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Ode to shields

LOOKING ASKANCE - Atty. Joseph Gonzales (The Freeman) - June 20, 2021 - 12:00am

While the government is dithering about whether or not to continue mandating the use of plastic face shields among the hapless Filipino community, perhaps, it is best to list the pros and cons of this now-ubiquitous accessory that mostly dangles from our forehead, but can sometimes adorn the wrist, or be tied to a string around our necks, or perhaps, even worn in front of our eyes.

So, on with the cons.

What’s the stupidest thing ever required from non-hospital employees by the national government before they’re allowed to enter their work place? Face shields!

And the stupidest thing approved by men in the military who have the rank of generals, and who can be found littering the Inter-Agency Task Force to address COVID-19? Face shields.

The stupidest thing ever to be impounded by the Philippine Bureau of Customs and the National Bureau of Investigation because of the purported reason that they are “fake”, when all they really are, like the rest of the genuine face shields, would be plastic and more plastic? Face shields.

The stupidest thing built by man that can last thousands of years before nature can get its act together (if at all) and break the plastics down safely? Face shields.

The stupidest thing ever to make mainland Chinese businessmen (aka Heng De manufacturers) millionaires many times over at the expense of the poor Filipino consumer who shouldn’t be made to pay for this flimsy plastic, and by the way also cost our politicians their integrity? Face shields!

The stupidest thing ever to hit Philippine waters and litter our pristine seas for thousands of years while above ground, the virus may be defeated, or humanity may have been wiped out? Face shields.

The stupidest thing ever to be ingested by marine life and from thence, to fishermen and ordinary consumers, who will now have to contend with eating micro-plastics as part of their daily diet? Face shields.

The stupidest thing ever to be required by security guards to be worn by customers when entering open air malls, when a few steps away will be the restaurant of choice where one will order food and drinks, all the while laughing and chatting without any facial covering at all? Face shields.

The stupidest thing to be required to be worn inside public transportation when, during the trip, the bus driver or the jeepney driver won’t give a damn about whether the passenger is keeping it on throughout the trip’s duration? Face shields.

The stupidest thing ever to be worn by Filipinos as part of their daily fashion, with no contribution to safety, aesthetics, or comfort whatsoever, and most of the time proving to be a nuisance to carry anyway? Face shields.

The stupidest thing ever to be blown away by the wind from one’s face or head, leading one to scurry and scramble across the road hoping to scoop it up before it gets squashed by oncoming traffic? Face shields.

The stupidest thing that initially cost a thousand pesos or more during the early days of the pandemic, and now can be found being hawked by street urchins at twenty bucks, even at seven bucks? Face shields.

The stupidest merchandise ever carried by department stores and groceries, and all of which will cry bloody murder if it’s no longer required because these establishments will get stuck with inventory they can never, ever move? Face shields.

I seem to have run out of space for the “pros’. That’s not so stupid.

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