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With Luzon being placed under a quarantine to stop the spread of COVID-19, millions of people are forced to stay home and stop working. These workers stand to lose at least two paychecks under the 30-day partial lockdown.

But the government is addressing the problem by giving them cash assistance from P5,000 to P8,000 per month for two months on top of free food packs. The government is also pushing for other relief like advancing the release of midyear bonus to public employees. For private sector workers, their employers are being obliged to advance their 13th month pay.

Some of the affected workers have the option of tapping their savings to tide them over during the quarantine period. Others try to use their paid leaves. A meme showed an effective way to convince employers to agree with this quite scary message:

“Sir, I am suffering from coronavirus and request you to grant me paid leave for 20 days. Otherwise, I will come to the office. Thank you.”

There are the fortunate ones allowed to continue working, such as hospital workers, food factory employees, food delivery men, cargo truck drivers, farmers, fishermen, fast-food crew, police and soldiers. They risk catching the coronavirus though.

Meanwhile, government offices and some companies are coping with the suspension of transport services by letting employees telecommute or work from home. Public officials are doing teleconferencing and remote press cons. Doctors are providing online consultation while schools apply distance education.

Incidentally, people on work-from-home have their own dress code. For those doing a lot of video conferencing, they still make themselves appear presentable on the computer screen by putting on their business suits and ties. From the waist down though, shorts, sweat pants or even plain underwear would suffice.

Such semi-attire is now a fashion trend amid the pandemic but not without its own downside. An executive from Walmart reportedly raised concern over dipping sales of work trousers. It was not clear if he was wearing pants or a checkered bagpiper’s skirt during the TV interview.

Nevertheless, half-dressing is not really a big issue for a work-from-home job compared to other professions. That is very obvious in another meme showing an image of passengers inside a plane listening to this announcement: “This is your pilot speaking. I’m working from home today.”

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