Lolo (Grandpa) Mario, 64, Punta, Sta. Ana, Manila, The Philippines

Lolo Mario lives with his wife, their three sons and daughters, and their four grandchildren. He works as a UV Express driver (public utility vehicle).

“For now, I’m enjoying the moment with my family. Unlike before when I had limited time, I now spend time bonding with them, including my grandchildren.”

“Our income is greatly affected, we had to stop working. I know that this measure helps to prevent COVID-19, but unlike before, now we cannot buy what we want to eat. We have to be flexible, and almost every day we only eat vegetables.”

“I’m thankful because I was able to save some money from my income, so at least we still have supplies, but I’m not sure if we can survive until the end of March. We haven’t received any assistance from the government, though they said that they are preparing it.”

“I’m also afraid because this is not just an ordinary disease. It's alarming how fast it spreads. If confirmed cases continue to increase, the community quarantine might be extended, and that’s frightening because people won't have any source of income.”

“I hope what happened during martial law (the time of late President Marcos) will not happen again, where people broke into the supermarkets owned by the government as they had nothing to eat.”

“To lessen my worries, I sincerely pray. If bored, I watch news and films, and of course I bond with my family”.

"I would like to recommend the following:

  • Intensify the implementation of community quarantine at the Barangay [village] level to contain the spread of the virus.
  • The national government should pay attention to those who lost their jobs, especially those living in poorer areas. Provide them with enough supplies to avoid chaos and the possibility of looting.
  • The government should implement mass testing to ensure those who manifest COVID-19 symptoms are examined and avoid others to be infected.
  • To all senior citizens: we are prone to this illness. We need to pray, stay at home and be healthy all the time."

Read more COVID-19: stories from older people

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