People in Cebu have been using markers like hula hoops, chalk, and tires as distancing measures.
Image: Cebu City Market Operations Division Facebook Page
COVID-19 numbers continue to spike up in Cebu with around 1,000 confirmed cases as of writing. To prevent further local transmission, the local government deployed mobile markets in various barangays, disinfected Cebu wet markets after store hours, and even inspected local vendors. But these initiatives will not be fully effective unless people practice proper social distancing. Since the coronavirus spreads from person to person, reducing close contact with each other is necessary. Keeping your distance will prevent you from acquiring small liquid particles whenever someone coughs or sneezes.
For proper social distancing, health experts around the world have suggested that people maintain a distance of at least one meter between each other. Some people are not able to approximate distances, making this a challenge. In Cebu, this is addressed in creative ways. To make social distancing easier among market-goers and merchants, barangay officials and other essential workers turned to various solutions to make shopping in Cebu wet markets, grocery stores, and mobile shops safe.
In some barangays, officials use chalk and charcoal markers on public market floors and mobile market queues to indicate the proper distance between shoppers. While waiting in line, people are asked to stay within the drawn circles. These graphic cues have become helpful in instructing shoppers and have maintained order in markets.
Some barangays make social distancing creative by putting hula hoops and unused tires on the streets to indicate distances. Despite the ongoing crisis, these eye-catching cues leave a smile on everyone’s faces.
Standing in line and waiting for one’s turn can be exhausting. And since markets have limited the entry of shoppers, most now have to wait outside for an extended time. To address this and to promote social distancing, some markets prepare chairs arranged within the prescribed distance so shoppers can rest while in queue.
In addition to these simple but creative measures, social distancing teams are also deployed in key areas to make sure that people are following protocols during the enhanced community quarantine. Nevertheless, discipline should also start within the community—with or without these cues. While there is still no cure for COVID-19, people should always make distancing a habit to prevent acquiring and spreading the disease, whether it’s in a Cebu market or in other public areas.
Go to Yoorekka for more useful local information during this pandemic.
About Shanice Reyes
Shanice Reyes writes to buy herself good coffee and bike parts. When she's not writing, you can find her playing Ultimate Frisbee, traveling to new places, or hanging out with her dogs and tarantulas. Though she has an irrational fear of heights, she'd love to try sky-diving one day.
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