Issue of April 5, 2020
     
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Stay home

According to experts, there are only three ways to suppress the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic. One is to eliminate the carrier, which means killing all those who are infected; two is to inoculate all persons by vaccinating them with an antidote to kill the virus; and three to isolate all persons who are infected.

The first is out of the picture because it is cruel and inhuman. Probably, only North Korea can get away with this. The second is not possible because there is yet no known vaccine against the Covid-19. If there be any, it is still in its developmental stage and has yet to be tested on humans. That leaves the third option as the only viable solution to the problem at hand.

Thus, the government enacted an enhanced lockdown on Luzon whereby the movement of all citizens residing there are restricted for the time being. People are quarantined inside their homes and can only leave to buy food, medicine, and other essentials. There is a quarantine pass issued by every barangay and only those bearing it can go out. Though it is a difficult situation, it is the only known way to solve the problem. Every other country is adopting this kind of solution to limit the spread of the virus.

Despite the effort of the government to lockdown Filipinos so that they may not contract the coronavirus, there are those who continue to wail and object to the policy that is being implemented. They insist that the lockdown is a kneejerk reaction to an overblown problem. That it is a hindrance to their freedom. That it is equivalent to a house arrest. That it is a veiled declaration of martial law. Really?

There is a joke circulating on the Internet regarding these kinds of people. If those who are sick are identified as persons under investigation and persons under monitoring, these fellows who incessantly rant and complain are identified as PSS or persons who are sao nga sao and PHA or persons nga haan nga makaawat. It is incomprehensible why some of us cannot follow simple instructions that are in place for our own good. The danger that lurks in the open spaces of our provinces, cities, and municipalities far outweighs the inconvenience, if it may be even called as such, of being confined inside our homes. To contract the virus and spread it could cause certain death, if not to ourselves, then, to our vulnerable fellowmen. To stay home is the surest way to stay safe.

You are bored to death being home? You are not alone. You have lost substantial income by being home? You are not alone. You are anxious and jittery about what will happen tomorrow? You are not alone. You feel restless and helpless at home? You are not alone. Think that this lockdown is affecting everybody else. There is no other way to secure the country than to distance yourself from all other human beings. Think of the bright side.

True, we are social beings and we need to hug each other, kiss each other, embrace each other or simply be in constant conversation with each other. These are extraordinary times, my friend. There is a reason why we need to observe isolation and social distancing. It is to save the human race, to save ourselves and our family from an unseen but deadly vector. For once, be conscious of your responsibility to mankind and set aside your prejudices and biases against being isolated. Stay home.

Staying home for an extended period of time has shown some significant benefits. Foremost, it upgraded the ethics and the morality of the Filipinos. Look at the crime index. Because everybody is at home, crime is at its lowest. Families are bonding. Fathers are fathers again and mothers are mothers again. The old-fashioned way of spending time together with our families is more pronounced than ever before. Money and work take a backseat to the more important things in life. The environment is healing itself as if to say “thank you for this break.” The skies are blue, wild animals are roaming free, birds are chirping happily and species that are on the brink of extinction are replenishing their population.

Sure, there are pitfalls like the marginalized among us whose meager source of income was deprived because they have to be quarantined. The government, though, is doing its best to remedy this predicament. Already, there are policies in place to feed the poor.

The world is in recession. This is the necessary consequence of the pandemic. Rather than humanity going extinct like what happened to the dinosaurs, it is best that we all bear this consequence. If people will heed the call of the government to do their part during these most challenging moments, normalcy will return sooner than later. Hence, if we want to resume our lives the soonest, be a hero. Stay home.

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