Elderly Volunteers in Covid19-hit village adopting own lockdown scheme to protect residents

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DAVAO CITY — A village in Catalunan Grande here identified by health authorities as among the Covid19-hit areas has adopted its own scheme to protect the residents from the spread of the dreaded virus — an improvised checkpoint installed with volunteers on-duty.

The village is just at the back of the barangay hall and the barangay health center. Two “Checkpoints” are established with 12 volunteers, the majority are elderly because they cannot get young ones. The elderly performs the tasks of spending three hours a day.

They are not mindful of their age vulnerability, to them guarding the village is protection for their own families.

Moreover, the villagers are aware that two of their neighbors have died due to coronavirus infection while their families were also isolated.

Aware of the status of their village as confirmed by the Department of Health, the homeowners association passed a resolution not to allow non-residents to enter their area and service delivery on goods are required to specify their client considering allowable limited time to enter the area.

Meantime, the city government has announced a number of streets and subdivisions locked due to virus infection during the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) stage and, is still in place as the city lowered the quarantine to General Community Quarantine (GCQ). However, residents in the said village are not taking things for granted for their own safety.

Newsline interviewed an elderly taking charge the checkpoint.

A Covid-19 hit village makes an improvized “checkpoint” to protect the residents from coronavirus infection. The majority of those taking charge of the area are elderly because young they cannot get much from the younger generation.

Newsline: Kinsay nagabantay sa inyoha (who among you is [on-duty]?

Volunteer: Pulipuli lang ni naa mi oras, oras nga gina kuan (We are on rotation, we have schedules, a schedule like..)

N: Ikaw karon ? (Your turn now?)

V: Karon pa ko sa alas 9:00, dapat alas sais naa ( My turn is at 9:00, someone should at 6:00 am . . . )

N: Gi-ingnan mo nga gi lockdown mo? (Were you told that you are on lockdown?)

V: Di amo lang gud kuan , basig sa ikaduhang balik ba, nanggawas na baya ang ga trabahante (No, just our volition, there might be the second wave, workers are going out already)

N: Kabalo mo nga naay nagpositive diri (Are you aware that there are positive(s) here?)

V: OO! (Yes)

N: pila kabouk namatay diri? (How many died here?)

V: Duha , tong isang adlaw taga gawas ba, naa iyang mama taga diri , unya gikan daw siya sa Agdao, karon gipangayuan sa among president og papeles ana sya . . . gipakita niya, naay certification didto nga asymptomatic siya , mao to gi-ingnan sa among president nga diha lang ka sa imong mama ayaw pag-gawasgawas kay ugma ipakuha ka namu sa DOH or sa barangay ba.

(Two, the other day . . . was an outsider, her mother is a resident here, she is from Agdao. Then, our president asked for papers, she showed a certification that she is asymptomatic, then, our president told her that she stays with her mother, but should not loiter outside until the next day because we will ask the DOH or the barangay to take her out of the village)

N: pero gi-ingnan mo sa DOH nga naay nagpositive diri? (Were you informed by DOH that you have a positive here?)

V: OO aware ang among president kay (Yes, our president is [also] aware because . . .)

N: Pero ang mga tawo nakabalo (Does the resident know?)

V: O, kabalo sila (Yes, they are aware)

N: Pero naa lang gihapon manggawas (But, are they still frequenting outside?)

V: O, naa lang gihapon manggawas mam kay kabalo ka sa mga tao nga naa may makasabot naa poy di kasabot; katong makasabot di, among kuanon, katong uban nga modeliver diri . . . kung taga South Villa ilang i-deliver makasulod sila (Yes, there are still those who go outside, there are those who understand while some don’t; those who understand, we just . . . There are delivery services, if delivery is towards South Villa, they are allowed to enter.)

The elderly according to her, decided to close it aside from protecting themselves from infection, they are not allowing the motorist to divert their route to shorten their travel to the main highway during peak hours.

The elderly according to her, decided to close it aside from protecting themselves from infection, they are not allowing the motorist to divert their route to shorten their travel to the main highway during peak hours.

A driver who fetch a worker from the village shows his identification card to the “checkpoint” to gain access.-NewsLine photo

Another elderly volunteer Bernardo Alcachopas, 61 said no one informed them that they will institute a lockdown but he knows they have three positive, “Duha ang namatay sa Covid-19, usa ang ni-survive katong gikan sa sabongan sa Matina gallera (Two have already died due to Covid-19, one survived, the one who went to the cockpit in Matina Gallera).

Aside from the barrier and their physical presence, their only way to check the incoming entrants is the food and Medicine (FM) Pass which reflects the name of their village though everyone is familiar with each other.

Based on the narration of Timugan and Alcachopas, they know who died and who survived but were never told to impose a lockdown.

No request nor order was given by the LGU, but they must protect their families against coronavirus infection and they know they need to face it as a community.-Editha Z. Caduaya

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