One Month in Quarantine: Is ‘Total Lockdown’ Necessary?

My partner and good friend Mark Cabuloy wrote a Facebook post regarding One Month of Lockdown and here’s his full article about it.

As of April 15, the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the Philippines continue to rise without any clear signs of slowing down. As the country reached the 4-week mark of the Luzon-wide Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), the results of everyone’s collective efforts and cooperation are just starting to unfold.

It seems that the government has already addressed some major issues, but have we overcome the worst or are we headed towards grimmer scenarios?

While waiting for the daily numbers from the Department of Health (DOH) and as officials try to understand the extent of the spread of the virus from the on-going mass testing, what is clear is that lockdowns worked in the past and it is working elsewhere.

Scientific models, historical evidence, and actual scenarios have shown us that lockdowns did/do work.

In Italy, Spain and Hubei, China where Wuhan City is located, lockdowns have been proven as effective measures to slow down COVID-19 transmissions, reducing new cases dramatically after 21-23 days.

Countries who initially thought they didn’t need a lockdown have now implemented stricter measures, like Singapore and Japan.

Other countries with far better healthcare systems have implemented very strict social distancing measures and have gone as far as imposing hefty fines, such as in France ($3,960), Germany ($500) and Italy ($4,000). In some US states, people will be fined up to $1,000 for not wearing a mask.

However, within recent weeks, many areas here looked like they are not in lockdown mode anymore. Try to take a look outside and you could easily mistake the street traffic as a regular rush hour scene.

There were even reports of cockfighting, boxing, and gambling in some areas. Social distancing measures are not being observed nor implemented in public places like markets, groceries and checkpoints.

What is the DOH doing? What is the LGU doing? What are people doing?

The NINGAS KUGON attitude of Filipinos is in full display right now. It seems that people are not taking the situation seriously and have forgotten that what we are facing is a matter of life and death, especially to the at-risk population.

This is very alarming. Remember: the war is far from being won and there’s no known cure nor vaccine yet against COVID-19.

The lockdown is not a vacation. The lockdown requires sacrifice to succeed.

It’s supposed to deprive people of things and leisure activities that are not essential to control the spread of the killer virus. If you think this is hard for you, imagine how doubly difficult it is for those who are in a constant struggle to make ends meet.

Think about the people who lost jobs. Think about the indigent sector. Hence, it is in everyone’s best interest – the people, the government, the businesses – that we overcome this sooner rather than later.

To hammer the point once again: everyone needs to be patient and cooperative, and not add to the headache of our local officials and health care providers.

Only ESSENTIAL WORKERS and those with ESSENTIAL ERRANDS are permitted to go outside per ECQ guidelines.

What everyone needs to do is to trust the science and do their part.

We have no other option and we only have one shot at this.

So please, STAY AT HOME.

Mark Cabuloy and Pocholo Gonzales of Titans Media Group

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