ready for your date with COVID-19?

Aneth Ng-Lim

Posted at Dec 27 2021 03:39 PM

Between December 21 to 25, we have managed to reverse the decreasing trend of COVID-19 cases in the country that took many, many months to pull off, and only after thousands and thousands of mass vaccinations.

The aggressive pace of vaccinations continues, and people are even lining up for booster shots even before they are due. So what brought this unwelcome reversal? Two words: holiday excursions.

More and more people are stepping out of their homes and getting comfortable attending holiday parties with family and friends. Or taking road trips for what they feel are long overdue getaways, only to be met by crowds when they get to the top vacation places. The less adventurous may be sticking closer to their homes but that does not stop them from visiting the malls and shopping districts to join in the festive cheer.

As I see them in my news feed, social media accounts or as I drive by to our own mountain hideaway, I want to shout out this question from the car window, but did not for fear of getting stoned: “Are you ready for your date with COVID-19?”

I confess it’s not an original thought. My doctor actually posed this question to me, back when I asked if it’s safe to travel after I completed my two shots of anti-COVID-19 vaccination. He said in the most patronizing way possible: “Getting ready for your date with COVID-19?”

Of course my answer was No, and I ended up not packing my bags. But he later redeemed himself with an explanation that we all have a date with COVID-19. 

This pandemic that has brought forth many variants, from deadly to mild, of the coronavirus will only ease after it becomes endemic which means all of us have been exposed to it. Until we have developed mass immunity, the pandemic will rage on, and on.

If there’s no stopping you from going out and breathing in COVID-19, at least consider these health and personal finance precautions.

#1 Mask up, always.

Lining up for coffee in an al fresco restaurant, I was tempted to make a citizen’s arrest when a man walks in with friends unmasked and even asked the waitstaff for a spare one so he can stay and dine in. Sadly, the waitstaff indulged him and handed one of their spare masks and guess what? 

He decided not to wear it until he finished discussing menu options and placed his order. I kept thinking he deserves a special place in the hottest spot in this universe when the time comes. When you mask up, you are not only protecting yourself, but also the people around you, young and old. More importantly, you are doing your part for public health as our hospitals simply do not have the capacity to handle another surge.

#2 Keep your one-meter distance please.

When going out, try to put yourself in a safety bubble that keeps people one meter, or 3 feet away. This can be tricky in crowded places, or when you have a private party and guests start to get comfortable and begin removing masks to eat and drink, and forget to put it back on. 

But you have to do it, for those present who are 50 years old and older, plus other guests that may be immunocompromised. You may feel like a killjoy for keeping your distance, or reminding others to do so, but you’ll thank yourself 3 to 7 days later when no one from the same party develops symptoms and tests positive for COVID-19.

#3 Get COVID-19 medical insurance.

Before COVID-19, all health insurance policies did not cover for pandemics. Consumers who do not make a habit of reading the fine print were dismayed to discover this when they tried to make claims. It’s similar to how many car owners, after Typhoon Ondoy of 2009, realized that their flooded vehicles are not covered by their insurance unless they paid for an extra clause called “Acts of God.” 

If you haven’t done so, check now if your medical insurance covers COVID-19 treatment and hospitalization. If yes, good for you, but also ask until when as some insurance companies only agreed to do so for a limited period out of goodwill. If not, go and buy one that will as there are some in the market that do. 

Whether yes or no, try to see if you also need more coverage and buy additional if you think so. There are also some providers that offer it for free if you download their app, no doubt as part of customer database building. Point your browser to COVID-19 medical coverage and Free COVID-19 insurance to see your options.

While this is one date we hope to skip, the chances are COVID-19 will eventually come knocking to all our doors. Until then, the two things you can do are delay it as long as possible and make sure you and your wallet will survive it. 

Back in 2020, research think tank Moody’s Analytics said the Philippines will attain herd immunity by 2023. At that time, they said we would have fully vaccinated 65 percent of our adult population. Right now, our vaccination rate is less than 40 percent so while many consider 2023 to be too far off, this is likely the most probable scenario. Between now and 2023, keep your mask on, stay 3 feet away and make sure your COVID-19 health insurance stays up to date. This way, you can shout Happy New Year from the top of your healthy lungs in 5 days.

Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.


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Disclaimer: The views in this blog are those of the blogger and do not necessarily reflect the views of ABS-CBN Corp.