Cooperation, the key

Fil C. Sionil Fil C. Sionil

It’s 14 days down, 16 days more to go before the one-month enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) will be lifted as promised by our government officials, who on a daily basis meet at the Palace by the river to assess the situation.

Although, most of the head offices of banks, financial institutions, multinational corporations, BPOs, posh hotels, condominiums, shopping malls and restaurants are located here in the heart of Central Business District (CBD) environs of Makati, silence prevailed in the first 14 days of the ECQ. It’s deafening!

Aposento is muted. It is a favorite watering hole situated along the normally busy street of Valero. Its clientele, the usual boisterous crowd, composed of millennials, iGeneration or Generation Z, Generation X and fellenials (short for feeling millennials, who actually belong to the Baby boomers category), missing.

The regular sight of vehicles with drivers-cum-owners honking, trying to get ahead of others, that traverse the one-way street of Valero, making it look like a parking lot, especially during the early evening hours, likewise, missing. If ever, one can count on his fingers cars passing through this route since the implementa¬tion of the lockdown.

It’s not our normal, usual, way of life. It may be semantics – whether it’s a lockdown, an ECQ, or stay-at-home, the objective remains the same: to prevent the further spread of COVID- 19. Its depth and breath remains unfathomable. Still immeasurable.

I consider myself a jaded journalist. But my heart was pierced as I listened to the co-sponsorship speech of Sen. Bong Go on the Bayanihan to Heal as One Act requesting us to do our share in curbing this invisible health menace that has engulfed the world except the Northern Hemisphere.

We’re in critical times. We have to contribute our share, no matter how small, by just being obedient to the stay-at-home order to mitigate, reduce, if not, altogether stop the widespread growth in the number of people infected. “Sa panahong ito, hindi man natin mababantayan ang bawat kilos ninyo, tanging ang konsensya ninyo na lamang ang tututok sa inyo at makapagsabi na gawin ninyo ng tama ang inyong konsensya. (The government is unable to fully monitor each and everyone’s actions in this critical time. But your conscience will. Do your share.)... We want everyone to stay home.”

This reminder touched me as I am over¬whelmed by the u p d a t e s i n a l l media platforms that several of our medical frontliners have unfortunately succumbed to the virus. I’ve a number of friends, relatives and family members who, too, are in the medical profession. Such news hits close to home. It’s heart wrenching to hear the news that a source, a friend Dr. Alan T. Ortiz, also, became a statistics.

The bayahinan spirit is, once more, at work as number of PUIs and PUMs spiraled, which our modern day heroes – the medical practitioners – cannot fully handle.

Assistance from the private sector dramatically soared. Dole Philippines donated bananas for the healthcare workers and the police force; other companies made masks/shields, which are in high demand, using 3-D printers; still others, like the various Rotary Clubs, extended financial assistance.

San Miguel Corp. is increasing its output, churning daily 100, 000 liters of 70 percent ethyl alcohol to meet the increasing demand for disinfectant and sanitizer for health care givers and medical professionals nationwide. San Miguel President Ramon S. Ang promised to continue to provide help where it’s needed to save lives.

“ T his  is our way o f thanking and supporting all our brave doctors, nurses, policemen, military, security personnel, delivery workers, employees of vital industries and so many others who are on the frontlines of this battle.”

One may have a valid reason when he decides to break the ECQ. Though, it may be fleeting, the overarching impact is tremendous especially its effect on the rest of the community.

Like you, am counting the days. We all want our unconventional, no matter how chaotic, normal life back. Cooperation cannot be overemphasized here. Rather, it is the key.

As patriotic as my name can be, I will be patriotic.

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