This is How We Handled the First Days of MECQ
by Anne Marielle Eugenio, May 19, 2020 10:47pm
Art by Dani Elevazo
As we take the first step towards the new normal, we have to undergo a lot of adjustments. Every citizen knows it’s not easy to adapt to this new kind of setup where we have to be wary of physical contact. Metro Manila is a populous region, and there are employees who are from neighboring provinces who add up to the volume of people.
We are now under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine, wherein most establishments are open. Clearly, it’s not our usual “business as usual,” which brings us to the question: How did Manila do during the first three days of MECQ? These photos and videos made their rounds online to describe our current situation.
A Netizen shared the first day of the MECQ, which was on a Saturday. Metro Manila appeared calm and quiet, with little to none vehicles present.
The busy street of Espana Boulevard was also peaceful on the second day of MECQ.
LOOK: España Blvd on Day 2 of the modified enhanced community quarantine in Metro Manila— CNN Philippines (@cnnphilippines) May 16, 2020
Anton Amosco/CNN Philippines pic.twitter.com/GBDykWeG9F
But MECQ Mondays are just like our usual days. Marcos Highway got congested on the first day of business operations.
GMA News live video of Marcos Highway this morning.— Benedict Exconde (@iskonglasalista) May 18, 2020
Like what I said last time, the true test of MECQ is today, Monday, May 18, 2020, as some people return to work. This is proof of that. pic.twitter.com/GITIOdEu2l
As establishments resume their operations, places like malls implement strict regulations for health and safety.
It’s the first day of MECQ in Metro Manila. As some non-leisure shops are now allowed to reopen, this mall in Eastwood City, Quezon City implements strict procedures against the spread of #COVID19. | via @biancadavapic.twitter.com/sWIUfAK2pT— ABS-CBN News (@ABSCBNNews) May 16, 2020
Social distancing should be strictly implemented, but there are viral posts showing how people swarm inside a mall in Quezon City.
One netizen said Filipinos are “undisciplined-selfish” as they ignore the social distancing and other protocols on the first Monday of MECQ.
"Filipinos have no discipline" No.— Mar(x)c (@Mrcxism) May 18, 2020
If what you see in these photos are undisciplined-selfish Filipinos, that's not the case.
This is the result of the government's inadequate implementation and vague guidelines of the MECQ.
They are not "undisciplined" but unguided. pic.twitter.com/GbBEuPc1x6
Still, there is good news, just like how Valenzuel orient their TODA and PODA about the new regulations during MECQ.
Our teams are now orienting all Toda and Poda - tricycle and pedicab operators' presidents about the new protocols during Mecq. pic.twitter.com/WlDugxGwZ9— Rex (@rex_gatchalian) May 16, 2020
Metro Manila still has a lot of work to do. This transition into the new normal could make or break the nation. Let’s practice discipline starting with ourselves to avoid the dreaded second wave of the virus.