Common sense? You bet!
The relaxing of restrictions in Sadanga, Mountain Province was worth cheering for. People have to live and have be mentally healthy too. Without food, we would all die. The government cannot supply our food requirements. It could only afford some sardines and noodles. Nothing nutritious to keep our immune systems in top form. Even if we just go by quantity, the government cannot supply enough sardines and noodles.
Such dire reality will not only make us physically sick at home or being marooned in a small village. It will also make us crazy. Look at the spike in suicide cases all over the place.
So the better approach is to make people healthier by making them apply what had been repeated over and over again in the mass media, to keep their immune systems strong. Towards that end, supply them with the necessary vitamins and nutrients. Make them have enough exercise daily.
Moreover, local governments should not be spreaders by negligence. As in any other aspect of governance, we just have a lot of rules but we are always poor in implementation. Apply the conceived rules, usually simple and effective, in an efficient manner.
As had been seen, one of the spreaders locally are drinking sprees. Why had these been happening? Because of the availability of alcoholic drinks even during the hard lockdown last year. And it was observed in a number of places in Baguio City, the suppliers were policemen going about in flashy SUVs.
We also never get tired of pointing out the negligence of government in supplying the public with accessible water and soap so people can frequently wash their hands in public areas. It did not implement frequent disinfection throughout the day of commercial and public areas where people have to visit every minute. This should include making sure public transportation vehicles follow the rule which require them to have accessible rubbing alcohol to passemgers.
Then again, for the nth time, the public is still seeing business places which are poorly ventilated, even after local governments pointed this out.
While the point of least resistance is to just to order people to stay in their homes, the consequences of such can really be bad. Not just to the people as individuals but also to the community and the economy. But the better way is the difficult way—to efficiently implement simple but effective rules but the government and its employees must lead the way in the observance.
If the health authorities really sit down and take stock of the things that could be done to slow down covid-19 without resorting to any of the Qs—ECQ, GCQ, MGCQ, etc. (to borrow the words of Sadanga Mayor Ganggagan)—that just make life hell for the people and the economy, they themselves would be surprised that a lot could be done.
Another thing that should be given more attention including allotting more resources for it, is detection of asymptomatic people. The only way to do this is to do better contact tracing and mass testing. These should spot those who are unknowingly spreading the disease and to isolate them. But are government isolation facilities better? As has been observed, they will just feed you eggs and hotdogs there which are unhealthy. So, you will get “sicker.”
Isolation at home might be a lot better with perhaps periodic medical visits.**