THE story gets old pretty quickly.
On Thursday, Oct. 1, 2020, quarantine violators, including eight children, were rounded up in Barangay Tisa, Cebu City.
The children were found inside an internet café playing games. The adults were playing basketball.
Most of if not all of them were not wearing face masks. They also were not observing social distancing. I mean, I don’t see how if they were trying to prevent an opponent from shooting a ball into a basket.
The children were later brought home, their parents reprimanded for allowing them to leave the house, which, as we all know, is prohibited for minors while the city is under community quarantine.
Members of Task Force Kasaligan dismantled basketball rims to prevent adults from playing. Yeah.
On Monday, Oct. 5, task force members, accompanied by operatives of the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO), went on foot patrol in areas with a high number of novel coronavirus cases.
Lo and behold, they found 34 minors, their ages ranging between five and 17, playing games inside internet cafes in Barangays Labangon, Lorega, Mambaling and T. Padilla.
I guess they didn’t see the photo contributed by the CCPO that SunStar Cebu posted on its website. It showed the children “rescued” last Thursday lined up against the wall like some petty criminals.
That should have served as a deterrent. Then again, these children have been cooped up inside their houses for more than six months doing the same thing and interacting with the same people day in and day out.
I’m pretty sure their parents were also happy to get them out of their hair while they went about their daily chores.
And with classes in public schools having started last Monday, students who don’t have computers or tablets at home are bound to head to internet cafes for online schooling.
Even CCPO Director Col. Josefino Ligan understood that. However, he wants an adult member of the household to escort the student inside the internet café.
But wouldn’t it be better for the barangay to assign one person to monitor the children to make sure they are studying as well as observing minimum health standards? That way, the internet café won’t be crammed with kids and their chaperones.
At any rate, the government needs to rethink its policy regarding quarantine protocol. It must come up with guidelines that are practical and that will allow the public to go on with their lives under the new normal.
Otherwise, we’ll be reading about the same story over and over again.