‘Surprise’ your departed loved ones with a visit ahead of Undas

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 13 September) -– Mayor Sara Duterte urged Dabawenyos to “surprise” their departed loved ones with a visit to cemeteries where they are laid to rest earlier, rather than join the crowd on November 1 to 2 and risk contracting the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

In her program over Davao City Disaster Radio (DCDR 87.5) last Friday, Duterte encouraged the public, especially families with vulnerable sectors such as senior citizens and minors, to plan their visit ahead of “Undas” to avoid the crowd visiting the cemeteries on those dates.

A mother holds her son as he lights a candle at the tomb of their departed loved ones at the Roman Catholic Cemetery in Davao City on All Saints Day (1 November 2018). Mindanews Photo

“Let’s not join the crowd. Let’s visit this early our grandfather, grandmother, parents, spouses, and siblings, especially for those with children. We should start setting a schedule to visit them on weekends,” she said.

She said she wants the people to visit ahead because the local government does not know what the quarantine status of the city would be starting November 1, whether or not it would need to close the cemeteries to control mass gathering, to stop the transmission of the highly infectious disease.

The entire city was placed under community quarantine from March 16 until evening of April 4, enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) from April 4 to May 15, general community quarantine from May 16 until June 30, and modified GCQ from July 1 until the end of September.

Duterte added that in the time of a pandemic, people need not follow the annual tradition of visiting their departed loved ones during All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day.

“Just like God who is everywhere, we don’t need to visit every November 1 and 2 our departed loved ones. In fact, it would be good, perhaps, to surprise them, just like visiting them without following the tradition,” to avoid transmission of COVID-19.

According to the Department of Health-Davao as of September 12, the region has 2,464 cases with 1,996 recoveries and 71 deaths.

Of the regional total, 1,569 cases were reported in Davao City, 197 in Davao de Oro, 286 in Davao del Norte, 141 in Davao del Sur, 42 in Davao Occidental, and 229 in Davao Oriental. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)