What about seniors who live by themselves?

Posted by watchmen
March 25, 2020
Posted in OPINION
With Presidential Assistant for the Visayas Michael Dino issuing an advisory last weekend imposing a 24-hour curfew for senior citizens, prohibiting them from leaving home except in cases of medical emergency and routine medical procedures for chronic illnesses, what about senior citizen who live on their own? What about senior couples whose kids live elsewhere or overseas? There are many who are unable to just have somebody run out and acquire their daily needs for them.
While it is true that the elderly are more vulnerable to the coronavirus disease, or Covid-19, there are also many seniors who do not have a family member or close (younger) friend to rely on-they don’t live on pills and maintenance medication.
An overall curfew is important to stem the spread of the virus and it is crucial that, as much as possible, people should stay home but  some mobility provided for seniors who do not have the convenience of sending somebody off on an errand.
In the United States (during normal days without a global pandemic), a bus used to drive around my apartment complex picking up senior citizens, particularly those who were wheelchair-bound, and take them to the local supermarket once a week in order for them to both stock up their refrigerator and eliminate the need for them to leave their home as often.
In South Korea (and, likely, many other countries), there are community organizations that gather goods from nearby markets and delivers them to local seniors who live by themselves. The practice unites the community, provides elderly singles with much-needed convenience, and is a straight-up showing of good will.
Meanwhile, Item #7 of the advisory reads: “The Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines [are] to render full assistance to local government units in the implementation of the respective ordinance in relation to the foregoing advisory.” Does that mean senior citizens face arrest if they go out on their own to buy basic items such as rice, water, or poultry? Additionally, the military will also be deployed to assist the local government?
While the advisory was probably issued with good intentions, it is clearly written from the perspective of one with an assumption that everybody has someone who can take care of their needs for them-whether it be a family member or a maid. Unfortunately, not everybody is afforded such convenience and the advisory completely neglects to address the issue of seniors who do not have such means.
Does it help the situation at all if seniors are detained at local police stations for the “crime” of needing to go out and buy the ingredients to cook a meal? /WDJ

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