Singer Lea Salonga took to social media to lament the current situation of workers who have been adversely affected by the implementation of the Luzon-wide quarantine due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the country.
In a lengthy post on Facebook on Tuesday, March 17, "The Voice Teens" coach and Broadway star said that the enhanced community quarantine, which has forced thousands of Filipino families, including hers, to stay at home, has given her "lots and lots of time for thinking."
The 49-year-old singer went on to reveal that a cousin of hers who is based in Los Angeles, California, tested positive for COVID-19. Due to pneumonia, he had to be "intubated and sedated to help him get some rest, antivirals administered." He has since recovered, she said, "enough to be released and seems to be doing fine, if having a little difficulty breathing."
"He's one of the most robust people I know, and yet he caught it," Lea added.
Given the recoveries, including her cousin's, as well as those who can afford to stay at home during the lockdown period, Lea thinks that "there will be a segment of our population that will fare just fine".
"But majority of our countrymen? I honestly don’t know," she wrote.
"It’s easy for many of us to flippantly recommend staying at home, but how do we recommend that to a daily wage earner? To someone that can’t see their families because of the lockdown? To people that are with their families, but are now unable to provide for them?" she added.
Under the Luzon-wide quarantine, many individuals who are required to report for work and rely on their daily earnings—including frontline health workers and minimum wage earners—are forced to head out and commute even if the mass transportation was suspended on Tuesday, March 17.
"What do we do? Point fingers? Blame the government for its delays in taking action? Blame the folks that insist on going out when they’ve already been told to stay at home? How do we recommend social distancing to people whose homes are inches away from each other? What then? Can anyone answer these questions?," she added.
Lea admitted that that the COVID-19 pandemic and its widespread effects have taken a toll on her mental health, saying, "I’m trying to keep myself smiling and positive, posting things with a tinge of humor, if only to keep myself from getting sad and angry. Also trying to post things that are factual, and avoiding any unnecessary noise. This is literally keeping me up at night, and I know it’s not healthy, but there it is.
"Kudos to everyone that have been providing funds... food... support... protective devices... funny videos and memes... music... workouts... prayers... mental health checks... whatever it takes to keep everyone’s spirits up. Thank you."
Still, Lea ended on a positive note and said she looks forward to the day that "this virus [finally] becomes insignificant and inconsequential".
"Now, whatever we gotta do to beat this thing, let’s beat this thing. Let’s keep our wits about us... our heads screwed on straight... we have to beat this thing," she said.