Children in the Philippines Have Not Been Allowed Outside Their Homes for a Year

Luckily almost nobody actually follows the supremely dumb and harmful mandate

OFELIA ABO has not left home for 11 months. In the mornings the six-year-old attends school online. The rest of the time she eats lots of snacks, plays Uno with her mother or, when it isn’t raining, runs around on the roof of her building. She doesn’t mind: “I can play all day.” Then again, she admits, “I sometimes get bored.” If she were allowed, she would like to go to a mall or the beach.

Ofelia and the 32m other Filipinos under the age of 15 (a third of the population) are “required to remain in their residences at all times” as part of the government’s efforts to curb the spread of covid-19. Even as quarantine restrictions have been loosened for working-age adults, they have remained in place for the youngest and oldest members of society, who are deemed most vulnerable. [When they are clearly not. But how better than to virtue signal concern for kids than via incredible repression against them and harm?]

“She tells me how much she wants to go out,” says Ofelia’s mother, Iris, who asked that she and her daughter not be identified by their real names. All the same, Iris considers the rules “OK and reasonable”, since the disease remains such a risk. Known new infections, having peaked at more than 4,000 a day in August, are still running at around 1,600 a day, despite limited testing. [Deaths are at 12,000 in a country of 110 million.]

The Philippines is not unique in keeping children at home. Spain did the same thing for several weeks at the start of the pandemic. But it is an outlier in keeping them confined for this long. “Everyone accepts that it could result in poor psycho-social effects on children,” says Bernadette Madrid of the Child Protection Unit at the University of the Philippines. But she, along with many paediatricians, psychiatrists, epidemiologists, public-health specialists and parents, believes that the benefits of keeping children at home outweigh the risks, in part owing to the nature of Filipino households.

It is rare for children to suffer serious cases of covid-19. But they can still catch the virus and transmit it to others. That is a problem given the preponderance of multi-generational households in the Philippines. Less than a tenth of elderly Filipinos live alone. And more than 10% of people older than 60 live with their grandchildren but not their children, who are often working elsewhere.

As a result, the loudest opposition to the lockdown of children comes not from outraged parents, but from businesses. Cities in the Philippines, and especially Manila, the capital, are not over-endowed with parks and playgrounds. For many families, shopping malls are the closest thing to a public space. Banning kids from malls means adults visit less often too, dragging down consumer spending. GDP contracted by 9.5% last year, the worst of any large South-East Asian country.

For the most part, Filipinos gripe about the haphazard rulemaking rather than the rules themselves. A senator complains that cock-fighting pits have been allowed to operate again even as schools remain closed. Others think the blanket lockdown should be replaced with local restrictions determined by the case rate in each area. The workings of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases, the country’s covid-19 response unit, are opaque. In January it said it would allow children aged ten and older to go to shopping malls. President Rodrigo Duterte abruptly reversed the decision. The U-turn had “nothing to do with incompetence, not at all”, he explained.

Source: The Economist

  1. ken says

    All for a alleged disease with a 0.01% chance of dying for those under 50,,,and a 0.1% chance for the rest. This makes no sense!

    They know the PCR test and antibody test are bogus. They know the disease is likely the flu. Yet they continue the lies and fear mongering.

    Keep your ear to the ground folks. Something very evil is happening. And you are the target!

    1. Ron says

      In my city, there is a lockdown yet when I go outside during the day, I am seeing more and more people fed-up and dis-obeying the current government lockdown. Now, why is the government NOT arresting people, handing out fines or making a fuss? The answer is simple. At this stage, the Politicians (puppet for the Elite) only care about maintaining a “state of (Pandemic) emergency”. During this “state of emergency”, politicians can pass temporary laws without legal debate, public examination or criticism (due process). That is, they can force you to do whatever they wish without consequence because the country is in a “state of emergency”….aka fascism. The sheep are not concerned and happy to wear their face diapers and obey but for everyone else this is a big big problem. Government is pushing unproven vaccines and now have the authority to force everyone to take it. In less than 9 months, vaccines for Covid19 were invented, developed and tested. If that’s not remarkable enough, how can vaccines be invented for a virus (SARSCov2) no one has been able to isolate? If you can prove an isolated SARSCov2 virus exists, there is close to a half million dollar reward waiting for you to collect.

  2. Anonymous says

    Seriously? Don’t believe anything the media prints. Kids here in my neighborhood are running about like loose rabbits. They are not allowed to go downtown (the city center), but they sure as hell can go out of their houses. This must be one mother who followed all the mandates to extremes. Even when I was in Metro Manila, the epicenter, kids go out of their houses to play on the streets and mingle with others.

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