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Saturday, August 8, 2020

Pandemic Diaries: Pasaway

Sometimes social media can be incredibly stressful. I keep reading about how people are up in arms against the government because of how they are handling the pandemic. People are saying that Filipinos are all doing their part to reduce the spread of the coronavirus and that the government should stop blaming the people and just take the right action to flatten the curve. While I am not completely satisfied with the actions of the government during this pandemic, I do have an unpopular opinion: not all Filipinos are doing their part. As we say in Tagalog, there are still many of us who are “pasaway:” people who blatantly ignore and do not follow what should be done.

Yes, I am aware that there is a survey that supposedly says that a large percentage of Filipinos do wear masks and follow the basic health protocols. I’m either living in an area that wasn’t surveyed or the people who answered the survey were not an accurate representation of the majority of the country because there are still so many people who do not wear masks or follow basic health protocols in our area.

Image by Omni Matryx from Pixabay

I have seen people who are walking around not wearing masks. I have seen people who let their children play outside when they should not even be out. These children are not wearing masks either.  Some have had parties where people are not wearing masks, and they even have party games for children during these parties where no one is wearing a mask. I shuddered at the sight of these people (from a distance) as I thought of the droplets being spread during the whole thing.

There are senior citizens that I have spoken to who, despite having people who can go out for them, choose to go out because they are getting restless at home. I know it is difficult for them to be staying home, but it is for their own good. Seniors are only allowed out if there is no other choice (like when no one can go and do their errands for them) but so many of them are ignoring that. I cannot even begin to count the number of times I have had to argue with my senior citizen mother who insists on going out since her friends are able to. 

Physical distancing is a challenge for so many. I have seen people who are not from the same household who eat together without the proper distance between each other. This is so risky since people do not wear masks during meals – not having the recommended distance while doing so is a big no-no.

While I work from home, there are days when I am at the office and I often remind people of the proper rules regarding distancing and wearing masks and I do not always get a positive response from people. I have even heard that some have deemed me too strict about this, which I do not understand. 

The virus is here, the pandemic is real. There is no cure. There is no vaccine. People are dying. We all have family who we will be bringing home whatever we pick up from outside. We will be putting the people we love at risk if we are not careful ourselves when we are out. What is there about all this that people do not understand? Why are there still people who are being stubborn about this?

Image by cromaconceptovisual from Pixabay

Please. Everyone. Do your part. Wear a mask. Practice social distancing. Wash you hands. Disinfect. Stay home as much as you can. Do not ignore the government-recommended basic health protocols, they are placed there for your own good. You may not always be happy or agree with the government, but they cannot do their part if you do not do yours. It is not about them: it is about you. It is about your safety. Your family’s safety. It is about your life and the lives of the people you love. Please think about that.


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