Christmas lockdown? Go ahead and spoil our Christmas

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Residents step on measured tape placed outside a supermarket to practice social distancing as a precautionary measure against the spread of the new coronavirus in Manila, Philippines, early Tuesday, March 17, 2020. For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms. For some, it can cause more severe illness, especially in older adults and people with existing health problems. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Government should learn to balance it’s so-called “civic concern” with tradition and values of the Filipino people. Healthcare remains the fulcrum of democratic societies but overdoing things costs us a lot.

This administration is always dishonest when it comes to its decisions. For example, it wants to revive the economy which the Asian Development Bank (ADB) expects to contract even more at 8.5% yet discourages the opening of provincial bus routes to service travelers going to the provinces under Modified Community quarantines or MCQs. Local Governments, particularly those in Metro Manila, impose numerous and ridiculous requirements such as the wearing of face shields without scientific basis, when masks are enough.

Government is worried for a second spike but whether it imposes a strict lockdown or not, an increase in numbers of infected individuals is sure to happen because government is not serious in testing and tracking people. President Duterte even admitted that testing only occurred to him only recently despite issuing series upon series of decisions purportedly to stop infections for the past ten months. Imagine how high the incompetence displayed by this person claiming to be our superior all because of him getting 16 million votes as President?

Duterte already declared a general community quarantine for the National Capital Region or NCR for the rest of December. By tradition, December is the month when domestic worker migrants go back to their home provinces to spend Christmas with their loved ones. This has been going on since the Spanish era and even two global wars did not stop it.

But now, with this pandemic and with the vaccine in sight, Duterte and his power-trippers in government want us to just stay home, period while they simply do nothing. What will happen now to our battered economy? Surely, it will contract to such a level that even that touted infusion of suspicious Chinese investments will not be enough to arrest possible social upheavals for the coming new year.

What government should do is re-open provincial bus routes, encourage people to just exercise responsibility of keeping themselves healthy and protect themselves from getting sick by always wearing their face masks. Period. Allow more businesses to re-open especially our resorts and hotels. Allow more people to travel. Preventing people from doing so condemns our economy to the pits in the coming months ahead.

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