It's been half a year since the government first put the country under quarantine. It's getting a little more challenging to be cooped up at home. It would be nice to spend some time at a park, provided that people follow health protocols, of course.
As a parent, I'm itching to take my teenage son out, but I am also pregnant. So I'm not sure if there's a place we can visit that's safe, preferably outdoors.
The need presented itself when I needed to go to the mall to have my old phone fixed. If they didn't let me in, then I'd stay in the car and let my husband accomplish the task. But they did.
There was a waiting time for the phone to get fixed, so we were back to our car to rest, when a roving guard went up to me and asked me if I had a medical appointment.
I told her I was just there to have my phone fixed. I was not "malling." She said police might see me. So then I retorted, "Huhulihin ba ako ng pulis?" But I took a breath and politely explained I was going back to our car and was only there to wait for my phone to get fixed.
Currently, Metro Manila is under general community quarantine (GCQ) until the end of September 2020. The rest of the country is under modified general community quarantine (MGCQ). It's more relaxed than the previous two classifications: enhanced community quarantine and modified enhanced community quarantine.
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Originally, everyone was initially allowed to go out under the original MGCQ guidelines. But the government changed it four days after most of the Philippines was placed under MGCQ.
"In Resolution No. 43, it remains that youths aged 21 years old and below, seniors 60 years old and above, can't go out subject to exception of necessities and to work," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in Filipino during a press briefing last on June 4.
Kids, pregnant women, and the elderly can only go out for work and obtain essential goods and services, including going out for medical checkups. Even though restaurants are open for dine-in but with reduced capacity, it's still not an option for families with younger kids or for pregnant women.
This rule is the reason some establishments do not accommodate kids or pregnant women. But when I was at the mall, I saw a lot of seniors walking around and pregnant women buying baby essentials at the department store. My assumption: They had errands that no one else could accomplish on their behalf. But there were no kids in sight.