CHINA CONSTRUCTS | Louise Nichole Logarta
After the IATF gave the go-ahead for minors to be able to go out regardless of whether they are vaccinated or not, pictures of throngs of children with their parents started popping up on Facebook. Despite the steadily dropping number of cases in NCR, my first thought was that the sheer amount of people – children – crowding in one place threatens to get those numbers up again.
Some of my friends are parents already. One of my best friends is mother to a one-year-old with another one along the way. Her opinion on the phenomenon, I believe, echoes other, more cautious parents’ concerns: “‘Di ba sila natatakot ma-expose mga anak nila? ‘Cause I am super scared for [my son] since wala pa siyang bakuna, di’ba.” Because remember, the government hasn’t authorized children 12 and under to get Covid19 vaccines.
This pandemic, which has been going on for nearly two years, has been proven to be a source of depression and other negative effects on mental health of families who have cooped themselves up. So some families who have been raring to get out of the house for a change jumped at the chance when the government gave the word.
Of course, taking care of your children is a non-negotiable point. It’s the family’s (parents’) responsibility to protect and nurture the child, but where’s the balance? Is there a balance at all? Not to mention the debate of allowing parents to parent the way they see fit versus the greater good – AKA staying at home to contribute to keeping the Covid cases low.
Is there a point at which a parent can ascertain that their kids won’t get infected in enclosed spaces (like malls), given that their kids have no layer of protection via vaccines? Especially with Christmas just around the corner, how sound is allowing children more freedom? Christmas spells out reunions, holiday sales in public spaces, attending Church services for the religious.
Personally, I think the government should get to studying vaccinations for children, if they are to succeed in keeping Covid cases low. To me, this is infinitely preferable to greenlighting mall trips for kids unprotected from Covid19.