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Back to GCQ

Okay, let’s congratulate ourselves. We made it through MECQ; and now, we’re in GCQ; or shall we say, we’re back in GCQ. Physical reporting is now up to 50% from 30%. What else are the perks of GCQ? More passengers for drivers? No, passenger load stays the same. Lifting of restriction to dine in at restaurants? I think I had done that during MECQ. Movement for recreation? I think I’ve seen some posts of some friends on beaches or resorts. So, what’s the difference?

To what do we owe this relief? Is it the effort of our political leaders? Is it due to the common folk becoming cautious? Is it the virus just simply naturally waning down? Whatever it is, thanks to the health care personnel who have been continually giving shots to those arms with lifted sleeves. Over the news, I heard a government official make a statement about the lack of reliable research on the property of protection of plastic barriers on passenger vehicles. The same could be said about foot baths, face shields and those transparent barricades on the middle of restaurant tables which make it look like you’re visiting an inmate. On the interview, it was even added that those plastic covers turned improvised walls may have even caused the transport of virus. So, why have we let this purportedly protective paraphernalia become an industry in itself. I know some people who have had successful side jobs with foot baths and face shields. At least, on that side, economy was good.

It’s a good thing that those long last minute queues of COMELEC registration did not become spreader events. A friend posted that he went to the mall to line up at 4 am and other registrants even came earlier at 3 am. I know that it has been noted a number of times before. It may not probably be exclusively Filipino culture. But why wait for the last day? If people could sacrifice sleep, comfort and convenience and going to the mall at 3 am, why could they not do that in a simpler way, on a more convenient time, much earlier? If the virus were alive and kicking among these crowds or queues that snake around venues, we could have slid back again to ECQ.

Well, to whatever we could attribute the decline of the cases, we are honestly grateful for this development. The trend seems to be consistent on a national scale. I heard this conspiracy theory that the government would intentionally report a decline of number of Covid-19 cases (despite the real situations), thereby allowing them to loosen community quarantine restrictions, and allowing candidates more freedom to carry out their campaigns. Oh, for the love of logic! I could classify that together with the “vaccine turns people to zombies” theory, the “vaccine causes Covid-19” theory, “vaccine will cause death in one to two years” theory, “the vaccine is the mark of the 666” theory and the Covid-19 is a hoax” theory. Where do people get all these schools of thought? (Little do they know, an incumbent elected government official have already conducted makeshift campaign sorties from one barangay to another before the Delta variant shook us all up.)

The loosening of restrictions indeed would be beneficial on our mental health (lowering stress levels), physical health (of course, more lenient restrictions means a low number of cases.), social health (the leeway for social interactions), and financial health/wealth – for businesses to flex and spread their wings and earn the fullest potential of their keep, and for candidates to have more freedom to hold campaign sorties in the traditional way. (What do we call it then? Political health?) It would be rather difficult for the elected office aspirants to gather supporters side by side in huge rallies where they yell out their slogans and proclaim their promises/platforms. It would be a challenge for them not to go house to house and shake hands, hand out giveaway caps or shirts, or take pictures carrying babies while raising their trademark hand gesture.

Haven’t the presidential candidates crisscrossing the country for the past weeks this month? Is it campaign period already? I guess COMELEC for some technicality, does not consider what they have all been doing, campaigning. I don’t think Senator Lacson is holding virtual meetings just to have a chitchat, or Senator Pacquiao is giving out food packs because it’s his birthday or Mayor Isko is holding rallies because he’s promoting a movie or Vice President Leni is going places just to visit. And what is Senator Bato doing? Oh, he’s waiting for Mayor Sarah to change her mind. So, this lowering of number of cases and loosening of restrictions will be good for the campaign.

Still, we’re in a delicate situation. Hold it carefully with your hands.

“Delicate living is not seemly for a fool; Much less for a servant to have rule over princes.” Proverbs 19:10


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