September 12, 2022, President Bongbong Marcos, Jr. signed E.O. Number 03 that allows the voluntary wearing of facemasks in open spaces and non-crowded outdoor areas with good ventilation. It is to take effect immediately.
So don’t be surprised when you see a lot of people outside not wearing a facemask anymore.
Actually, it’s been going on for sometime now. The neighborhood boys here don’t wear one while they’re playing basketball. Even some kids playing in the streets aren’t donning one.
A facemask would still be required indoors and in public transpo where physical distancing isn’t possible.
(And yeah, for so long, various modes of public transportation aren’t doing social distancing. Buses are still packed like sardines. Jeepneys are now at 100% capacity. Yikes.)
While this news may bring relief to some, it’s causing a bit of anxiety in me. Probably because my family acquired COVID-19 early this year and hubby has experienced multiple COVID-19 scares at the workplace (they’re reporting to work every day).
The adults and senior citizens at home have been fully vaccinated and have received their boosters. Eldest kiddo already has one booster. Bunso, with comorbidity, is still awaiting schedule for booster for 5-11 years old.
We’ve already received some kind of protection but it still doesn’t put me at ease.
But, well, COVID-19 is here to stay, I guess. Or maybe not. But seeing as this is a flu-like virus, it would probably be like an advanced influenza in the future.
Don’t quote me on that. I’m not a doctor, I just spew out theories.
And that’s why, even with the E.O., I am still going to wear my facemask wherever I go. Regardless if I’m outdoors or indoors.
We haven’t reached herd immunity. Actually, I don’t know if we will.
A lot of people are still unvaccinated.
Cases are still rising. And I believe many remain unreported. (Stigma, maybe?)
And I have loved ones I have to protect. Like my senior parents and my G6PDD + asthmatic daughter.
So yeah, I’m still going to wear a facemask wherever I go.
Because believe me, it’s such a hassle to have the virus. Getting confined at a hospital is expensive. The medicines are expensive. The RT-PCR is free only once if you have PhilHealth (if you don’t have PhilHealth that’s some thousands off your savings). Plus you have to isolate, which means if your work is location-dependent, well, you can’t go to work. And you may be infecting others, too.
The E.O. states that wearing facemasks is voluntary, yes. But if you’re a responsible citizen, you know that you do have to mask up. Because you also have the responsibility of not spreading the virus.
It’s for your safety, and your loved ones’ as well.