April 16, 2024

By midnight of April 12, 2020, the enhanced community quarantine all over Luzon is supposed to be lifted. This means that by that date, we can resume all activities and gain a foothold of what we used to do before its implementation. After four arduous weeks of being confined inside our houses, the prospect of being “free again” is a welcome relief like a drop of rain in an arid desert. Still, don’t hope too soon.
Doctors from the World Health Organization and other medical experts are in unison in saying that April 12 is quite premature to lift the lockdown. They claim that the gains we achieved by isolating all residents in Luzon from the coronavirus will all go to naught if the government will allow each and every one to go back to their daily routine. Lifting the enhanced quarantine means allowing people to converge and gather among themselves. According to experts, the spread of the virus might recur and bring us back to where we were before the lockdown. This scenario creates a chilling effect that might be worse than when the pandemic began.
But President Rodrigo Duterte, ahead of April 12, has decided to extend the lockdown in Luzon up to April 30. Legislators and members of the Cabinet, too, are of the opinion that the quarantine must be extended. Therefore, the country needs more time to rehabilitate itself from the debilitating effect wrought by the corona virus.
Our economy is hurting because of the lockdown. Businessmen are wary on how they can recoup their capital. Daily workers are crying for help because they are being deprived of their wages. For the moment, their existence depends on the dole-outs and donations given by the government and the private sector. So, what gives? Are we going to continue torturing our people with the economic deprivation because of a virus that is ill-tempered to select its victims? Or are we going to preserve their continued existence by keeping them safe inside their homes? Either way, the opinion is obvious.
When interviewed, Ramon Ang, the chief executive officer of San Miguel Corporation and one of the richest men in the country, said that as between money and life, he would choose the latter. His sentiment is shared by others of his kind. Bill Gates, for instance, said that everything we labor for pales in comparison to the eye-opening lesson taught by the coronavirus that life is not all about money. There are more essential things like family, safety, charity, and humanity. We should have realized this after four weeks of reflecting inside our homes. By now, we ought to be resilient to the many factors that make our lives more meaningful than just waking up in the morning, going to work every day, earning a daily wage, and fostering a reputation that is founded on greed and money. Like it or not, the coronavirus is the great equalizer.
The fear continues. The cure against the pandemic remains elusive. Yet, the lockdown proved effective in curtailing its spread. If we stop now, the virus will gain momentum and thwart whatever victory we have gained against it. Hence, if it is for the best of all that the lockdown be extended by all means, implement it.
We have already borne the effects of four weeks isolation. What’s another two or three or even four weeks? It is for own good anyway.
By the way, lest we forget it, it’s Easter Sunday. For Christians like us, it is significant because it is the date when Jesus Christ rose from the dead and fulfilled his promise of eternal life. As He rose, so shall we from this challenge that made us conscious that truly, we need a Savior. Happy Easter.