EDITORIAL - It was no vacation

EDITORIAL - It was no vacation

(The Freeman) - March 5, 2021 - 12:00am

Presidential spokesman Harry Roque has apologized for what he called a “misunderstanding” when he said that the Filipinos who had to stay home because of quarantine restrictions for the good part of last year were “on vacation”.

“We have been on vacation for too long, we have been on vacation for almost a year because of the COVID-19. Perhaps now that the vaccine is here, allow us to recover lost the time,” Roque said during a press conference.

Roque has apologized for this remark. This is noble of him and we should accept this. We all commit blunders every once in a while after all, no exceptions.

With that said, it is still worth mentioning that Roque should have been more careful with this words. Many people won’t agree with this statement at best, or find it insulting at worst.

To call it a vacation is to just forget that there were those who had to spend time at home not because they wanted to but because they had to, after they lost their jobs or businesses.

To call it a vacation is to imply that it was a time for leisurely enjoyment, and to forget that many of us had to stay away from loved ones and the things we loved to do during that time.

While it also true that some moments of our time under quarantine were spent enjoying some relaxing activities, the entire time spent under lockdown doesn’t really count as leisure time.

It certainly was no vacation for those who had to rush loved ones to the hospital after they started having difficulty breathing, then anxiously wait for news because they could not stay by their side.

And it definitely was no vacation for those who had to stay in the isolation center or the hospital after they themselves caught the coronavirus.

Given the important position he holds, Roque should have been more circumspect in his words; what he says tends to reach many people after all.

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