It’s both absurd and disheartening to see various representations of the huge gulf between the haves and have-nots on my side of the world. While the poorest of the poor are already going hungry and the dangerously diminishing middle class are rationing their supplies for the lockdown, unsure about the food situation in the coming weeks, well-off Filipinos broke quarantine and form long car queues in different places at the metropolis just to get their coffee fix. Yes, just to buy coffee! Starbucks decided to open its doors (selected stores, mostly the posh ones) a couple of days ago since shutting down for the lockdown mid-March. It’s obviously an ill-conceived move, the global coffee chain decided to put their local operations on pause once again.
While poor men and women were openly castigated and threatened bodily harm by local village officials for going out of their homes even for the purposes of buying essentials like food and medicine, it’s clear to see quarantine rules are different for the rich who can roam the metropolis unimpeded and unmolested by authorities.
Poor folks on foot or tricycles: “We’re going out to buy food for our family.”
Village watchmen with truncheons drawn: “Where are your QUARANTINE PASSES? Do you really have to go out? STAY in your homes!”
Rich dudes and dudettes in fancy cars/SUVs: “Boss, we’re just gonna buy coffee. Starbucks is open, you know? We’ll be back in a jiffy.”
Meek as lambs village watchmen: “SIR, YES SIR! Take your time.”