‘Protokills’ | Inquirer Opinion


/ 04:15 AM April 04, 2022

The outbreak of COVID-19 has created a global health crisis. Several strategies were implemented to combat and control its spread including wearing masks, hand hygiene, social distancing, and even the use of a reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test to detect the presence of virus in one’s body. But to date, the impact of these infectious control strategies remains largely unclear.

A variety of public health and hygiene measures have been initiated and the most visually noticeable perhaps is the wearing of face masks. Despite the government recommending it as part of personal protective equipment, many of us have not been wearing masks “properly” since the declaration of the pandemic.


By “properly,” it is defined as disallowing any space greater than the holes of the mask around the face. Few people in the world have worn masks “properly” and they are those who wear a hazmat type of mask or those who have securely taped the edges of the masks onto their face. Wearing it with airways on the side of the cheeks or near the sides of the nose is “improper” but a huge part of the world population does that.

Wearing it in a way that pea-sized openings are around the mask is the same as wearing it under the nose or under the chin. They all result in viruses escaping those openings and it is an extreme understatement because the size of the virus is much smaller than the holes of the usual face masks.


Despite the fact that many of us are wearing masks “improperly,” we are still alive. Others would say that there could be thousands of people we encountered who died because of the improper wearing of masks. But if they believe in masks preventing disease and preventing death, they can fairly conclude that they, too, have not worn their masks properly.

We have been made to believe that we are accountable for other people’s health and not wearing this and that puts others’ health at risk. The improper wearing of masks clearly debunks this.

Ergo, it is not the proper wearing of masks that really saves us from dying of COVID. It is our stronger immune system and for some, the knowledge about early treatment. And these are the two things that should be a personal responsibility.

The government, instead of imposing mandatory face masks, should have promoted immune-boosting and early treatment. These could have saved more lives and livelihoods. We mostly get sick every year during flu season. During those sick days, most of us still move around. We would still work for as long as our bodies can, and we would just take paracetamol.

There’s no law preventing anyone from going around when sick, right? It was then a “your body, your choice” thing until this global fear scattered.

On the other hand, we know a lot of people who were made to stay home, not able to work and feed their families despite being fully vaccinated, boostered, no symptoms because they falsely tested positive in this RT-PCR. They are the victims of unfounded forced quarantines.

RT-PCR and case-counting have determined the destiny of many people around the world. In the Philippines, we started with counting hospitalizations and deaths as a basis for restrictions. Then, when it was not that scary enough compared to other nations, we switched to case-counting as a basis of people’s mobility, resulting in more harm than good.


The pandemic has become a “casedemic.” People’s lives and livelihoods got affected because of this. A lot of people died, not able to continue their medical maintenance, not able to work and feed the family with healthy, nutritious foods, vitamins, and supplements, not able to get proper sunlight and exercise and breathe fresh air for wellness and immune-boosting.

These protocols kill. And by now, after more than two years in the pandemic, we should learn to say no to “protokills”—these protocols that kill. Real-world experience, yours and mine just proved it.

* * *

Ann Cuisia is a founding member of Concerned Doctors and Citizens of the Philippines, a nonpartisan organization/volunteer group, composed of professionals and experts from the medical, health, business, financial, and research industries, who are proposing science-driven, evidence-based solutions to the biggest challenges facing the nation during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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TAGS: Ann Cuisia, Commentary, protokills
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