COVID-19 Crisis: President Marcos says the wearing of face masks would become optional if booster shot campaign succeeds

If you are sick or tired of wearing face masks after enduring more than two years of this COVID-19 crisis we are still living with, you are not alone. Recently, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. stated that the wearing of face masks would become optional if the booster shot campaign succeeds, the Manila Bulletin reported.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Manila Bulletin. Some parts in boldface…

Wearing of face masks would become optional if the government’s booster shot drive against Covid-19 succeeds, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said.

Marcos, however, said that easing of restrictions to that extent would be a long shot as his administration attempts to duplicate the national vaccination rollout done last year.

“[L]et us return to the idea of what we did last year na magkaroon ulit ng (to have another) vaccine rollout. Gawin na natin ito para makatiyak na tayo (Let’s do this now so we can be assured),” the President said in his virtual speech during his supposed face-to-face meeting with local government units officials in Malacañang on Friday night, July 8.

At pagka maging matagumpay ang ating booster rollout ay makikita naman natin siguro puwede na nating ibaba ang mga alert level, puwede na nating gawing optional ang mask (And if the booster rollout succeeds, perhaps we can lower the alert level and make wearing of mask optional),” Marcos added.

The Chief Executive stressed that making the wearing of masks optional will not be enforced until it’s crystal clear that it will be safe to do so in order to prevent the return of surging cases in the country.

“Pero hindi po natin gagawin ‘yan hanggang maliwanag na maliwanag na safe na talaga. Dahil although so far maganda naman ang takbo, hindi naman napupuno ang mga ospital. Ngunit kung hindi tayo maingat, mapupunta na naman tayo doon (But we will not do that yet until it is very clear that it’s already safe. Because although, so far, hospitals are not overwhelmed, if we don’t remain cautious, we will again go back there),” Marcos said.

The government is planning to implement a booster rollout for children in an attempt to fully open schools for face-to-face classes before the year ends.

Making the wearing of face masks optional is a new challenge not just for the national government but also for the provincial government units and local government units that are doing their respective parts in the fight against COVID-19. In recent times, it was reported that more than 70 million people nationwide got fully vaccinated (2 doses of most COVID-19 vaccines) while more than 15 million got their first booster shot.

I personally support the idea of intensifying the booster shot campaign as only a minority of the fully vaccinated patients got boosted. That being said, it would also be good for the country if only the Department of Health (DOH) would officially declare more boosted patients (including the comorbid patients among them) eligible to get their 2nd booster shots, especially if more than six months had passed since the first booster shot was administered to them. Clearly, more COVID-19 vaccination sites need to be set up on the local level to ensure better immunization. In fact, the vaccination sites that got closed down need to be reopened. As for the national government, they need to release COVID-19 vaccines that are nearing expiration. Let me add that the national daily count of new COVID-19 cases exceeded 2,000.

Let me end this by asking you readers: Do you desire that the national government and other government units nationwide would declare the wearing of face masks optional? What do you think the DOH should do next in order to allow more patients to get their first or second booster shots? Are the anti-vaccine fanatics out there still bothering you or even harassing you? Do you realize that the anti-vaccine fanatics offer no real solutions to the COVID-19 problems of our nation?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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