Damned if you reopen, damned if you don’t

damned if you reopen, damned if you don't - picture of the fish section of the public market in kalibo, aklan, philippines

The ‘Rona is a catch-22 situation, isn’t it?

Above is a picture from the public market in Kalibo, the provincial capital of Aklan. You can see masks on people in the wet section. Masks are common in this part of the Philippines. It is uncommon to see someone without a mask in a public place like a shopping area.

With more than 1,300 deaths in the Philippines so far, there has been debate about the various quarantines around this island nation, and whether leaders should ‘reopen’ the entire economy.

Damned if you reopen, damned if you don’t

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte says his country is not ready to try to fully reopen. He sited countries with disastrous results, which of course included the United States of America.

“If we open the entire Philippines and thousands upon thousands of new cases would happen, then we are in deep s—t. Talagang mahirapan tayo. Unang-una, wala tayong pera (First of all, we don’t have the funds),” he is quoted as saying in a news report.

Tayong pobre (Poor countries like ours), we cannot afford really a total epidemic or pandemonium. Mahirap tayo. Di ta puwede sumugal. (We are poor. We cannot take risks.) I cannot follow the example of other countries,” Duterte said.

But here is my favorite quote in the report: “Governance is not made of guesses. It has to be anchored on pure science.”

Outsiders may say what they will about Duterte’s hard-line stance on many issues, and I’ll reserve my opinions on those issues since I am simply a visitor in this country. But I will say this: the man is smart to be guided by science and truth.

“Governance is not made of guesses. It has to be anchored on pure science.”

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte

Poor in money, rich in resources

Yes, the Philippines is a poor country. As we’ve written, some people – like the Ati – don’t have electricity or easy access to clean drinking water. Former white-collar workers and tourism industry professionals are now fishing for the first time in their lives in order to eat. People have gone back to gardening.

No one has income here in Malay, Aklan, on Panay Island, if the income was formerly tied to the tourism on nearby Boracay Island. Taxi-trike drivers on he mainland have far fewer customers; restaurant owners are forced to operate under limited capacity; and the rest. You get the idea.

If there is any bright spot, in semi-rural areas like ours, the sea still has some fish to feed people, although locals tell me 10 years ago the sea had easy abundance with huge fish just offshore. These days, communities cast huge nets further to net meager returns, comparatively. But usually something small is caught.

Here, there are mango and coconut trees all over the place. And a little rice goes a long way.

American food lines

Here in the Philippines, even with Google News set to U.S. reports, I hadn’t seen any news about the American food lines that initially shocked the world back in April as the ‘Rona fired up. Nothing on Twitter, nothing in the various other news sources I can see without a paid subscription. So I searched Google News to see what would pop up.

I was stunned.

It seems most local news sources – whatever is left of local newspapers and television – have been reporting consistently on the food crisis that grips America now. I saw several accounts of the problem each day going back several weeks from all over the country. But, from what I can see over here, this important American food crisis story gets little play from coastal elite media.

Food scarcity is the stuff that usually comes from developing nations. What a role reversal. What a flip. It’s the stuff revolutions are built on.

All as the Media Master continues with his dastardly distractions.

May God help America.

Thanks for reading, “Damned if you reopen, damned if you don’t.”

Earth Vagabonds advocate for travel when borders reopen.

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1 thought on “Damned if you reopen, damned if you don’t”

  1. Hi guys,
    Just giving you some eyes from the USA- I think you are getting some very slanted info. There was a brief run on the grocery stores in the States for a few days back in March where you had to go with choice #2 or 3 to fill your cart but other than that the biggest inconvenience has been limits on stocking up. In Ohio I just bought nice T-bone steaks for The 4th, split chicken breasts at 220 pesos/kilo, ground turkey at 185 pesos/kilo, etc. Some craziness happened where pork was scarce for a week or so but all one had to do was switch to the next item in the cooler. I am sure some folks in densely populated areas had to deal with lines or empty shelves causing them to drive to another store, but I guarantee nobody got skinny here over this. As far as CV or reopening being a disaster, I have yet to know a single person who has actually been stricken with the virus. Not one. And I have been out in public working since the day I returned to America in March. And I meet and talk to many hundreds of people. Keep up the good work over there!

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