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Metro Opinion

Just Because

account_balanceMetro Opinion account_circleLeigh Bellosillo chat_bubble_outline0 Comments

The Philippines has apparently implemented the longest lockdown among countries affected by coronavirus.  As I write this piece, while other countries are opening up their borders, the Philippines keeps its mobility restrictions on senior citizens and children.

Reading social media posts, some are counting the days that the Inter-agency Task Force on COVID-19 implemented the ECQ, which has mutated into various forms. It’s more than 200 days since mid-March.

Others are now on the Christmas countdown. At this time of the year, the major roads going to South Luzon Express Way, particularly near the corner of Buendia Avenue and at the exit gate of Cash & Carry mall, used to be lined up with various Christmas décors–made out of iconic and other local raw materials, in different holiday themes and lightings.

Now, it’s a bit subdued. Is this portent of things or events to come? Cheer-up.

This holiday season will not be as desolate and gloomy despite the order of the IATF to keep senior citizens and children under house arrest.  

I guess I have a comprehension problem. If you’re a senior and you know you’re sick and vulnerable, why expose yourself more? Don’t these members of the task force realized that going out or walking around is difficult with all these gadgets--facemasks and face shields one has to wear?

Although it’s for our protection, these masks deprive us of pure free oxygen and expose us to carbon dioxide. 

I guess this is the reason behind the frenzied sale online of that small oxygenation gadget monitor. I bought one for myself despite having an Apple watch that has an app to monitor blood oxygen.

This on my view is somehow conflicted, taking into account that most of the members of the IATF are seniors themselves. Of course, they are allowed to roam around as they have passes to go out, being government officials. It was explained last month that the quarantine restrictions are to stay.

The high court, on the other hand, has yet to decide on the petition filed by lawyer Eugenio Insigne who argues that the prohibition is an outrihgt violation of the Constitution and denies the rights of senior citizens. Insigne cited “severe negative mental and psychological impact.”

From what I read in one social media post, the account holder narrated that pre-pandemic, his more than 90-year-old father used to do his early walks in the morning.

Prohibited from going out for more than six months, his father’s physical strength has deterioated. He has became lethargic, weakling and in need of cane to walk around the house.

Can psychologists fill us in? The son who posted this vignette attributed the health deterioration of his father to the lack of exercise and psychological impact due to the lockdown.

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