If you’re from outside the Philippines and following along with my journey, my country and particularly the capital region of Metro Manila have gotten hit by COVID-19. To prevent rapid spread of the virus that causes it, the national government put us on what they called a “community quarantine”: government work is suspended or carried out by a skeletal force, people are encouraged to work from home, school at all levels has been suspended, and traffic into and out of Metro Manila is only for cargo or for people who work in the metro.
Well, this resulted in pandemonium on Monday, the second day of the quarantine, since many private businesses had functions that could not be done from home, and of course the entire service industry is staffed by people who find it cheaper to live outside of Metro Manila and commute in and out every day. This isn’t really where I’d like to put my thoughts on Philippine governance but suffice it to say I believe it was done haphazardly and the executive branch did not anticipate many things.
Then they doubled down on it and imposed “enhanced community quarantine”, which means businesses must be closed except for essential ones (groceries, banks, pharmacies) and people must stay home except when one member of the household goes out to buy groceries or needs.
I didn’t know how to write about everything else, so instead I shot a short (?) vlog talking about the current state of affairs as well as answering some questions my Instagram followers sent me. This vlog will do more to explain what living like that has been like for the past few days, how I am starting to come to terms with this situation, and how that will impact what I write and vlog about.
Despite all this, I know I’m still part of a privileged minority that does not live hand-to-mouth, unlike so many in this city of millions. I know it is my civic duty to do what I can to keep this government accountable so that no one gets left behind.
Watch my vlog below: