While we stay inside our comfy homes during the community quarantine, listening to the news about COVID-19 on our 67-inch flat-screen TVs, there are Filipinos outside, hoping to get a ride for work. These people that are looking for a ride are the front liners who keep us healthy and alive, some are employees who were never given a choice to stay at home by their bosses, and blue-collared workers who can’t afford to survive without a day’s paycheck.
If you don’t understand this yet, then congratulations, you are among those of us who are privileged enough to be that out of touch from reality. But this isn’t to attack anyone who doesn’t understand it yet–it’s simply trying to make those of us see where these people are coming from.
So if you’re asking: ‘Why are people on the internet so negative?’ ‘Why won’t people just stay at home?’ ‘Why can’t we just cooperate with the government?’ These questions will be answered in these simple tips on what not to say or post online during the community quarantine.
Tip #1: Don’t post your grocery receipts
Yes, we get it. You have the means to buy four big shopping carts worth of groceries. You don’t know when this quarantine period will truly end and you’re scared for you and your family to get hungry. But is this really the right time to flex about your riches? Especially when there are people who had to let go of or take a break from their jobs and just like you, are panicking to find something to eat? Think about it before you swipe that purchase.
Tip #2: Don’t post fake news
The truth is, fake news is everywhere on social media. By sharing unverified information, you’re fanning the flames of fear and panic. Instead, try to subscribe to this group on Viber or Telegram for verified and relevant information. They give frequent updates about COVID-19 and the community quarantine straight from the Department of Health.
Tip #3: The saying “your grandparents were called to war, all you have to do is stay at home and watch Netflix” is overused and does not apply to everyone
Nobody–and I mean nobody–wants to go out of the house in this condition. There are no more modes of transportation, everything is closed, and we are all at risk of infection. The people who are still outside are not asking to die, they just do not have a choice. We understand that the best way to prevent COVID-19 from spreading is to self-quarantine and practice social distancing as a nation, but without the support and aid by the government, there is no way each and every one of us can just stay at home. And sure, we may not be called to a war of the physical sort, which we are eternally grateful for, but this one we are facing is a war in itself that cannot be whiled away by hours and hours on Netflix.
Tip #4: Don’t mock the people complaining about the government
Just because people are complaining online, doesn’t mean they are not complying with the government. These people are allowed to criticize how the government is handling things because, surprise, surprise, they have empathy for those who cannot stay at home during this time.
Tip #5: Don’t complain about canceled plans
We all have had to sacrifice a lot of things just to keep safe during this crisis. Flight tickets, hotel bookings, restaurant reservations, weddings and birthdays, it’s something we were all looking forward to doing. But this is nothing compared to the sacrifice nurses, doctors, drivers, and so many employees are making just to get by. If there’s anyone who needs and deserves a vacation, it’s them.
Tip #6: Stop posting that you’re outside
This is specifically for the people who are still outside for reasons that aren’t work-related. You’re putting yourself in danger, you’re putting those around you at risk, this isn’t something to be proud of. It is exponentially difficult, especially if you’re used to going around, but for the love of God, just stay inside.
Tip #7: Stop downplaying the gravity of the flu or saying that this is a blessing to Mother Earth
While you go on about how the Earth is healing from humans, there are people dying and struggling to survive from the virus and the lockdowns. While clearly not the ideal way to live, the world doesn’t revolve around you, your woes, while a right for you to express, doesn’t hold a candle to the real victims of this pandemic–the PUIs, the contractual, the infected, the ones separated from their families.
Bottom line is, flexing your privilege during this pandemic is distasteful and tone-deaf. So despite it being a cliche, if you don’t have anything nice or substantial to say, don’t post it online anymore. Period.