Minors and persons above 65 years old are allowed to go out after quarantine restrictions were relaxed but safety measures, including some additional ones, stay in place.
Many families took it as a welcome development that Cebu was placed under Alert Level 2 and Cebu City is now at a “very low risk” for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19). Vaccination in Metro Cebu is at 47 percent of the eligible population as of October 17. All these, plus the continued implementation of safety protocols, make it possible for minor children and senior citizens above 65 years old to go to public places.
An SM City Cebu announcement on Twitter said it welcomes minors back to the mall provided they are accompanied by a fully-vaccinated adult. I saw adults presenting vaccination cards before the guards let them and their minors inside. I noticed also how guards reminded people to pull up their masks and pull down their face shields.
These are the usual measures to protect yourself from getting the virus. Wear a mask or masks. Inside a closed area such as a mall, a face shield is required. Do not touch your face with unclean hands. Physical distancing remains a must. Plus, there’s something you can do to add protection. Bring a portable fan.
What scientists tell us about how the Sars-CoV-2 that causes Covid-19 is transmitted is that the virus can stay in the air and be inhaled. You can get infected when you inhale the very fine respiratory droplets and aerosol particles which can remain suspended in the air for minutes to hours, they said. You can also get infected in other ways such as through the mouth, nose, or eye by direct splashes and sprays, and by touching mucous membranes with hands that have been in contact with the virus.
Looking at the “it’s in the air” finding, one way to prevent infection then would be to make sure the air around you is moving. This is also why experts tell us that the possibility of transmission is low when eating outdoors compared to eating indoors such as in an airconditioned restaurant.
It’s a good idea for restaurants and malls to have open spaces where the air can move freely and the possibility of transmission remains low.
My suggestion to add to the safety measures is to use a portable fan when eating or when you have your mask down. There’s no study to back its effectiveness but it makes sense to let the air around you move when you have your mask down when eating. There are cheap portable, hand-held fans, necklace fans, and neck fans you can turn on when you’re eating.
The point is that people can be resourceful to find ways to not get infected, especially when children and the elderly are starting to go out.
But one thing hasn’t changed. They are allowed to go out but they don’t have to. Staying home is still the best way to protect your family and you don’t need to be resourceful to decide on that.