DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 28 March) – COVID-19 dies if deprived of new hosts.
So staying home is a great measure to kill the virus. That is certain.
But how many can do that, to stay at home? How many can have sufficient provisions to last till government-imposed community quarantine is lifted? Only a privileged few.
Most can only secure food for a day or two. If they are not reached by food dole outs, they would definitely get out of their homes to find means as not to starve their loved ones.
Out of necessity, many will break quarantine protocols. Food deprivation is a more sordid, pressing scare than the invisible virus. Hunger stares you in the eyes. You can’t stay put when the little ones start crying because they are hungry. You need to do something.
That is why to flatten the curve — to contain and curtail the pandemic, great effort should be addressed against hunger. The people must be assured that the government will take care of them. This assurance needs to be communicated effectively in words and in deeds.
Mobile public address system should be installed in each barangay to constantly remind everyone on the observance of the quarantine and to assure availability and the schedule and protocols in the distribution of food packages.
Of course, barangay food brigades must have already been organized to carry out a smooth and peaceful distribution of food to every household.
Foremost, the government must have secured the food supply chain – production, delivery, storage and packaging.
Farmers, fishers and other food producers are assured help and support in the unhampered exercise of their toils.
Since classes are suspended, students may be tapped as volunteers by the government to assist delivery of this great enterprise.
It is a community effort. We all play a great role in fighting the coronavirus pandemic. We have to stay home. (MindaViews is the opinion section of MindaNews. William R. Adan, Ph.D., is retired professor and former chancellor of Mindanao State University at Naawan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines)