The government has finally issued a new response to the pandemic and, no, it’s not an improved mass testing and contact tracing plan but a COVID-19 mascot.
Earlier today, GMA News reported that the infamous Mr. COVID made rounds in the San Pablo Public Market in Laguna. And like every famous personality, Mr. COVID was accompanied by security and paraded around town on a police pickup.
“CORONA LUMAYO KA”: COVID-19 mascot, pinarada sa San Pablo, Laguna!
Nakunan ni YouScooper Ruby ang pagparada kahapon ng lokal na pamahalaan ng San Pablo sa isang COVID-19 mascot. Makikitang may bantay itong pulis habang naglalakad sa paligid ng San Pablo Public Market. pic.twitter.com/HP901SHyiL
— GMA News (@gmanews) August 20, 2020
Mr. COVID was formally introduced to the public by San Pablo Laguna’s local government unit (LGU) on Aug. 15. The mascot made its debut through a dance number (which was poorly rated by a professional dancer, jsyk) presented in front of the National Task Force Against COVID-19 and the Coordinated Operations to Defeat Epidemic Team. And it gets weirder: The performance aimed to demonstrate the LGU’s latest COVID-19 initiative—a “distancing stick” that supposedly encourages their citizens to practice physical distancing in public.
This year saw a number of debuts, from JYP Entertainment’s new Japanese girl group NiziU to YG Entertainment’s latest boy group Treasure, but I never expected a COVID-19 mascot to join the club. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not stanning Mr. COVID. I get that Mr. COVID was an effort to encourage people to practice safety measures to combat the virus, but LGUs should be prioritizing local testing centers and accurate testing units instead.
The Department of Health reported that the country has a total of 173, 774 COVID-19 cases as of Aug. 19 and the World Health Organization already hinted that countries shouldn’t just rely on a vaccine to contain the virus. Moreover, a mascot is the last thing we need right now so if you ask me, I’ll be sticking to calling for an accurate and comprehensive mass testing and contact tracing plan, tyvm.
Art by Tricia Guevera
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