02986: Lockdown Again

Sariwon Woo Samgyup

Metro Manila Community Quarantine - Day 378

So the supposed Metro Manila Plus region (which is ultimately the Greater Metro Manila Area) will be back under ECQ from 29 March to 4 April. For those who have lost track of our acronyms, ECQ is our highest form of quarantine where the movement of people is severely restricted and only essential businesses and services are allowed to operate. At least this time around they're allowing public transportation to remain in operation because no one wants a repeat of making our essential workers walk the length of Edsa to get to work. 

One of the newer elements of this return to ECQ is a rather severe 06:00pm to 05:00pm curfew, which is far earlier than any other curfew implemented since the start of the pandemic. I'm not sure what activities they expect to curtail when all dining-in won't be allowed, everything will be closed, and only a single authorized representative per household is allowed out for solely essential activities. But whatever, our government loves these curfews as a way to make people FEEL like they're doing something even when it's a lot of nothing.

I'm super glad that Tobie and I squeezed in a grocery run yesterday because we figured something was going to go down. And now we don't have to join the inevitable grocery rush that will occupy all major supermarkets until the ECQ takes effect. The current announcement is that this ECQ will just span Holy Week, so we'll probably not need to step out for supplies until it's lifted. But depending on how our COVID-19 numbers progress over the next few days, the possibility of an extension is not impossible at this point. The administration is going to be in a rush to go back to more relaxed quarantine in order to support economic activities, but there is a very real threat from the surge in cases this month that needs to be addressed. 

Personally, I wouldn't mind the ECQ going on for longer if it means making a significant dent in our COVID-19 infection numbers. The OCTA Research group has been recommending at least a month of stricter quarantine measures in order to fully arrest the current spike of infections, but the government hasn't been all that great at taking their advice to heart.