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Wisdom > Opinion

Don’t be a white knight by offering rides to people

Unless you have official clearance from the authorities

When government tells us to stay off the road, that is exactly what we need to do. Obey for once. PHOTO FROM PIXABAY

One of the main challenges confronting many people right now as we start the newly imposed enhanced community quarantine in Luzon is the suspension of public transportation. That’s not a problem for those who can afford to stay or work at home, but it is a huge one for some of us who are still required to do their job outside—like healthcare workers or employees of establishments that provide basic services.

Already, there have been cries for help on social media from individuals who have no reasonable way of reaching their workplace in a convenient and safe manner. And most of us who read these desperate pleas from the comfort of our bedroom are naturally moved to try and do something about it—especially when it seems our own government is powerless to lend a hand.

And so I’ve been seeing well-intentioned calls in private chat groups to go out there and give rides to those who genuinely need one, including sick patients who need to be taken to hospitals. Just the desire to do this is laudable. I tip my worn hat to these folks.

But.

Doing this on your own is wrong. You cannot play superhero and attempt to save others in distress in a situation like this. There is a very clear order from the President to stay inside the house. I don’t care if you don’t like Rodrigo Duterte’s politics—or even the way he pronounces “virus”—but we all need to comply. Anything short of our full cooperation and this fight against the coronavirus is pointless. Unless you get official clearance from the proper authorities, you have no business giving rides to people.

We cannot all be tested, and so it is impossible to know who among us are already infected

Here’s the trouble if you insist on doing this without legitimate authorization: You don’t even know if you yourself already have COVID-19. The virus could be well inside of you as you’re reading this now. Just because you’re not exhibiting any of the symptoms doesn’t automatically mean you don’t have the virus. Which is why we’re all being asked to refrain from going out, so that those of us who already have the virus do not pass it around. We cannot all be tested, and so it is impossible to know who among us are infected. And if you are cluelessly infected and you decide to go white-knighting with your car, you’re putting others in danger. The very individuals you’re trying to help will, in fact, have a greater risk of contracting the disease. Conversely, you have no idea if those guys are virus carriers.

So, please: STAY PUT. Huwag pabida. The authorities will figure things out. We have to trust and obey them. Otherwise, what are we doing this for? Let’s just all go back to normal like there’s no pandemic in our midst.



Vernon B. Sarne

Vernon is the founder and editor-in-chief of VISOR. He has been an automotive journalist for 24 years. He became one by serendipity, walking into the office of a small publishing company and applying for a position he had no idea was for a local car magazine. The rest, as they say, is rock and roll. He writes the column ‘Spoiler’.



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