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Is it Effective at All?

Do you want to be locked up in a lockdown?

There have been talks and suggestions recently of placing Naga on lockdown, or as the government would have it in their jargon, “stricter community quarantine level”. These propositions have been brought about by the number of cases creeping up the scales. There was a time when Naga had less than 10 in a day. Then it stayed along the 20’s, then up to the 40s. Lately, it has hiked up to the 80’s, 90’s and even to a little more than a hundred. Whoa! What’s happening, Naga? What have you all been up to? Definitely, we have to do something before the number of sick people having trouble breathing shoots up uncontrollably.

Should we wait when hospitals run out of beds? Should we take the number of cases to the level in which friends and family within our close social circles starting to fall away due to this debilitating disease, incapacitating economic and personal activity, and the Lord forbid, succumbing to death? I was told that some children from nearby towns are being brought to Naga because of infection of the virus. Now, that’s heartbreaking that I get hard breathing. I walk along the subdivision street, then there’s a sign that says, “house lockdown”. I walk along downtown, then there’s a bank with a sign that says, “office lockdown”. I go to work, then the nearby police station is on lockdown. Heck, even a number of departments of the very agency I work at, are on lockdown. If we could make a pictorial representation, perhaps the city map would be a polka dot of places on lockdown.

In the times that I would be out (which I avoid doing if I could help it), road traffic seems to be similar to pre-pandemic times. I tried to take lunch at KFC, and almost all tables were taken. People go to and fro. I wonder, where are they all going. Recently, I have learned how to maximize the utilization of Facebook Messenger, Google Drive and other applications referred to me by friends, so that as much as possible, I would not need to get out. I even wait for my hair to grow obnoxiously long before going to the barber. So, I think to myself, why are all these people out on the streets? Are they all on essential business?

There was so much wrath written on the comments of the city folks on social media posts on the likelihood of more stringent restrictions. Spicy spunk was spewed out and spat against the thought of putting the city on “lockdown”. Commentors seemed to care less of their full names plastered on public when they relentlessly released the rage in the comments which sometimes bordered on curses; and they’re all the more crunchy on the ears when they’re in the mother tongue.

We’ve often heard of the argument of the pains and pangs of the paralysis of the economy, of businesses suspending operations, of daily wage earners not having a chance to earn their keep, and their repercussions, deteriorating deficiency, the inability to put food on the table, to have enough cash for other essential products which do not come inside a relief pack from the government or non-government charitable organizations; all these woes of work which the government tries to solve with a plastic bagful of foodstuffs which would not last a week. We’ve heard all about that. But less talk about the issue of effectiveness. Is it really effective? Does it really work? Does lockdown or placing a city or town on stringent restrictions help to decrease or eliminate Covid? That seems to be the government’s strategy from the commencement of this crisis. When the cases go up, the city goes on lockdown. When the cases go a bit down, they open the city from lockdown. It has been a recurring motion of closing and opening and nothing significant seems to be really happening. We have been locking up and locking down; and the virus is still running violent around town. The worse part of it is the virus seems to grow more vile as time goes by. So, with all the locking down and locking down, the face masks and face shields, the contact tracing ID card, the spraying of alcohol on hands and the foot bath on shoes on our feet, the work from home and distance education, we have not gotten any better. We’ve actually gotten worse, worse than that of last year.

Maybe, it’s not the lockdown, but how we do the lockdown. A couple of weeks ago, my sister in New Zealand had to suspend her work activities because the whole nation was placed on the highest level of lockdown because of two positive cases.

“Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.” -2 Timothy 2:15


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