BELATED Easter greetings to one and all.
The other week, about Covid-19 as World War III. Last week, an Easter break. This week, about the world leaders battling the enemy.
Philippine President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. On March 8, 2020, President Duterte issued a proclamation that placed the country under a “state of public health emergency” because Covid-19 was detected in the Philippines as early as January 2020, and spreading. On March 12, the president put into effect a “community quarantine” over Metro Manila to stem the spread of the dreaded disease.
The quarantine as ordered was to run from March 15 to April 14. Travel in, through, and into the metro was highly restricted. Curfews were imposed by many of Metro Manila’s mayors.
On March 16, President Duterte declared a Luzon-wide “enhanced community quarantine” (ECQ) to further address the spread of Covid-19. The quarantine order included also non-Luzon provinces Marinduque, Mindoro, Palawan, and Romblon. Said order took effect on March 17 and was scheduled to end on April 12. As of this writing, the ECQ has been extended to April 30. Accompanying it has been some government programs rolled out to meet the resulting people’s needs for food, medicines, cash, and security.
President Duterte regularly appears on national TV to give the country updates on the quarantine, the virus, and our continuing war against it. He has appealed for patience while a cure is still a finding. He seems confident it will come soon, but that we must wait for it to come “in the fullness of God’s time.” Exact words.
US President Donald Trump. This column has called the pairs of Philippine and US presidents serving at the same time each a set of karmic twins. How much more karmic is this. Two Presidents on opposite sides of the Pacific fighting the same war against an unseen disease. But while our leader took very decisive steps to stem its spread, Trump is perhaps only now doing so, earlier not even exhibiting that he took it seriously. We remember him saying that Covid-19 would all be over by April. Like it was perhaps a seasonal bug that would just away like it always did. The thing is, it’s a new strain and it’s more than a seasonal bug.
New York Governor Mario Cuomo. Like Duterte, Governor Cuomo regularly takes to television to keep New York and the world abreast of what is going on in his state. He deals out the facts, reports the problems without making light of them at all, unlike his President. He also reports solutions as they become available. He appeals for federal help even as he encourages his audience. He is firm; he projects confidence and a steady strength; he inspires.
In this Easter week and beyond, let us continue to stay home as our contribution to global efforts against Covid-19, include in our prayers these men and all other world leaders whose decisions greatly affect the outcome of this pandemic war. May they be rightly informed, remain strong in adversity, and find the Godly solutions that will carry us through to the other end of this defining time.
April 17, 2020
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