Friday, March 13, 2020

The Situation in Our Homes: Manila and Singapore

They say home is where the heart is. My heart is split between two countries - Philippines and Singapore. Last night the heads of both countries made announcements about COVID19 efforts. If you haven't seen it you can watch PM Lee's announcement here and President Duterte's announcement here.

I arrived back in Singapore on January 22 just when the coronavirus just started spreading in Singapore. The government immediately imposed travel restrictions and proactively responded to the growing issue. On February 8 PM Lee addressed the nation and gave an update about the response government was doing. This effectively abated the fears and immediately stopped the panic buying that started to happen. We've all followed the directives and only went out when really needed.

My son went back home to Manila a few weeks ago and I've been on my toes monitoring news about the Philippines. Miggy rarely goes out but was planning to go to the grocery since last week. When news broke late last week that cases were starting to add up I told Miggy that we'll just order what he needs online. True enough by Monday people were panic buying. My Mom's helper messaged me to say that the supermarket ran out of meat and other necessities. Luckily my friend's online grocery still had some stocks and I ordered immediately what they need at home.

I was sad after the announcements last night. I am really grateful for all the efforts of the Singapore government to fight against COVID19. My heart though is crushed with the way it's been handled in my home country. My hometown is on community quarantine and I cannot help but worry for my family.

I re-watched PM Lee's February 8 video and the best thing about it aside from the reassurance is the call he made for everyone to act responsibly as part of the community. This immediately stopped the panic buying that happened and I could tell that everyone is being mindful and keeping proper hygiene. I mentioned on my FB the other night that I hope the value of why we have the barangay as our smallest administrative division is because it represents your community. If each barangay manages to come together and work as a community then we should be able to address the issue much better.

I am hopeful that things will get better soon. Take care friends and be safe. 

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