Work from home
VERBAL VARIETY - Annie Fe Perez (The Freeman) - March 28, 2020 - 12:00am

Since the cases for those positive with COVID-19 have started to increase, we were also asked to work from home. Journalists, who are also considered frontliners should not also risk themselves to the infectious disease. Our resort is to turn to online interviews, rely heavily on live streaming for press conferences and should digitalization fail us there is always the trusty mobile phone or landline. For the duration that we have practiced this, it was indeed hard. I miss the physical presence of our sources, and the adrenaline of fieldwork. On the other hand, I know that I’m safe because I am in the comfort of my own home. The outside world today is very dangerous and anybody exposed could be at risk. But that's just me.

What about those who cannot work from home? They, too, have stories to tell. The frontliners are not just the medical personnel who are risking their lives to treat patients who may be positive for COVID-19. Included in the list are those who work in the food and beverage industry, grocery stores, and markets who make sure all the supplies that we need are easily accessible. We should not also forget the security guards and the cleaners who make sure we are all safe and clean throughout this whole pandemic. Not everybody has the luxury to work from home. Others aren't even given a choice. Because of the implementation of a skeletal workforce, there are those who have no work, thus no pay.

Because of this work from home scheme, there are many who have time. But what happens when that extra time is being spent queuing for groceries. You see, yesterday almost everyone flocked to grocery stores because they panicked at the pronouncement of government officials of an enhanced community quarantine which they tagged as similar to a lockdown. What's difficult now is to suppress this panic and making them understand that both are totally different. In an enhanced community quarantine, there is there liberty to move around but limited and regulated by the authorities. Meanwhile, a lockdown would mean no going out of the house for everyone and the provisions are being sent in by the government. I don't think we can afford that right now.

These are trying times for all of us. It made me reflect on the privileges I have, compared to those who have to risk everything just to earn for the day. We aren't even sure if what they earn in a day is enough to protect their family from this disease. Italy has just surrendered the fight against COVID-19 because the infection is getting out of hand. With the enhanced community quarantine, I'm sure we can overcome this war. What's making it difficult is that we are fighting our enemy blindly, as they are difficult to see with the naked eye.

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