02446: While Waiting For People To Decide Our Fate

GMA News: Covid-19 Dashboard as of 11 May 2020

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 58

Do you see that chart above? The blue line above represents the number of new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed per day. All other data points are hard to appreciate because the scale of the total number of cases makes it next to impossible to see the trend lines for recoveries and deaths. What we can see is that the blue line seems to be going up at an almost steady rate -if anything it looks like a simple linear graph where the number of new cases rises at a steady rate - that rate pretty much representing our daily testing capacity.

As we've rolled into our ninth week of quarantine and we await the national government's final decision on whether or not Metro Manila will remain under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) beyond 15 May, does anyone actually think we're ready to relax our current quarantine measures? Beyond making sure that the quarantine is enforced, has anything significantly changed in terms of how we have been addressing our testing capacity or even our hospital capacity to support potential patients?

No one wants this quarantine to last longer than it needs to. We want the quarantine to matter. We want this sacrifice of our freedom to contribute to something greater with respect to public health and safety. We all know people who haven't been able to earn a living while quarantine is in effect and we don't want them to rely solely on limited, inconsistent government handouts.

But here we are, waiting for what is probably going to be our third extension of the ECQ in so many months with no clear end in sight. And it's frustrating not knowing if our government measures to contain this outbreak are going anywhere. We won't be able to leave this quarantine state safely unless sufficient testing is done, the affected population is isolated and given necessary treatment, and enhanced sanitation measures and practices are firmly established in every public space. Instead, we're denying broadcasters access to public spectrum on technicalities the government also created other key priorities of this administration.

This all has to matter. This has to mean something. We can't stay in quarantine forever - a significant segment of our population doesn't have the economic means to keep going. Something has to change soon.