Discipline and political will
WHAT was once simply considered an epidemic in many countries, COVID-19 suddenly broke into a pandemic creating havoc in lives of people across the world.
For us in the Philippines, it has been a crisis situation like no other. It is not a peace and order issue where enemies of the state are identified, strategies and resources can be formed to defeat a known and visible enemy.
COVID-19 is an invisible enemy. Its symptoms are initially disguised as cold, cough and hard of breathing. They are so common that no one can suspect one has been hit until a laboratory test says so. It has been horrifying that people were simply suddenly infected, falling and dying – exponentially.
Perhaps, the Philippines can still consider itself fortunate that COVID-19’s number of victims has been relatively low yet the mortality rate has been high raising serious concerns. But the numbers are not as virulent as the impact on daily life in our communities because today, we are left only with partial lockdown as an option that we euphemistically label as “community quarantine”
The fact is our national and local governments cannot afford to launch a total lockdown as we’ve seen in China that has since been instrumental in winning its battle. Without a total lockdown, we can only rely on two things – to invoke and imbibe rigid discipline among our people to achieve collective action, and for our government and community leaders to exercise political will to bring us to the right direction.
These are the only real options for us in Pangasinan if we are to defeat our invisible enemy.
Calm, cool & cooperation
FIRST, President Duterte declared a national health emergency. Meaning, the health of 107 million Filipinos has become the primordial concern of every government move. Second, Mr. Duterte put Metro Manila and Luzon to enhanced community quarantine aka lockdown. Third, Tatay Digong decreed a national state of calamity. All three directives were to contain and mitigate the impact of the much-dreaded COVID-19, which had already infected more than 160,000 people worldwide and killed nearly 6,000, including 22 in the Philippines. The partial lockdown practically paralyzed Metro Manila as people’s movement has been confined to homes, leaving mostly the poor practically moneyless, foodless, as they are the no-work-no-pay lot. When the stomach growls, the law can be compromised. But stay calm. Keep cool. Cooperation is the key. Trust government.
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