During this global pandemic, effective preparedness and response are very critical. President Rodrigo Duterte has announced an enhanced community quarantine in Luzon as the COVID-19 continues to evolve starting March 17, 2020. Some private companies have ceased operations while others send employees off to work from home set-up providing them with computers and internet connections, events were cancelled, schools and universities closed. The same is happening in some cities in the Visayas and Mindanao regions.
Enhanced community quarantine means that people in that declared area are not allowed to leave their homes except for emergency and really important cases like the need to buy medicines, food and/or go to the hospital. In short, everyone has to “Stay Home”.
Staying at home is very critical at this point because this is the only way for the affected areas to lessen the risk of spreading the virus while the number of positive cases are still relatively low. Remaining inside your home, whether you have the symptoms or not will help slow down the spreading and ultimately stop it.
Here’s an illustration on how critical staying home is:
Alex goes out to visit Carlo, and passes by stranger Beatrice at a public area. No matter where Carlo is, we can track him.
Since Carlo was in close contact with Alex, they decided to undergo self-quarantine at home to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Carlo stayed home with his family, but he had close contact with his sister Daisy.
But Daisy decided to stay home so as not to infect other people with the virus.
The problem is, we can’t find Beatrice, and nobody knows where she is or who she’s been interacting with.
If Beatrice is infected and goes out to her daily routine before the symptoms appear, she will be infecting more people, unknowingly.
Should Daisy decide not to follow the government’s order to stay then, she may transmit the virus to someone else and another person just like Beatrice might be infected without knowing it.
Remember, the more unidentified infected persons out there, the more difficult it is to contain the virus.
To simplify, the main objective of a lockdown or a stay-at-home order is to help find the likes of Beatrice and stop the spread of the virus.
We don’t want a huge spike in the number of people getting sick at once because we might not have enough hospital beds for patients who need them.
Given the limited number of doctors and nurses that we have in the Philippines, the increasing number of confirmed cases would cause exhaustion to our frontliners and we don’t want to lose them either. Obey, follow the rules and let the medical professionals do their jobs and focus on patients with severe cases and critical conditions.
It’s a great challenge for everyone having to stay home, especially if we don’t even know how long we have to be in this situation and we also don’t know how many are actually infected given the limited test kits we have. For now, what’s certain is that this Enhanced Community Quarantine will help prevent the virus from spreading, It has worked in other countries. So let’s all listen and obey. While we’re home, it’s also important to stay healthy and boost our immune system. Exercise and eat right. These are the best things we can do to save ourselves, our loved ones and help our country.
Stay safe, healthy and protected.