It’s the first day of the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) for NCR, Laguna, and Cebu. Whereas most businesses in ECQ are not permitted to operate, MECQ finally allows businesses such as malls and car dealers to operate at up to 50 percent capacity. Even if MECQ is still basically ECQ but with relaxed enforcement for businesses, this still shouldn’t be an incentive for anyone to go out of their homes for leisure purposes. Here’s why.
As of today, the Department of Health’s tally of COVID-19 cases is approaching 12,000 with almost 800 deaths. Clearly, the number of cases is still rising, plus those figures only consider those that have been tested. Asymptomatic cases in the Philippines are not tested, and that should make us even more worried when we go out of our homes.
Why? Because according to a report by Healthline, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) director Dr. Robert Redfield said in an interview that “a significant number of individuals that are infected actually remain asymptomatic. That may be as much as 25 percent.” Meanwhile, in Iceland, researchers reported that 50 percent of their novel coronavirus cases who tested positive had no symptoms. The testing had been conducted by deCODE, a subsidiary of the US Biotech company Amgen.
Based on the 25-50 percent figure of asymptomatic cases, this means that there may be as much as 15,000-18,000 actual cases in the Philippines since only those with symptoms can be tested in our country.
Now, just imagine making contact with an object or a handrail that has been touched by an asymptomatic carrier as you go out with your friends at a mall or at a local Starbucks. Granted, you are not allowed to eat inside food establishments–even under general community quarantine (GCQ) guidelines, but most people use the excuse of “needing to buy food” or “necessities” as a ticket to go out with friends.
I know that most of us are already bored with what we eat at home. We miss the smell of roasted coffee from Starbucks or the savory smell of tonkotsu broth from Mendokoro and Yushoken. I do too, and it’s actually a really good time right now to support your friend’s small food business, but please, once you’re done buying the food you’ve been craving for or the groceries you need for the rest of the week, just go home immediately.
Also, car dealers have implemented a host of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 inside its dealers. If your car needs maintenance as soon as possible, please book an appointment. Most car dealers are not allowing walk-in transactions for both sales and aftersales for the protection of you and its employees. Plus, most automakers are now migrating towards online platforms and other contactless methods when buying a car so that you won’t get infected by COVID-19.
Don’t loiter too much outside your home–even if we transition to GCQ. You’ll do a favor for you and your family’s health.
A Facebook post has been spreading around that perfectly sums this all up. The economy was opened up in order to save itself from collapse–not because it is safe for you to loiter around. There’s also going to be no economy to save if the health system is overwhelmed and compromised due to a possible second wave of infections.