Social (status) distancing? Filipinos seek laughs via lockdown memes

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With limited things to do at home, some Filipinos have been coping with the Covid-19 lockdown through memes that deliver strong messages to authorities supposedly leading the health fight. Image: Rappler

By Rappler

Filipinos on lockdown have sought comic relief online through various memes and social media posts related to the uncomfortable experience of being quarantined for a week – and counting.

Malacañang placed Luzon under lockdown last Tuesday, March 17. This meant the suspension of public transportation, implementation curfews in some areas, and the restriction of movement outside of people’s homes.

The lockdown has forced people inside their homes for at least a month – an experience both unprecendented and sudden for many Filipinos.

READ MORE: Philippines Covid-19 infection toll tops 501, deaths 33

With limited things to do at home, some Filipinos have coped with their current situation through memes that deliver strong messages to authorities supposedly leading the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

These memes have highlighted how a number of politicians and their relatives sought special treatment to get tested for coronavirus first at a time when medical frontliners are overwhelmed with backlogs and a surge of patients.

Other memes reacted to how President Rodrigo Duterte is handling the coronavirus outbreak, evidently prioritising military measures instead of health-oriented solutions.

In a petition released on Friday, the group Scientists Unite Against COVID-19 called on the national government to start mass testing for coronavirus. This call was echoed by an online petition on Change.Org calling for urgent action, including mandatory mass testing nationwide, to address the outbreak.

Instead of ordering mass testing, President Rodrigo Duterte will be asking Congress to declare a “national emergency” and grant him emergency powers “necessary” to address the growing number of novel coronavirus cases in the Philippines.

The reality is, for many Filipinos especially those who follow the “no work, no pay” policy, working from home is not even an option.

 

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