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Destruction down the Road

In the expectation that regulations would be implemented, I anticipated that the carenderia in which usually I take my lunch at, would not be allowed to take in diners. The owner could close shop altogether. Just as I expected, they did. There was no place to eat while we still physically report for work. That’s one less eatery with all other eateries that have suspended operations because their usual clientele don’t have face to face classes, which as the President himself has confirmed would remain not to have so. Good thing, there was one family owned carenderia in one of the loobans that still offer cooked meals for lunch. We couldn’t dine in, but we could buy food for take out. That was good enough. We could buy some and eat lunch at our work place.

Later in the afternoon, I decided that I needed to ease my throbbing headache that has been pestering me since around midday. It must have been this terrible heat. Why is it that despite PAGASA’s announcement of commencement of the rainy season, I still stick with sweltering sweat. I guess that’s how it is. In this part of the world, it’s hot for most of the year, except for a few blessed months. But then, I thought it would be just too bad because the food shops are closed for dine in due to MECQ. I was corrected. Food court stalls in malls are actually open to serve their patrons. Some big food establishments are actually open and serving physically present diners on their tables. Wow! Isn’t that great? So, I found myself in a mall food court, with company on the chair in front of me, with a refreshing large cup of cucumber lemonade and a small cup of lomi, which I gulped with gusto. Oh, did I not mention, that all around me were people also eating their snacks, and all the tables must have been all occupied.

Now, as I slurp my soup, that got me thinking. Is this what MECQ is? Why are small scale businesses which for a considerable length of time have been hurting because of the conditions brought about by Covid and the conditions that come along with it, are forced to further hurt themselves by closing shop, while the big and jolly food courts are allowed to spit on their faces by taking in diners and carry on with usual pre-MECQ business. Why do the big bees face favor and the lowly lutong bahay are forced to failure? I’m not a communist but is this a case of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer and pounded? Now wonder throughout history, societies have struggled with revolutions in which the laborers level off their landlords. Seriously, is this still a laissez faire, free market society?

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating and overreacting. Besides, I enjoyed my lomi and lemonade, and enjoyed the benefits of a food court that’s open for service. But should not the small scale shops also enjoy the same benefit of having to open and earn their keep? Let all the lutong bahay and log-logan lead on with their lives. But then again, what will become of this

so-called MECQ? Are we not decreasing opportunities of social contact to hopefully decrease the Covid cases, and with any luck, go back to whatever is left of “normal”? So then, let all the shops close down for the sake of fairness. But what will become of business, of employees who depend on them for daily survival? Okay, I’m all torn now. We’re all torn now.

As expected, MECQ has been extended until July 16, and observing how the numbers continue to climb, that status may well be extended beyond that date. Pessimism aside, if hell continues to slowly break loose, we may find ourselves in ECQ further down the road.

There are more things that I don’t understand. Why is a 10 year old child able to get out of the house to visit his cousin at the other side of the city? How can pre-18 youngsters manage to fool around and make fools of themselves in Plaza Quince Marteres in broad daylight, as if taunting authority? They say curfew is on for the whole 24 hours of a day. That’s not a curfew; that’s a lockdown. But regardless of that, why is everyone all over the place when there is a 24 hour curfew? Can someone give us a clear definition of what is “essential”? For all we know, a BTS fan could argue that hair coloring in a salon is “essential” to her.

“For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many” -Matthew 7:13


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