Pacete: Frontliners: Our marines for Covid-19

As I See It

WE SALUTE them. They are the first to retreat, no surrender. While we are on home quarantine, they are outside their comfort zones to fight the dreadful unseen enemies. In a time like this, we need our marines...the frontliners.

In the firing line we have our health workers...doctors, nurses, medical technologists, attendants and other health providers risking their lives so that others may live. These heroes in the warfront are tired, have few hours of sleep and have been temporarily separated from their families.

Those working in government hospitals should be provided with proper protective equipment. It is a big hazard if they are just using improvised equipment. If they are contaminated, no one will attend to the needs of the patients. Government and private hospitals should provide dormitories for their health workers so that they can be near their workplace.

We also accost our policemen and the military for manning our health checkpoints in the boundaries. This is a part of the enhanced quarantine policy of President Duterte. We do not want travelers with Covid-19 symptoms to be allowed to proceed to the next LGU.

We are glad that we have concerned citizens offering our men in uniform food and protective equipment. We need these persons in authority more if our officials will declare a lockdown to control the movement of people in the concerned area. This proves to be effective in Wuhan, China.

We also doff our caps to the security guards and janitors who persevere to work and stay put in their areas. Security guards are there to secure the business establishments like malls, restaurants, terminals and ports.

In an ambiguous situation, lives and properties should be protected. In an erratic economy, we have to be ready for all the eventualities. Just like the other front liners they should be provided also the needed assistance from their agencies.

The devotion of the janitors should be acknowledged because of their indefatigability to do the dirty job. Those working in the hospitals and laboratories are in the confines of danger. Their meager salary is not worth the risk...yet they are there for their honorable job.

Our friends in the media have their esteemed participation. It is in their blood to be in the danger zone to have access to the latest event. They are in hospitals to know the latest figure on Covid-19. They are on the go to interview political figures on their anti Covid-19 program.

The vendors are our exemplars to be hailed because they are the food providers. In the midst of community quarantine, they are in the open to sell fish, vegetables, meat, fruits, delicacies and anything for the stomach. It is hard for them to observe physical distancing...yet they are there for us.

Our governors, mayors, barangay captains and other public officials are really pushing for home quarantine or even lockdown depending on the situation. We congratulate public officials who are visible and audible in their constituency functions. Their constituents want to feel that they are alive and kicking.

Effective home quarantine or lockdown needs discipline, patience, strong advocacy and stable financial support. People in the ‘hand-to mouth’ status cannot be stopped to go out to work, earn money and secure food for the family. If they don’t go out and work...that will be hunger strike for them.

Our political leaders as front liners can be effective on this if they have appropriated early a just amount for the economic assistance package. They can only oblige residents to stay in their homes if they have enough food to eat. We know that it is easier said than done.

Covid-19 pandemic effect is anticipated to last for months. The sacrifices of our health workers, policemen and the military will mean nothing if public officials cannot oblige their constituents to follow the rules.

The “rekorida” style of advocacy is good if properly done. “Rekorida” vehicle should stop at a strategic intersection of a community to play the entire message before moving out for the next stop over. Barangay officials should help encourage their “kabarangays” to stay at home. The credibility of the barangay officials is badly needed now. Provide food and make your constituents understand the impact of the crisis.

Our world does not end in this Covid-19 pandemic. We can always survive by following order, “Stay at home!” What we do to ourselves will be a great help to our homeland marines, the front liners, who are there in the battlefront risking their lives.


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