A grim scenario for the Philippines as the COVID-19 pandemic runs its course

The scenarios playing out as we move further into uncharted social territory as the COVID-19 pandemic ravages Philippine society seems to be gravitating to just two — worse and worst. The earlier, Worse, is already a known risk today. As social distancing and lockdown periods continue to extend with no end in sight in the Philippines, the “haves” and the “have-nots” will respond differently. The haves with many options to draw from will continue to encourage compliance to the measures in place to stop the spread of the disease. The have-nots with few options — and even fewer things to lose — will, at some point, decide that getting back to the daily grind outdoors is worth the risk of catching the disease. It’s simple, really. Ultimately, complying to the lockdown will be a cost-benefit analysis.

It’s not much different from the decision making the average jeepney driver makes everyday. For the typical jeepney driver, it is a daily choice between driving a barely-roadworthy vehicle with faulty brakes while breathing in Manila’s toxic atmosphere or seeing himself and his family starve to death. It’s a no-brainer. When the novelty of the novel coronavirus wears out and the Philippines’ teeming masses decide that, between social distancing and making a living, choosing the latter is a no-brainer, the threat of acquiring COVID-19 becomes the equivalent of just another day risking life and limb driving a jeepney.

For that matter, ordinary Filipinos face far bigger risks to their life and health than COVID-19 presents just to make a living. Open manholes, sewage bubbling up at their front doors, hanging by the fingers off jeepneys and buses on their commutes to and from work, dining on pagpag, and even pimping their own kids to paedophiles — where does COVID-19 rank against those dangers working Filipinos eat for breakfast everyday? Very likely very much the same way a paper cut stacks up against a broken arm. In the long run COVID-19 will be just another one of those things that form par for the course in Filipinos’ lives.

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The rich, will not see it that way. In fact they’ve never seen life the way poor people do — which is why the Philippines’ elite cocoon themselves in their chi chi gated subdivisions and chauffeur their kids to schools rather than encourage them to take public transport. COVID-19 will just be another wedge that insulates the rich from the poor. To the already high perimeter walls of the rich’s gated communities will be added more measures to socially-distance themselves from the rest of the Philippines.

The fact is, Philippine society is not equipped to cope with the sort of social distancing required to fully-eradicate COVID-19 over the long haul. Filipinos living in their big cities’ worst slums have few opportunities to keep a 1.5-metre distance between themselves. More than 10 percent of the economy is accounted for by proceeds from foreign employment. Another chunk of it comes from employment generated by work outsourced to the Philippines from First World businesses that are becoming increasingly averse to offshoring. The rest of the workforce simply can neither work from home nor be productive without coming in close physical contact with other people.

Worst case is, at best, a known unknown — that a vaccine against COVID-19 may never be developed. Some viral diseases like the common cold have too many strains to develop a single vaccine against. The flu mutates at a rate that requires a vaccine to be administered yearly. Some, like HIV which causes AIDS, interact with the body in a way that traditional vaccines cannot work with. Scientist are still working on how COVID-19 works and how the human immune system responds to it. There seems to be no telling as yet how long the research work will take.

However, if COVID-19 cannot be cured, those who have the resources to pull it off will likely continue isolation measures. Those who don’t have the resources and/or whose livelihoods depend on physical work and close contact with people will likely go back to normal life and simply embrace COVID-19 as just another occupational hazard. Ultimately, for both rich and poor, it comes down to when the point of the cost of preventing exposure exceeds the risk of going back to normal living. The poor will get to that point faster but the rich will get there sooner or later just the same. It’s just a matter of time. Unless a vaccine is developed, all roads will lead to COVID-19 becoming just another incurable disease or, like cancer, one that may see decades before a cure or, at least, a way to slow it down is found.

Things will definitely change permanently and Filipinos will need to do something they’ve historically never been good at — prepare for the worst.

18 Replies to “A grim scenario for the Philippines as the COVID-19 pandemic runs its course”

  1. We don’t know what comes next; but the COVID 19 pandemic has exposed the deep inequality of our society…the poor has no choice, but to live with it, to earn their living; the rich are hunkered down inside their mansions, and gated communities.

    However, the CO VID 19 pandemic, is the “great equalizer”…it hits both the poor and the wealthy, in some unknown time, when their “guards” are down…so no matter, how you hunker down in your mansion : the COVID 19 pandemic will ultimately get you…

    There was an isolated tribe, in the middle of the Amazon Jungle in Brazil; where a boy in the tribe got the COVID 19 disease. How can this be ? So, isolation or no isolation; the corona virus will ultimately get you…no matter what you do…

    It seems the corona virus, has a mind of its own…If I can “talk to the corona virus”; I would tell the corona virus : “Please go to infect evil people , to eradicate them all”… the COVID 19 pandemic can eradicate the: corrupt politicians; the greedy oligarchs; the commies; Jose Maria Sison and his bunch of Mafias; the scammers; the fake news media; the political opportunists, the drug dealers; etc…

    Please corona virus; make our world a better place !

  2. Philippines’ elite cocoon themselves in their chi chi gated subdivisions and chauffeur their kids to schools rather than encourage them to take public transport.

    And you benign0 THE TURD have hid yourself in Australia you chi-chi hack. Why don’t YOU take public transport in the Philippines you damn hack.

    What is even the point of this article?!?! NOthing but to bash a country you don’t even live in anymore. Nothing but to put down filipinos who are trying to get by.

    Exposing the inequalities between rich and poor? Why not try having no health insurance in the US!? The Philippines isn’t even the hardest country hit and folks adhere to social distancing as best they can.

    Not everyone can “work from home” in Australia you fucking turd.

    What exact “solution” are you proposing?
    * Prepare for the worst? —> That’s so vague. You might as well be sending thoughts and prayers from Australia, benign0 the turd.

    Everyone here is trying to come together and work together to get thru covid, day by day. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO RUN YOUR FILTHY MOUTH!

    Australia for me but not for thee!

      1. The guy is a nuisance YellowTard…he has gone crazy for fear of the corona virus…someday, somehow, the dreaded corona virus will get him…

      2. @ChinoF
        You are just one of benign0 the TURD’s sheep. A useful idiot along with hyden sextape kho.

        It is noble to fight against BAD IDEAS

        I hear your house has a termite or two. Maybe the exterminator should go there and burn your. house down What that’s a crazy solution? That’s the same thing your commie boss is suggesting!

        Martial law for thee but not for me! right benign0.
        Screw your human rights while I live in AUSTRALIA. Right benign0?!?

        In the end, Celdran did not walk his talk. He is lauded for being “courageous” in publicly — and loudly — expressing his position on a controversial issue. ……..Fortunately for him, he possessed — and wielded the resources he had at his disposal — to opt out of his responsibility………

        Celdran, however, stormed away from that latter one and, in the midst of doing so, threw the baby out with the bath water and, in essence, gave up on the Philippines.

        DOESNT THIS SOUND LIKE YOU BENIGNO?!?!?!!?! Sure is nice to be living in Australia right now!!!

        Maybe you wanna trade places?! I still need to ride the damn jeepney to work….

        1. @Darth M the YellowTard:

          You have gone crazy , because you cannot convince anybody on this blogsite, to accept your opinions…you are nuisance and a clown here…a fool who thinks himself, as wise. What a delusion !

          Sensible people may think, maybe you need some mental illness medications. Visit a Psychiatrist…it may help your mental problems…

          Normal people don’t have a distorted point of view of reality, like you…Shut Up, YellowTard !

        2. @ChinoF

          Only on that one obvious thing, I guess you haven’t realize that it can work both ways! Remember your words in another post, wherein the webmaster, in agreement, seconded?

          “Wait a minute, I was confused about “GRP’s boy,” then I realized it was Bong Revilla.”


          So you’re implying we’re under the employ of Revilla? How stupid. You accuse me of making unverified claims, but you’re the first one to do it. Try harder.”

        3. It is noble to fight against BAD IDEAS

          Fact: the majority of your “ideas” are ridiculous, outrageous, purely political, uber-militant, petty, and useless. If these are “good ideas” for you, then you’re a hopeless cause.

          Fighting against PEOPLE is not noble at all.

          “Ad hominem is for the weak-minded and insecure.”

          As evidenced in your posts.

    1. The point is that everything hinges on a vaccine being developed. The alternative is that Worse and Worst scenario described in the article. I’m hoping there’s a third scenario.

      There is no solution beyond (1) developing a vaccine and (2) sustaining social distancing other than (3) going back to the old “normal” and just accept that people will get infected and some will die. Perhaps under Scenario 3, the only thing that needs to change is a reallocation of as much budget as possible to the healthcare system.

  3. Who cares if there’ll be another virus either both old & new one that would cause a massive outbreak in our country, soon but there’s one disease that doesn’t have an antidote but if there is, that “veerus” is too darn difficult to remove it & it’s been a long problem to our country for many years & centuries much older and even deadlier than COVID-19 and that “veerus” that I’m talking to is known as AIDS… or in its long name: ANTI-DISCIPLINE INFECTIOUS DISEASE SYNDROME. And the main symptom of that “veerus” are 1) being shallow minded, 2) law-breaking acts & doesn’t care about the laws that given to our government, 3) Filipinos are becoming more selfish and Bayanihan is just only a written paper that is easily to forget or to ignore and, 4) Filipino skulls are becoming more unbreakable and much harder than the hardest metal in the world and that is Titanium.

    And you could notice the AIDS of the Filipinos in our country like one incident from a public cemetery in Manila that turns into a cockfight arena even though it is forbidden under a Bayanihan Heal As One Act & we’re still under a strict quarantine & ECQs, and that’s a huge BS!!!

    1. Indeed. Ironic that a society that talks about it a lot cannot practice it and a society where such conventions are unwritten and hardly ever spoken of — like Japan — practices it to a tee.

      1. @benign0
        How would you know benign0 the FOOL. You don’t even live in the Philippines. You can see with a telescope all the way from Australia?!

        Also benign0 the TURD, living in Australia has infected you with FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS. Unfortunately the hot white australian blondes would never go for your 5 foot brown skin ass.

        What a first world problem eh benign0 the FOOL. You know how many died from Covid in the Philippines so far? 350 people
        You know how many have died from the senseless drug war? SEVEN F—IN THOUSAND!

        Since you are bad at math and can’t provide data in even the most basic of articles.
        7000 > 350

        LOL. Maybe you wanna trade places eh benign0? Must be nice to have first world problems. I have to ride my jeepney to work…

        1. @Darth the YellowTard:

          You know , your YellowTard master, Pnoy Aquino, has mental illness of depression , for many years. He has been taking anti depressant medications, since he was young. This mental illness runs in his family…look at his sister: Kris Aquino, and the children of Kris Aquino.

          By intermingling with him; the mental illness may have been transmitted to you…this is the reason, you are behaving erratically in your blogs. You have high sense of superiority; and is very delusional , as if you know it all…you even call yourself :”wise…”

          Professing to be “wise”, you are a damn fool on our sight !

        2. @Darth, it seems you still continue to remain incapable of providing a logical counterargument to anything here other than to speculate on personal circumstances.

          Tsk tsk. This is why the Yellowtards lost an entire nation — because their inability to think finally came across and was laid bare for all to behold.

      2. Darth should be isolated or quarantined inside the Mental Hospital or NCMH in Mandaluyong City & he have a severe symptoms of AIDS [ANTI-DISCIPLINE INFECTIOUS DISEASE SYNDROME].

        And speaking of Mental Hospital there, there’s a news recently that some of Mental health patients & NCMH personnel are having a COVID-19 cases: https://news.mb.com.ph/2020/04/13/520-ncmh-personnel-unable-to-report-for-duty-due-to-covid-19-symptoms/

        Maybe @Darth should give that disease as well & as what I’d posted it before on what would happen if he got that “veerus” besides AIDS. Would he blame Benign0, Pres. Duterte & China for getting that “veerus”? I hope he’ll die on that one peacefully. ?

  4. Dispersal doesn’t sound good for the current business model. Something’s got to give. No such thing as insulation in the social impact.

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