Editorial: Happy New Year!
TODAY, we welcome a new year with some renewed hope and optimism.
Definitely, 2021 was not an easy one.
In 2021, we continued to face the Covid-19 pandemic. Along the way, many of us have also lost our loved ones due to the disease.
In December 2021, Typhoon Odette (International name: Rai) struck the Philippines. This was the strongest to hit the Philippines in 2021. When it made landfall on December 16, 2021 over Siargao Island, Surigao del Norte, it had maximum sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour (km/h) near the center, with gustiness of up to 240 km/h, and central pressure of 815 hectopascal.
In its aftermath, the typhoon caused an estimated P39.3 billion worth of damages.
Meanwhile, according to the December 31 data of the Department of Social Welfare Development (DSWD), around 1.79 million families or 6.64 million persons were affected by the typhoon.
President Rodrigo R. Duterte signed Proclamation No. 1267 on December 21, 2021 placing Mimaropa, Western Visayas, Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Northern Mindanao, and Caraga under a state of calamity.
In terms of Covid-19, we faced the continued threat from disease with the emergence of new Sars-CoV-2 variants, especially the delta and omicron variants.
Despite these challenges, there is also a silver lining up ahead.
When it comes to the typhoon’s aftermath, relief and restoration efforts are already underway. Though, there is still a long way to go for people to finally get back on their feet.
In terms of Covid-19 response, the difference between when the pandemic started and now is the government, medical institutions, private businesses, and individuals have a better grasp of how to deal with the virus or when one is infected.
Vaccination efforts have also picked up for most parts of the country. Hence, better protection for Filipinos. There are also new treatments against the Covid-19 vaccination being developed. In the United States, Pfizer’s anti-Covid-19 pill has been approved by authorities for home treatment.
The challenges brought about by the pandemic and typhoon may linger this 2022, but there is still a glimmer of hope as we enter 2022. Happy New Year!