Make no mistake, people: COVID-19 is a real threat.
Whether we like it or not, the government has put into place a quarantine and with it, various checkpoints all in, out, and around Metro Manila.
While many of us may be stressing enough as it is, our cooperation is also vital in making sure that elements of the law can work hand-in-hand with the Filipinos and help avoid the further spread of the coronavirus.
Here are some quick, friendly tips to make sure your stops at checkpoints are as smooth and hassle-free as possible.
1. Don't be sick or symptomatic
We think that this really is the most obvious of the things you must make sure of. The point of checkpoints is to, well, check where people are going and to limit the potential to spread the virus via a human carrier.
If you are sick or symptomatic, then to put it bluntly, you should not be going out... unless you’re in an ambulance.
Keep tabs of the common symptoms of COVID-19, and should you have any, seek help. If you are actually on your way to a hospital to get yourself checked or quarantined, even, then just be honest. We’ll look at “honesty” later on in this list.
2. Wear a protective face mask
Another simple means of limiting the transmission of the virus is by simply wearing a mask. It may not be 100% perfect, but any method of prevention is always better than nothing.
Remember that the heart of this lockdown is to prevent further spreading of the virus, and a mask is a very useful implement for one to use.
3. Be respectful
Again, many of us may already be wired as it is. But let’s all extend our patience should we be asked to fully-stop at a checkpoint. If there’s nothing to hide, or if there is nothing wrong, then please conduct yourselves properly and speak to law enforcers with courtesy. They, too, are being put at risk for simply carrying out their orders, and we’re sure they’re also on edge.
Spread positivity. Spread the good vibes, not the virus. Bad juju is the last of what we should allow to propagate.
4. Present your ID
There have been some exceptions put in place, and that’s basically for those who are part of the workforce, medical workers, and those who deal with the transport of essential goods.
Your identification card is your best tool in these times.
Be prepared to show the enforcers at the checkpoints your ID and if you fall into those who are exempted from further questioning, then you’ll be free to pass, no further questions asked.
If you need to present your ID barring these exemptions, then please do so as well. They will need to know who you are and where you’re going, regardless, and you have to prove that you’re not out to spread anything untoward – on purpose or not – by being allowed through.
5. Answer questions truthfully
In line with the first item in the list, it is imperative that you be honest with law enforcement and military personnel manning the checkpoints. Stringent guidelines have been put in place for all of us to follow.
If you find yourself in a situation that you simply cannot pass through, then perhaps you shouldn’t have gone out in the first place. This will save you time, and important time of legitimate travelers who might need to get past checkpoints quickly.
If you, on the other hand, are in a more dire or important situation, say in need of medical treatment, then simply say so. Our law enforcers will probably even clear a way for you to get medical assistance as soon as possible.
All of us regardless of work, stature, and place in society are deeply affected by the outbreak of COVID-19. What we all need to remember is that it is also up to us how we not only react, and better, how to respond to trying times such as this.
Let’s all cooperate, extend our patience, be more understanding, and be most mindful of ourselves and all of our fellow countrymen as well. Let’s work to maintain peace, order, and hopefully weather this trial in solidarity, citizen and law enforcer alike.