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The reality of social distancing

Katarina Lopez

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THE once crowded and jampacked wagons of LRT-1 trains are almost deserted at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF YUMMIE DINGDING FOR THE DAILY TRIBUNE @tribunephl_yumi

This worldwide pandemic has brought everything to a screeching halt. In the blink of an eye, it seems as if we’ve awoken to a strange new world, one where each aisle of the supermarket is wrung dry, where toilet paper is a prized commodity and social distancing has become the preferred form of interaction.

We’re relying on technology and limited manpower to contain the unseen enemy. We’re glued to screens as a necessity to function. Reality has indeed become stranger than fiction. This is the new normal.

Everything seems up in the air at the moment. Some local government units are undoubtedly putting their own political ambitions to the side and, instead, working tirelessly to help aid their residents in this time of crisis.

Day by day the anxiety builds up as the Covid-positive cases rise. It’s all quite a mess, to say the least.

One thing that has been popping up on everyone’s timelines recently is the state of the homeless and especially those stuck in “no work, no pay” jobs. It’s easy to just scroll past these posts, but this is happening whether you choose to play ignorant or not. This is the state of things in our country.

Social distancing, in practice, is a luxury that many in our country cannot afford.

Staying home is not an option for those who have to live off daily wages, or for those who don’t have a place to come home to. It’s not as simple as passing the time by watching the new hit K-Drama on Netflix.

Privileged pseudo influencers have been so quick to judge those who can’t simply stay at home, all while comfortably resting in their well-stocked homes, complete with a huge TV.

We must not allow the notion of social distancing to make us grow detached from reality. The COVID-19 pandemic is scary enough as is; it’s not the time to turn your backs to those who are in need.

If you can afford it, donate to the many online funds that have been set up by different NGO and individuals alike that have chosen to help out our community during this health crisis.

If you can’t spare the cash right now, which is totally understandable, choose to share the promos of these initiatives online to spread the word. A simple share can go a long way —- it can help buy groceries for a family, provide financial assistance to those who are left jobless by this enhanced community quarantine, or give aid and more safety equipment to our front liners.

This unprecedented time of great uncertainty is not the time to forget what it means to be human. Social distancing is not meant to breed ignorance and detachment. Choose to be socially responsible during this month of social distancing and look out for others, too.

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