Lifting the Luzon lockdown, provincial, and city-enhanced community quarantines (ECQs) must not be about politics nor economic pressures. The science, and evidence, must guide policy actions for the health and survival of our people. Complacency kills with the peril of a second wave, and reports of a deadlier mutation of the COVID-19. To date, working models on the trajectory, peak, and flattening of the viral curve, remain unclear. We are in the early stages of testing, tracking, and isolation protocols, compounded with notable numbers of “stay home” and social distancing offenders. The economy is contracting, pressuring government, business, manufacturing, malls, education, etc., to a “soft-opening.” A healthy economy, however, must first require healthy people.
Had policy makers intervened for a stringent 6 to 8-month national/simultaneous lockdown, government would be setting the environment for serious action. Sectors of society, early on could plan and formulate pro-active measures on what the year would look like, down the road. Questions like, opening of schools, brain-stormed way ahead, with policy options for execution at strategic and on-the-ground measures. Senate President Vicente Sotto III voiced a sobering position on an August opening. Kudos to his forward appreciation of realities.
They face such dangling over educators and parents are the lives of their wards. Imponderables as congested classrooms, enforcing social distancing, masks, hygiene, etc., for kinder-prep to Grade 3; school campuses (library, canteen, gym, hallways, etc.) a kitchen free of viral contamination, safety from classroom to home and vice versa.
We have been here before. Fore-parents recollect World War II when school was out for an extended period. Safety is assured when we mind the dangers. Safety first.