It has been three months since the first coronavirus case in the country was confirmed, instantly urging the public to call for mass testing.

 

Even so, confusion as to what ‘mass testing’ really means among many people has been evident. Go on your social media feeds, and chances are, you would encounter a friend or two who seem to associate the term with other things apart from what it really is. Recently, Filipino dancer DJ Loonyo became a target of bashing and criticism online for seemingly confusing the term “mass testing” to mean a clinical trial.

 
 

In a Livestream,  the TikTok personality said, “I just don’t know, it’s ike gagana ba ‘tong bagay na ‘to… kung anuman ‘yung bagay na ipapainom nila, kung anuman ‘yung bagay na ipapagawa nila, it’s a trial and error that’s why it’s mass testing,” Loonyo told in response to the question what does he know about such.

He also added: “Kaya kawawa ‘yun mag-i-intake nun, kawawa ‘yung mag-u-undergo nun ‘coz it’s not hundred percent proven.”

That part of the interview was captured by one of the netizens, Coach Clarke, using it to call out Loonyo on Twitter. The post paved the way for huge ways of criticism, some constructive, some purely intended to shame the guy.

After receiving flak online, Loonyo quickly released a statement addressing his critics, apologizing for any misinformation he has caused. While his fans came to his side sympathizing, many critics still wouldn’t stop calling him out. This time they were accusing Loonyo of merely making up excuses and not owning up to his mistake.

 

First things first, let’s clear a few important things out of the way.

 

How does a coronavirus testing happen?

A coronavirus (COVID-19) testing is done by inserting a cotton swab (like a long Q-tip) into the cavity between the nose and mouth of the patient, making sure to collect enough cells to be sent to labs for testing. It aims to determine whether a person is infected with the disease.

 

So, does Mass Testing mean all the population gets tested?

“Mass testing” doesn’t mean everyone gets tested. Joshua Miguel Danac, a science research specialist at the University of the Philippines in Diliman, provides a clear explanation for this.

Mass Testing PH

He explains, “We have been very clear about what we mean by mass testing, which is: to have sufficient RT-PCR capacity to enable free and accessible testing for those who need it, i.e., people with possible COVID-19 symptoms (suspect cases), the close contacts or people with exposure, whether symptomatic or asymptomatic, frontline healthcare workers who need regular testing, and those in high-risk communities or vulnerable population.”

 

Does coronavirus testing require ingestion?

No. A patient does not ingest anything in COVID-19 testing. Usually, the process of ingestion is done in a clinical trial, which is different from coronavirus testing.

What is a clinical trial?

A clinical trial is a process of studying new tests and treatments to determine their results on humans.

Current COVID-19 Case Update

 

As of 4PM last June 04, 2020, the Department of Health has reported the total number of COVID-19 cases at 20,382. In terms of flattening the curve in the country, we still have a long way to go, and that includes increasing the capacity of our health care system to be able to test more people, hence the continuous call for #MassTestingNow.

 

As a regular citizen who only relies on information we see on TV and the internet, it is our duty to be critical of what we read and hear. If ever we come across someone who needs to be informed on important matters such as this, we have a choice to either educate them or succumb to the toxicity of hate culture– which a lot of us have been doing. If you find yourself leaning more towards the latter– to call out and even shame someone for being not as informed as you are– keep in mind that it makes the situation worse more than it helps.

Now, going back — let us define why we believe that educating misinformed people is more important than just shaming them (even if technically they really are wrong and spreading wrong information is truly a bad initiative), and we are aware of that, we call it the Call-out culture. 

While essentially it is for good — sometimes, it draws worse here’s why. 

The Negative Impact of the Call-out culture.

The problem with call-out culture is that it is so naïve. It reduces people into two categories: good and evil; one wrong move could cause you to be dismissed as the latter. For a mistake in his statement, we found the justification to shame and harass DJ Loonyo, just because he is in a very influential position. Is it right, though?

Misinformation is almost inevitable in this digital age. Even us, ourselves, we have been falling into the mistake of sharing misleading information at some point. The difference is, we don’t have hundreds of thousands of eyes watching our every move, watching out for the words we say. 

While it’s true Loonyo has to be careful with how he uses his influence, we, as audiences, also have to be careful with how we use our freedom of speech. Canceling someone without allowing them the gift of mercy, the chance to redeem themselves– it’s barbaric. And we can do better than that. 

Educate, and not hate

And, we gotta give it to the man for at least trying — just this morning we saw DJ Loonyo post a dance video entitled Pasyensya Na — a well-known song that perhaps verbalizes his own way of apologizing for what has transpired.

Watch his video below:

 

 

In less than 24 hours, this video garnered over 1 MILLION views, with over 11,000 Likes and 147,000 reactions — he truly is an influencer in his own right, and this furthers the need for influencers like him to be educated and aware as they can eventually help in spreading the right information to the masses.

Yes, he did speak out of term without proper research, but at least he is humble enough to acknowledge that as he tries to revert the conversation back to what is important — Mass Testing and what it really is.

Perhaps we can learn a thing or two from this incident — we should learn that a simple remark, especially during these times, can greatly impact the people around us. Whether we have a hundred to a million followers, our words are critical, spreading any form of information needs to be confirmed and verified.

It is a call to be extra critical — to really do a double-take on whatever news/info we come across. Of course, influencers and celebrities with bigger clouts should be extra cautious — after all, their platforms serve as their voice, and whether they intend to or not — they do carry that responsibility of proper information dissemination.

Do you approve of Mass Testing?

 

Tell us if you are open to getting Mass Testing done in the country by voting on the poll section below. Also for more updates on the latest happenings on music, gaming, and entertainment, follow us on Facebook and Twitter @udouph. And if you liked this article, make sure to stay tuned on our website @udou.ph.

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