Nothing beats Christmas in the Philippines but Christmas amid pandemic in the Philippines might just be something new. Hopefully if it had to break a Guinness world record, it is not about COVID-19.
Top Inter-Agency Task Force or IATF fears that allowing parties this coming holidays might just result to a spike in cases of COVID-19. Eduardo Ano, the Interior Secretary of Inter-Agency Task Force said as much and even worded it as that ‘Philippines is not ready to celebrate Christmas parties’. What about COVID-free places like Batanes?
Apparently, IATF and Metro Manila Mayors are already in meetings discussing the response protocols on dealing with the upcoming Christmas season but we can only applaud them for allowing Christmas and thinking of ways to keep everyone safe in this time of pandemic.
Christmas shopping and mall-wide sales are allowed because of the safety protocols and strict health measures practiced inside the malls. Malls even encourage person limit inside shops, social distancing and one-way direction each side.
Christmas is not cancelled, but safety precautions should be practiced.
Among the things the Metro Manila Mayors have discussed is the easing of curfews on December to make way for Simbang Gabi. This is to make ample time for more masses and to avoid over crowding of attendees in one mass.
However, if last year’s Christmas rush was hectic enough, it is encouraged to do your shopping as early as possible to avoid overcrowding and long lines outside the shops. There is online shopping which can be done from the safety of your homes, just watch out for big sales.
There has been no news yet as for the transportation services if they will be extending hours during Christmas season but it is best to keep checking for announcements or to just avoid traveling to places for a while until a vaccine for COVID-19 has been released.
Introverts may not have problems in distancing themselves for such safety reasons but the other type of people may just find Christmas this year a little bit colder.