We are now preparing to pick up where we left off before COVID-19 took over every aspect of our lives. With the city classified under General Community Quarantine, people are beginning to leave their houses for work or to do errands, as long as they are holders of a Food and Medicine Pass. In other words, even if we are slowly transitioning into the new normal, strict protocols are still in place. Physical distancing, wearing of masks and hand washing are practiced and will be among what falls under the new normal scenario.
Mayor Sara Duterte, in her regular radio program yesterday afternoon, said that for the past two months we have already been used to wearing masks and maintaining our distance in crowded places. These safety protocols have become a habit and this mindfulness will protect us even beyond the lifting of the quarantine.
So we ask: how are we? Are our seniors now free to leave the confines of their homes to see, at least, the profusion of bougainvillea along the MacArthur Highway? Can they now see how buildings sprouted overnight and changed the skyline of the city? Or, can they visit their friends who are also lonely and needing companionship? Seniors, classified as among the vulnerable sector, have to stretch their patience for a little bit longer.
With classes set to begin in August, are our school children ready to take on the blended learning system? Are they prepared to study online or tutored at home? What will happen to children who do not have computers or access to the internet? What if there are no adults in the family who can guide them in their lessons at home?
How are the contractual workers who were laid off? What happened to those who were released on furlough because their companies could no longer pay salaries? Will they be able to find jobs in the next few months?
These are thoughts to ponder as we inch slowly to normalcy. It is going to be a difficult transition.