The prospects of a new normal
Judging from how COVID-19 is spreading all over the place, the new normal will not be declared in Baguio City after the MGCQ status ends on June 30. It will most probably be extended for another 15 days, and then another 15 days. But the restrictions will gradually be eased out. Right now, the curfew time was shortened by an hour. It used to be 9:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m., now it is 10:00 p.m. to 4:00 a.m. There will be more businesses that will be allowed to open.
And more public utility vehicles will hit the road. The limited number of taxi units that were allowed to operate did so one day a week. Now it is two days a week. There should be and there will be more units to be allowed to run. Same thing with the jeepneys. There were long queues of passengers waiting for them in loading areas, but their arrivals were “far between.” The word is their number will gradually increase.
The point is, slowly, we will slowly try to emerge from the strangle hold of the quarantine rules, In baby steps as the city of mayor of Baguio said several weeks ago.
There seems to be no choice as all the towns surrounding the city now have numerous COVID-19 positive cases. The city is practically “boxed in” by the enemy. For about a week already, the municipal hall—a town’s center of power and official activities– of La Trinidad was locked down.
Undoubtedly, this is a dire situation which necessitates the continued application of quarantine rules. Otherwise, the diease will spread like wild fire in the city. For, while COVID-19 is lousy in terms of its potency to kill (compared to meningococcemia, SARS , mers cov, etc.) its ability to infect was unheard of. It is so contagious that those countries that had been taking it lightly are practically having their people massacred—thanks to US President Trump and President Bolnosario of Brazil.
But no matter how strong or how contagious a virus is, it will somehow weaken with the passage of time. The flu pandemic in 1918 ton 1919 killed millions around the world, but now the disease is something you can just sleep over. There are so many factors that cause this weakening. One is peoples’ developing herd immunity.
So slowly emerging from the lockdown, with all the attendant suffering everybody has to endure, is a lot better than opening up in a hurry that will cause COVID-19 to happily spread out to every corner of the city and nearby towns. Once the genie is out of the bottle you cannot get it to go back.
Thus it is best for us to try to wait out the enemy. We should be out of the woods in a month or two.**