While the government deliberates on whether to relax quarantine measures to more lenient MGCQ even as we still await for the vaccines, the best defense against the virus remains the good old observance of basic health protocols.
AS THE nation seriously considers opening the economy by March 1, sans the assurance of COVID-19 vaccines to help stem the transmission of coronavirus, the continuous practice of social distancing, wearing of face masks and shields and handwashing/frequent disinfection with alcohol can help the citizens overcome their fear of the virus.
It is time to overcome COVID-19 fears with proper defense, says Rep. Angelica Natasha Co., BHW partylist and author of House Bill 7480 or the vaccine indemnification fund act.
It is time to gradually overcome our collective fear of the virus but not letting our guard down. We cannot keep staying inside our homes in fear of the virus. We must face our fears safely, she stressed.
By now we know better how to defend ourselves compared to a year ago when COVID-19 surprised all of us.
We can phase into the new normal while being always protected by proper wearing of face masks and face shields, frequent washing of hands with soap and water, and keeping safe distance.
She noted a persistent but understandable fear of enclosed spaces, especially in movie theaters and restaurants.
For the movie theaters, she suggested screening protocols prior to entry, banning all food and drinks inside the theaters, wearing face mask and face shield, contact tracing QR codes, requiring moviegoers to bring rubbing alcohol for their personal use, and keeping the doors open for continuing circulation of air.
For the restaurants, she said there should be more outdoor dining options and keeping the doors and windows open for fresh air circulation. Outdoor dining alternatives can include allowing closing select streets to traffic to allow sidewalk and on-street dining on specific days like Fridays to Saturdays.
Public parks should also be opened to the public so they can walk around. “We must release the pent-up anxieties we have had for over a year now since the coronavirus came in January last year.”
It is time to let the older youth out and let them go back to their school campuses for college and senior high school students.
Following the Department of Health emphasis on protection, there should be an aggressive rollout of flu vaccines and vitamins to boost the health defenses of citizens especially the younger ones.
Owners of vacant lots should let their barangays temporarily use their open spaces for urban gardens of vegetables and fruits. Barangays should be distributing personal hygiene kits and face masks to the poor.