"This is part of the new normal."
Keeping one's self healthy in the recently minted term “new normal” should be everyone's top priority.
As some areas are easing or lifting restrictions and slowly lifting stay-at-home orders, although there are still many others under General Community Quarantine, we ask the question: what will indeed this new normal be?
Workers and non-workers, in whatever gathering with other people under the new normal raised by the coronavirus pandemic, must learn to accept the wearing of face masks as a safety net.
This is being respectful and considerate of others, at the same time being protective of one's self in a crowd, given that the virus, which has infected nearly 39,000 and killed at least 1,274 in the Philippines—and the numbers are rising despite imposed protocols and restrictions—is asymptomatic.
Worldwide, there are to date nearly 11 million infections, almost 516,500 deaths, and more than 5.4 million recoveries.
Before the coronavirus pandemic whipped itself out of Wuhan, China and charged to every direction including the Philippines, millions of workers unconsciously did not realize that some 93 percent of them lived in countries with the same sort of workplace closures.
They may not have considered, but understandably, how close they were standing, walking or sitting with other people in a crowd—and no face masks were a daily part of the work luggage.
In the new normal, we must beware of what authorities describe as the three Cs: Crowded places, with many people nearby; Close-contact settings, especially where people have close-range conversations; and Confined and enclosed spaces, with poor ventilation.
Where we can't avoid crowds, and until a safe coronavirus vaccine is available, we agree with health experts that there will continue to be the risk of infection, as people get back, slowly, to work, school and a more normal life.
How “normal” will the new normal be? Meanwhile, we note how we, individually and collectively, can protect ourselves as the country of 110 million slowly goes down from the level of a lockdown imposed in mid March.
Wearing masks is for any person's protection and to protect vulnerable populations.