A year ago today, the Philippines has been placed on lockdown for two weeks (initially) until it got extended. Even after the rollouts of the vaccines, the threat of the coronavirus and the newly mutated strains have been very much evident. Will the lockdown benefit us? Here’s what people had to say a year ago.

READ: Moderna Just Inked a Vaccine Deal with the Government

On April 21, 2020, we at FreebieMNL posted a poll on our Viber Community asking people if they think the Enhanced Community Quarantine in some parts of the Philippines should be extended, even if it has already been more than 5 weeks in place. Hundreds from all over the country participated. These were the results:

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Unsurprisingly, most people said yes (which also of course became the decision ultimately given by the Philippines government). But why was it given? What really is the pros and cons of this extension?

The Pros and Cons of lockdown | Laptop with face mask
Photo from Unsplash

Pros to the extension:

Keeping the nation’s health monitored

Practicing social distancing is currently the best effort we can do in containing the virus. Extending the lockdown is an ideal preventive measure as there are no mass testing options and vaccines are still limited.

Setting standards for the “new normal”

The opportunity to have work-life balance is now more attainable as employees work from home. While it may be a bit unnerving to work during a pandemic, workers have more access to activities that benefit physical and mental health. Quality time between quarantined families are bound to develop as well. 

Cons to the extension:

Economic struggle

Being a consumer-driven economy, businesses and manufacturing companies will need to cut down production as the mass’ buying power decreases. As a result, employees will also lose their jobs. Loss of income leads to financial issues and will lead to unrest as sustenance of daily needs is adversely affected. 

Mental health issues surface due to isolation

Social distancing has its consequences – being physically isolated while exposed to a negative environment can lead to mental health issues. Being exposed to discourse of the virus itself can aggravate one’s quarantine situation too. However, seeking professional help while social distancing is still possible. Here’s how you can connect to UP Diliman Psychosocial Services’ free sessions. 

At the end of the day, all of us just want to get rid of the deadly virus and live our lives like we used to. While lockdowns could help lower the cases of coronavirus, this will only be effective if there are concrete plans on how to combat COVID-19.

What else do you think are the pros and cons of the extension? Let us know your thoughts!

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(Banner photo by Manuel Peris Tirado on Unsplash)

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