IF THIS WAS A BOXING MATCH – since there is no single Coronavirus patient here,- Bohol, therefore, outwitted the virus by a combination of “No Entry” of outsiders to the province and a curfew from 9 pm to 5 am.
Round One goes to Bohol by decision.
Enthused by this success, the Quarantine Period has been extended to April 12, co-terminus with that of the national mandate. What still needs to be done?
Social distancing in public utility transportation like tricycles, jeepneys and buses remains problematic. With passengers insisting to take the ride to reach their targeted destination on time and drivers anxious about making enough money by filling in all the spaces in the vehicles.
As a rule, Social Distancing in public utility vehicles means only a 60% capacity utilization. Perhaps the PNP and the barangay officials can designate checkpoints along the highway and thoroughfares and dislodge the “excess passengers”. This is to teach both the driver and the passenger the lesson that we need to make sacrifices in this crisis situation.
Added vigilance is needed, also, in the small ports for violative pump boats skirting the law since a total ban of arrivals has been imposed in all seaports and airports. Perhaps some leeway can be made in the entry of supplies like food, pharmaceuticals and gasoline which are essential to make the world go round. Right now it is an OK entry for goods but not drivers.
This practice increases the cost of business since two drivers and new assistants will be involved in the delivery- some of who may not be too familiar with the route compared to the old staff.
Also- until many face masks are shipped here, there is a suggestion for tailoring shops to manufacture face masks for the public or markets to buy. A popular Youtube video showed how a creative housewife uses an ordinary handkerchief and two pieces of a rubber band to create a makeshift face mask. They are badly needed.
There is an absolute need, too, to address the financial needs of displaced workers. The DOLE is reportedly offering a one-time P5,000 compensation fee while the Bohol Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) recommends a monthly P 3,000 stipend while the crisis is on and they are not yet rehired. Whatever it may be, we hope the DOLE procedures will not be tedious and lengthy to comply with by the employers- otherwise, the purpose is defeated.
Otherwise, let us not at all be complacent in just winning Round One because this is a 12-round fight with Coronavirus and we have to steal its crown (pun intended). So, the usual vigorous hygienic practices of washing hands, sanitizing places, wearing masks and sneezing and coughing properly using tissues and disposing of them properly- must continue to be an everyday look-out.
Wherever we go, whether supermarkets, convenient stores or boticas- observe the usual one-meter social distance criterion- in front, back, left and right. It is good the crowded internet cafes, bars and cinemas have been closed. People are also beginning to like the curfew- it strengthens family bonding, keeps people off the streets early and most will have a longer night rest. Very healthy- from many points of view.
Let us remind ourselves, too, about our Home Quarantine strategy so as not to unduly burden our finite Health System. If one member of the family experiences colds and fever (moderate) it is best to find that location at home for isolation. In very small homes, perhaps the person can be isolated there and kind-hearted neighbors or relatives nearby can temporarily shelter the healthy ones. Let us help one another. (See “One Voice” Message of Pope Francis on Page One of this issue),
Take note that in a massive contagion as this one, what is good for one will eventually become good for all. Gets?
Too, perhaps in the intermediate future, with “outsiders” denied entry- ” healthy” Boholanos left behind could be considered maybe to go back patronizing the Rest and Recreation industry (tourism) as long as the usual hygienic practices are observed. This is to rev up the main driver of the Bohol economy wherein 80% of tourism-related establishments have been closed. Possible?
Then perhaps the thousands of displaced wage earners like drivers.waiters, chambermaids, guides, cooks, room boys and entertainers can earn their keeps and may no longer need government subsidy. Then they will have the money to purchase other goods and services. And moves the economy forward in general. Does this make sense?
Who needs commendation for winning Round One? Of course, primarily our health workers and volunteers who stake their lives, health and extra time to help contain this invisible villain. Our authorities and public officials who design strategies and implement the “boxing tactics” on the ground to defeat Fighting Corona.
Of course, the rock-steady faith of Boholanos who have not left their confidence in an Almighty God. Despite the temporary banning of physical Holy Masses observations with churches teeming with the faithful at every turn, people have turned to technology to continue their adoration, petition and thanksgiving to their Creator.
Thousands hear Mass on-line daily over dyRD (worldwide) and KISS 102.3 FM every one o’clock aside from the online Holy Masses of Bishops Abet Uy and Patrick Parcon.
Reminds us of the indomitable faith of the ancient Christians- who in the face of the persecution by the Romans- still held their religious ceremonies underground in caves and secret dwellings.
Coronavirus -19 is the new face of the oppressive Roman Emperor- but we will continue and display our belief in our God regardless. On to the next rounds……
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