Coronavirus 2019 and Filipino Discipline

http://Photo by Hanson Lu on Unsplash

It has been months when the government ordered Enhanced Community Quarantine all over Luzon. The government people advised us to stay home and to avoid crowded areas. This is to contain and limit the spread of the deadly virus. The local government distributed Home Quarantine Pass for one member of the family. This pass will allow the holder to go out of their homes to buy the basic needs of the family. But, was the rule observed?

I’ve been sitting outside the supermarket for almost three hours until they open. I woke up early because I don’t want to get caught violating the window hours in the place where I live. While waiting for the store opening, I observe people. Asking myself, are we under enhanced community quarantine? Why are people and vehicles still in the streets? Yes, government vehicles running around with speakers. They remind people about curfew, wearing masks, and social distancing. Authorities apprehend people who do not wear masks. But I can see that the latter make excuses like they still have to buy one because they don’t know it is needed.

While observing people, it came to my mind the Filipino discipline. People are too used to “trying our way out of a circumstance” – alibis or “palusot”. Even if there are government rules, we insist on what we want. The government imposed the curfew, but some do not observe it. We wait until the authority admonishes the violators. Public transportation was not allowed in the streets. Tricycle drivers wanted to earn a living and not depend on the government’s support. And because of the ingenuity of Filipino, they came up with the idea, and convert their tricycles to “habal-habal”. We understand they have to support their families, yet, how can we contain the virus if there are still people roaming around?

In the wet markets, pharmacies, and grocery stores that I went, they follow social distancing. Thank you to the establishments for providing chairs to their customers. But even so, there are still people who will try to break the line because they don’t want to wait for a long time.

Discipline is important during this situation. Not only for the Filipinos but every human being experiencing the same. Coronavirus-2019 is a pandemic, meaning it is all over the world, no one in exception. Other countries have their own rules. Their citizens follow them that’s why they have lower numbers of contamination. Those who do not, are the most affected by the virus. We know there are circumstances that even families who stay at home are still infected. This is when a family member is a front liner working in a hospital or in the checkpoints they watch.

We heard in the news on television and on radio, many of our medical practitioners died. Patients do not share true information about their medical and travel history. That they had contacted the virus from other people. Or they came from places where the virus started. Because of our fear of hospitalization, knowing the cost of it, and brushing off health warnings, we conceal the truth. While the doctor were complacent that their patients have illnesses other than coronavirus. And we feel sad knowing the reasons for their demise.

Some say, Filipino discipline depends on the government enforcing the law. the authorities became too lenient that is why people were not obliged to follow. If they will impose the law strictly, then, people will dare commit an offense.

This situation asks us to be more disciplined. Follow the rules of the government in relation to the pandemic. And any rules implemented by the management in the establishments you visit. If they asked you to fall in line, then you have to find your place in the line. Do not attempt to break into it because you want to go home early. Some wanted to crawl their way in and try to fall in the senior citizen’s line.

Yes, we could say, kindness is a virtue, but in this situation, giving way to others does not apply to it. All woke up early, not eating anything before leaving home to make to the first. We are also eager to finish our task and go back to our family. We know that the longer we stay outside, the more chances of us getting the virus.

We should try to discipline ourselves, especially now. Even inside our homes, discipline our family members. It is hard to go outside to get replenishment of our supply, but still, we could not avoid going out. We must get food and medications for our family.

One last note, because we don’t know when this pandemic will end, remember to observe and follow the rules. Implement discipline on ourselves, our family members, and the community. This will help us to be Coronavirus – free. And most of all, let us kneel and pray for protection and strength in this time of uncertainty.

By: Sonia Sabulao-Gacillos

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