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Editorial | On physical and social distancing

During the early days of COVID 19, people were told to practice social distancing with frequent hand washing and sanitizing. This means that people were not allowed to congregate, have parties and all activities that involve more than 10 people. We were also told not to shake hands or, for most of us, the usual beso-beso as greeting family and close friends. We did all that and found it was not enough.

Now, we are consciously practicing physical distancing when we go out to get basic necessities for our family. Executive Order No. 20-A that will be in effect at 5 a.m. today imposes stricter measures to combat the COVID 19 pandemic. Physical space, whether in public transport or inside supermarkets or offices is maintained at all times.

But not everyone is listening.

With the new EO, quarantine passes are given by barangay officials to each family under its jurisdiction. To be able to acquire one, the family member has to go to the barangay center to claim the pass. Too many people in one small space is obviously not a good decision at this time. The value of physical distance went out of the window.

In our frontpage story, some barangay officials were reported to have started going house to house to distribute home quarantine passes. Only one family member can use the issued pass which he has to show to be able to go out and buy food or medicine. So those who do not have passes but insist to leave the house should understand that they are defying the order from the city government.

Yesterday morning, some barangay officials have started distributing home quarantine passes. Each household gets one ID. Only one family member can use the pass to buy food or medicine. Those who will be caught without the proper authority will be fined or imprisoned.

The city council has approved an ordinance last Tuesday, institutionalizing the local government’s emergency policies on COVID-19. Councilor Mabel Sunga-Acosta, committee chair on peace and public safety, filed the resolution, including penalties imposed to those who will violate the protocols of the city concerning COVID-19.

Some may find these measures harsh, but in the time of COVID 19, it is what it is.

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