Briones: Eased restrictions

·2 min read

Whether we like it or not, we have to move on.

It has been more than 19 months since the novel coronavirus pandemic ravaged the country and the rest of the world, forcing governments to restrict their citizens’ movements and enforce lockdowns that had a huge impact on economies.

Although people have. Moved on, that is.

Just look around you. Many are up and about, busy trying to pick up the pieces of their broken lives. Unfortunately, the national government has been slow to adjust to the latest developments regarding the health crisis. Unlike in Cebu, where Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia was quick to realize the need to strike a balance between health safety and livelihood as early as August of last year.

Of course, I understand the national government has a lot on its hands. We are, after all, an archipelagic nation with a population of more than 100 million who all happen to have a strong opinion about almost everything.

In the beginning, it was okay to have a unified front to combat the disease. It was to avoid confusion as authorities groped in the dark for their next move. But things have changed since then.

First of all, vaccines against Covid-19 are available. And they’re free of charge. Also, we basically have a good idea who among us will get seriously ill. So if you find yourself in this category, it’s best that you protect yourself as much as possible.

But it’s unfair to hold hostage about 100 million people who, if they do contract the disease, will either have mild symptoms or will be asymptomatic as has been the case.

And as time has taught us, the effects of Covid-19 vary from place to place.

Cases were expected to be high in densely populated areas like the National Capitol Region and Metro Cebu and they were and, to some degree, continue to be, but the same cannot be said for the rest of the country.

And yet, local government units are expected to implement policies that do not apply to them or their constituents. And when they choose to be practical instead of hysterical, they become the “bad guy” for not toeing the line.

At any rate, some restrictions have been eased. I’d like to hope that it’s because the national government has finally seen the light and not because of next year’s elections. I mean it doesn’t take a genius to realize that plastic barriers inside jeepneys are a waste of money just like motorcycle barriers and face shields.

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