WE’RE called stupid, stubborn or both. And we fume. Should we?

It’s not true that Cebuanos were nonchalant in the first few months of the quarantine. In the beginning, we religiously followed the rules. But alas, only in the beginning.

During the first few days of the very first lockdown, Cebu was a ghost town. People actually stayed home. The streets were blissfully empty and free of fumes. I began to dream of bike lanes in the city. But reality quickly returned to ruin my fantasy.

Before long, the streets were filled with gas guzzlers once more. And the silence that was golden (at least to me) was gone for good.

People got antsy. They started to disbelieve. The virus was not actually a threat. Or so they thought. It was as if they were angry, they were made to stay home when in fact, the numbers were down. And they couldn’t wait to break the rules.

I saw it happen before my very own eyes. In the beginning, everyone followed the rules to the letter. Only one person per household stepped out of the house to procure essentials for the family.

After a few weeks, however, gone were the lone rangers. I started to see twosomes— mothers & daughters, siblings, spouses, friends—going to supermarkets together. Watch the queue to the cashier—you’ll see what I mean.

I feel extremely disrespected every time I see this.

Another person who steps out of the house (but doesn’t need to) is another person who takes up another precious spot in the queue to enter the supermarket. He is another person who takes up space in the aisles making physical distancing difficult. She is another person who brings to an enclosed space, more potentially virus-laden droplets.

If we had not been chosen to be the Katniss Everdeens of our households, we wouldn’t step out. But this is the role that has been handed down to us. You, however, do not need to step out. So please don’t. Because while you may not care for your life, we do.

Why give the virus another potential host?

And you know what’s even more disrespectful? The growing number of people these days taking their masks off, pulling their masks down or letting their noses show while doing their groceries.

Why? It’s usually to talk to their companions. This is why we should strictly enforce the lone ranger rule because conversations should not be taking place inside the supermarket.

When you converse, you linger. When you linger, you take someone else’s space and time. You give them your droplets too, especially when you pull your masks down. This is not the way to stop the spread of a virus.

These are very simple rules. Yet, people can’t follow them. And let’s not even talk about the dancing, gambling, cockfighting and racing.

So we’re called stupid, stubborn or both. And we fume. Should we? Really?