by Erros Galope
The noisy and bustling streets of Manila currently seem to be somewhat stuck in time—the roads are still being sanitized, the perpetual traffic came back after a hiatus, and the sounds of city life have still grown silent.
It’s hard to imagine that these were the same streets where people from all walks of life set foot merely months ago.
In light of the constant rise of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) cases, several areas in the Philippines still have strict community quarantine measures, leaving the 57 million people under lockdown left with only hopeful anticipation of the time they can finally bring the streets to life.
According to the Department of Health (DOH), as of June 18, 2020, the current death toll in the country caused by COVID-19 has risen up to 1,116 while the number of infected amounts to 27,799 people.
With nearly 28,000 infected residents, about 3,008 of them are health workers. These are the same health workers to be credited for the existing 7,090 recoveries—and are the ones who are consistently controlling the spread of the pandemic in the country.
Flattening the curve has never been an easy thing to accomplish.
Sadly, as of June 17, 2020, 33 frontliners have died.
Due to the incompetent authorities and the delinquent locals who continue disregarding the quarantine measures, the curve that should have been flattened by now is still growing and was expected by the University of the Philippines (UP) Response Team to hit reach 24,000 cases before June 15. It breached that mark a week ago.
The experts from UP also note that there is a possibility the Philippines could have 40,000 COVID-19 cases by the end of June.
Cases still rise everyday and with the new reporting of cases from DOH, we are still not near to flattening the curve.
The lives affected by the 1,116 people who succumbed to the pandemic will have an impact not only on the ones who were close to them but to all of us. With every life that the virus puts to an end; whether, with the aid of poor health facilities, little to no financial support from the government, an unhealthy environment, or of nothing at all—serves a loss of a whole nation.
Only God knows how many plans, hopes, and dreams never saw the light of day as dusk set unexpectedly on the lives of people who the president claims should be “proud to die for their country.” But these lives could’ve been spared if the country didn’t become more vulnerable to the pandemic through an overdue travel ban.
The noisy and bustling streets of Manila will eventually revert back into its former glory; the rushed footsteps, roaring cars, blinding lights, and people of all walks of life would once again occupy the streets as if they never left.
But the streets will never be the same again.