Social Distancing is Not an Option, for many Filipinos

The Philippine government placed Metro Manila on lockdown and other region to strict community quarantine to control the spread of COVID-19. Now, the country’s Capital, Luzon and other region, suspended school, work, and public transport. While social distancing is key in controlling the situation, many Filipinos now fear death — not from infection, but from hunger and anxiety.

It’s impossible for them to stay indoors, it’s too cramped. It’s better out here, where the air circulates.
It’s difficult to get supplies from the market, there are no jeepneys, and other means of transporatation. Many have also lost their income. Informal workers make up high percentage of the Philippines’ workforce. Many of them rely on daily earnings to survive, so the coronavirus lockdown is a matter of life and death.

Into the streets, hundreds of homeless and stranded people took refuge at the Baywalk along Manila Bay on March 17. The next day, the Manila city government swept the area of bystanders and street vendors, with the promise to provide proper temporary shelter during the community quarantine.

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