As June arrives today, Metro Manila eases into General Community Quarantine (GCQ).

The administration’s decision to lift ECQ and replace it with more relaxed quarantine measures is yet another questionable move from the government. No mass testing over the course of two months, our confirmed number of cases is still as high as our ambitions for the country, and the curve looks too far from flattening. And now they go:

 

Yep, it’s Hunger Games starting today. Or real-life Survivor Philippines. Confused and angry netizens have their different ways of describing the survival-of-the-fittest situation our country is going to experience moving forward. One person even came up with a hilarious (and morbid) term for the whole thing: GCQ– Get Cremated Quickly.

Let’s cut to the chase: if you don’t need to go out, don’t. If you’ve got all your basic needs covered inside your house, don’t leave. If you have no other option but to break Kim Chiu’s #BawalLumabas rule, limit your time outside. Better yet, ask yourself these 5 important questions before you risk it out there and make the situation worse for yourself and for everybody.

Do I need to get essentials?

The most important question of all. If you need to buy food, water, and other necessities, you are allowed to go as long as you’re strictly following the health protocols. But hanging out in the mall, eating out in restaurants to satisfy your extensively repressed food cravings– these are not essential needs. 

Do I need to go to work?

Do you belong in the workforce that is now allowed and required to physically show up in their workplace? If not, accept the reality that you’re gonna have to deal with extended bouts of cabin fever. Stay indoors! 

Is my purpose of going outside more valuable than life?

As many people fear, it’s gonna be a battlefield out there. While you can protect yourself by wearing a mask and practicing physical distancing, there’s no guarantee that you won’t encounter an asymptomatic roaming around spreading positivity to the world.

Of course, there are other reasons why people go out, aside from buying food and other basic necessities. Some of us must pay the bills. Some of us need to avail of services that are only found outdoors. But if you are itching to take advantage of GCQ in Metro Manila just because you miss the world outside your lame little town, think about your own health. Think about our front liners. Think about your family. Think about the 372,000 individuals killed by the pandemic. 

Am I willing to be on the wrong side of history?

If you haven’t figured it out yet, this global pandemic crisis– among many other disasters in 2020– is already a major historical event that’s gonna be read about by the next generations on Wikipedia. Would you like to be remembered as part of the problem? Let’s leave it to China.

Saan ako nagkulang?

Sometimes, even though you feel you’ve given it all, our best turns out to be not enough for the other person. It may be because they fail to appreciate, or our efforts are, indeed, not enough. This isn’t related to the pandemic, but it’s important to know where we went wrong in our relationship so we could do better next time.

The battle with COVID-19 continues until we find a cure. But if you have a choice not to head off to war, you know the better option. Stay home. Stay safe. Be thankful that you have the privilege to continue your life without risking it.

How are you coping in quarantine?

 

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