Three data sets utterly destroy the government’s mantra that Filipinos lack discipline and that this is the reason why COVID-19 cases – despite having the longest lock down in the world, continue to increase by the thousands each day.
A survey by the Institute of Global Health Innovation of the Imperial College London in partnership with YouGov came up with the following figures:
- 91% wore masks when they were outside
- 83% washed hands w/ soap & water
- 77% avoided crowded areas
- 61% avoided going out in general
- 70% avoided touching objects in public
Google’s COVID-19 Community Mobility Report (pdf) based on “aggregated, anonymized sets of data from users who have turned on the location history setting” for their Google Account paints a similar picture covering the period of June 2 to July 14:
- 46% decline in retail & recreation areas, including restaurants, cafes, shopping centers, theme parks, museums, libraries and movie theaters
- 20% decline in places like grocery markets, food warehouses, farmers markets, specialty food shops, drug stores and pharmacies
- 25% decline in places like national parks, public beaches, marinas, dog parks, plazas, and public gardens.
- 56% decline in places like public transport hubs such as subways, bus, and train stations.
- 44% decline for places of work
- 23% increase for places of residence. In other words, Filipinos stayed at home.
Marlen V. Ronquillo in his The Manila Times column talks about how a recent survey by the Asian Development Bank ‘shatter the myth that Filipinos are pasaway‘:
63.2% decrease in mobility – Filipinos stayed at home even in the congested areas where at least 10 people are crammed inside a small shanty.
A couple of days ago, Vince Dizon, the so-called ‘testing czar’ regurgitated the myth that ‘discipline’ is the key to beating COVID-19. He casually dismissed testing, contact tracing, strengthening the health care system and using available technology as essential tools against the coronavirus. It is bad enough that up until now, public health experts have taken a back seat in the government’s response against COVID-19, it’s infuriating to hear such ridiculous notions from those who are put in such a position.
I have said it before and will say it again, from the experience of other countries, COVID-19 can be beaten. The struggle only becomes more difficult – at the expense of human lives, when the government itself becomes another enemy in this pandemic.