Why Being Complacent After Lockdown Is Dangerous?

June 5, 2020

As Metro Manila eases to General Community Quarantine on June 1, 2020, the government reminds us to take necessary steps to protect ourselves and others by wearing masks and observing social distancing when in public. 

The General Community Quarantine (GCQ) has less restrictions than Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) wherein a home quarantine pass is no longer necessary; buses and other public transportation are now allowed to operate with 50% capacity; businesses, including shopping malls, restaurants, churches and fitness centers, may resume operation but need to comply with the safety protocols. Shifting to GCQ will help jumpstart the economy, but we must be vigilant and bear in mind that the risk of infection is still possible and we want to avoid a second lockdown. 

On the first day of GCQ in Metro Manila, many Filipinos began crowding the malls and roads causing traffic and slow movements in checkpoints. Lifting the quarantine does not mean the virus has gone away. Vice President Robredo also warned the public saying, “Huwag po tayong kampante. Hindi pa po tapos iyong ating problema” (Let’s not be complacent, our problem has not ended yet). We know that our lives have changed drastically and as much as we want to bring back the old normal, we still couldn’t until there’s a cure and/or a vaccine for this virus and this pandemic has ended. 

Here are the reasons why we shouldn’t be complacent after lockdown: 

No vaccine available 
Currently, there is no vaccine yet to prevent COVID-19, but researchers are racing to develop one. These vaccines are set to undergo clinical trials first before they become available to the public. Once approved, it will take time to produce, distribute, and administer to the global population. 

To date, US company Moderna Inc, one of the front runners in the vaccine race said that they had started testing patients in a mid-stage study, while scientists in Russia are about to start clinical trials within two weeks. Others are still undergoing the first phase of clinical testing. 

New wave threat 
Some countries,including China and Hong Kong, have been affected by the 2nd wave of COVID-19 infection after it ended its lockdown. That wave came after lifting restrictions in the country where people returned to traveling and spending time in crowded and closed-in spaces. The danger is, these new waves of infection are harder to trace and cases are more difficult to handle. 

As lockdown restrictions begin to ease, we can expect that a new wave of coronavirus infections will hit the country. Cases and deaths are still being numbered in the Philippines, so we should take this matter seriously. Public health experts warn us that without a vaccine or strict precautionary measures, we could easily fall into a second wave of COVID-19 infections. 

Asymptomatic cases are everywhere
Researchers say 25 to 80 percent of COVID-19 patients are unaware that they have the virus, we simply call them “asymptomatic cases”. In Cebu, the Department of Health has reported that about 90 percent (COVID-19) positive cases in Cebu City were asymptomatic.In other words, they don’t show any symptoms at all which makes the spread of the virus more dangerous. We could consider them as “super-spreaders” since they tend to continue with their regular daily activities without knowing that they have the disease, and have been contaminating everyone they were in contact with. Nonetheless, we need to be extra cautious with our surroundings because we’ll never know if the person next to us is a carrier or not. 

Remember what happened in Singapore on January 19 where many churchgoers got infected with the virus when two foreigners from Wuhan attended the Sunday service who seemed perfectly healthy and showing no symptoms at all. But, three days after the wife started to fall ill, followed by her husband two days later. And this started the spread of the virus in their country

The government cannot do this alone. We need to cooperate with the authorities, have self-discipline and be considerate of others. Stay home, as much as possible, and if it’s urgent, consider following safety measures wherever you go because we don’t know who’s next to be infected with COVID-19. 

Sometimes, thinking ahead has its advantage because it makes us ready for any life’s twist and turns. With what the whole nation is going through right now, it is essential to have financial protection that will cover us and our loved ones in case of health emergencies such as COVID-19. Paramount Direct offers its affordable hospitalization plan that grants daily cash benefits for regular, ICU and dread disease confinements plus lump sum benefit for surgical and long-term confinements. All the cash benefits for the HealthCare Cash Plan are directly paid to the insured so you can manage your finances carefully. Application age is from 20 to 50 years old. Premium starts at P239* for individual plan, P478** for couple plan or P732*** for family plan. 

Visit www.paramountdirect.com for more information and to apply online. 
 *Based on insurance age of 20 and Individual Plan 500 
**Based on insurance age of 20 and Couple Plan 500 
***Based on insurance age of 20 and Family Plan 500