So many fronts, levels of  coronavirus  problem

Published March 27, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

On  so many fronts and on so many levels,   the coronavirus  pandemic continues to affect  governments, business institutions and   social organizations, and individuals around the globe.

The most basic  fear  arises from the deaths that continue to mount  in many countries. The  deaths may have been stopped in China where it all began, but everywhere else  – especially in Italy and Iran – hundreds of deaths continue  to be reported.

Governments are also concerned  with  the  pandemic’s  effects on the economy.  In the Philippines, a London-based think tank, Capital Economics,  said it sees  the Philippine economy slowed in the first quarter, suffer  a  steep contraction in the second quarter, a  severe contraction in the third quarter,  and have a strong recovery in  the fourth quarter.

But it is  on the level of people  that our national leaders must  now devote their  greatest  attention.  The  primary goal remains the common people’s  safety and their survival, not just from the coronavirus but also from the sudden  disruption in their  lives caused by the lockdown                                      .

The people of Luzon have generally accepted the need for the quarantine or lockdown. Sen. Miguel Zubiri, the highest official  to be infected,  said he probably was infected by a visitor in the Senate and  when  he  started  feeling  bad,  he – along with Senators Sherwin Gatchalian and Nancy Binay — immediately quarantined themselves in their Senate rooms. He subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.

The three senators  are an example for all of us. Senator Zubiri’s illness shows that the coronavirus could  infect  anyone  close enough  for the virus to jump to him from  the droplets  in the breath of an infected person . The closeness of persons, especially in crowds, is what the ongoing quarantine or lockdown in Luzon  seeks to  prevent.

In our hospitals around the country, our doctors, nurses, and other health workers are in the frontlines of the battle against the virus.  The ordinary people among us can  only help by following the lockdown  restrictions so as to deprive the virus of new victims.

As  for  the  economic  impact of the pandemic, there will be time later to attend to it.  It  is good  that  the London think tank Capital Economics sees a recovery for the Philippine economy by  the last quarter of  this year. That  should help  move our officials to concentrate on the needs of the people, particularly the poorest  of the poor among us, who  need help  to survive these difficult times.