THE government is so afraid of a resurgence in cases of COVID-19 that it has now mandated that anybody going out of the house should wear a face shield over the ubiquitous face mask.
Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said the face shield requirement is no longer a big deal because masks and face shields are available in large quantities and at a low price.
He explained that while the use of face shield had been required only in specific places like malls or while riding public transportation, the expected increase in movement and gathering of people this holiday season increase the probability of the nation having another surge in COVID-19 infections. Roque even cited studies that showed the chances of avoiding viral infections improve due to the wearing of face masks and face shields in tandem.
“Residents will most likely invoke lame alibis whenever policemen or barangay tanods require them to follow the rules: “Patawarin mo na, Pasko naman, eh.”’
The directive to the public from the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) is terse and clear: All persons are mandated to wear full-coverage face shields together with face masks, earloop masks, indigenous reusable or do-it-yourself masks, or other protective equipment.
The protocol on wearing masks and shields may be effective but whatever advantages this brings will instantly be negated if the IATF and its enforcement arm, the police and local government officials, are lax in implementing the ban on Christmas parties and other gatherings this season.
For sure, this ban on family gatherings will be honored more in the breach than in the observance, as even barangay officials will find it difficult to instill discipline among their constituents. Blame it on culture, religion and good, old hardheadedness. Residents will most likely invoke lame alibis whenever policemen or barangay tanods require them to follow the rules: “Patawarin mo na, Pasko naman, eh.” (Let them be, anyway it’s Christmas.)
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said he will not get tired of reminding the people about the risks of COVID-19, and the need to follow the most basic health protocols to keep everyone safe.
We agree with him that this is needed, even as the government grapples with all the problems of ordering and buying the vaccine from manufacturers abroad, amid the heckling from some senators and do-gooders.