024B1: Two Hundred Thousand

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 165

Today the total number of COVID-19 cases diagnosed in the country crossed the 200,000 mark. And I'll always call attention to the media attention such "milestones" generate because we are Base 10 creatures. I honestly think that the DOH delayed their case reporting this week in order to delay crossing the 200k mark for as long as possible. And when there was no avoiding it, they relaxed their controls and let today's new cases spike to 5k. 

August is almost over and we've been in lockdown for over 5 months. The government has now required face shields in addition to face masks for people who use public transportation or in some cases enter enclosed commercial space - I'm looking at you, Taguig LGU. Depending on where you live, you're probably subject to different rules and regulations related to moving around in public or transacting with businesses. Everyone is trying to set up guidelines that will somehow limit the spread of the disease. But really it just makes things more confusing and too much focus shifts to the enforcement of these myriad rules instead of fully-realized public health solutions. 

But that's just adding insult to injury, I guess. The tone of our government response to this pandemic has actually been pretty consistent over the past 5 months. It's just challenging that the tone in question has been one of confusion and shifting priorities that have not really included key strategies like mass testing and more effective isolation strategies for the potentially infected.

I try not to dwell too much on the government response, since it can get pretty depressing to think about for too long. Life in lockdown is already stressful enough on its own and allocating more brain space to a critical analysis of how things have been going can drive one a little nuts. We remain vigilant, but only to the degree that doesn't impact our mental health. 

These circumstances are hardly the best setting for celebrating one's birthday, but it is what it is. It's so tiring to resign oneself to that line of thinking, but what else can we do? We focus on things within our sphere of influence. The rest we just have to let slide to some degree or remain pragmatic in how such things take a lot more effort to somehow change. 


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