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EDITORIAL | Voluntary ECQ

Healthcare Heroes Oil on canvas painting by Jao Deauna

Healthcare workers across the country, particularly in the National Capital Region, are seeking for the revival of strict lockdowns as COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to rise.

These medical professionals warn that if no such tighter controls are imposed, there is the possibility of a collapse of the healthcare system.

Responding to this call, the Department of Health announced that it would soon issue an updated COVID-19 strategy.

Some healthcare workers are appealing, however, that there is another option: voluntary ECQ.

Dr. Tony Leachon, former government adviser, is among those recommending that even without the formal imposition of ECQ, we may choose to act as if we were on ECQ—that is, stay home unless extremely necessary.

Among his recommendations are not eating inside restaurants, and instead trying delivery or cooking at home; saying no to non-essential travel; not going to church or places for worship and instead praying and reflecting online; not going to salons or barbershops; and saying yes to online transactions, work-from-home setups, strictly observing protocols, and being united in prayer.

Regardless of how the Inter-Agency Task Force chooses to respond to the call of the frontliners, there is no stopping us from going on self-imposed isolation.

As Leachon emphatically puts it: “We don’t need the government to put us on ECQ. We can do it voluntarily! Let us do it for our healthcare workers, for ourselves, and for our families.”

Meantime, the government should consider ensuring a more data science-based approach to battling the pandemic.

As it is, the current approach appears to unnecessarily oversimplify things to the point of ignoring the crucial nuances of the spread of the infectious disease.

As the nature of the global pandemic continues to evolve, and our national and personal resources continue to dwindle, all of us need to be serious and sincere in doing our part.

For many, this may be as simple as avoiding physical contact with others, with our without a government reminder or order to do so.