Bayanihan: Public encouraged to provide face mask to delivery riders who can’t afford one

April 5, 2021 - 6:00 PM
A food delivery rider wearing a face mask prepares orders at a restaurant amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Quezon City, Metro Manila, Philippines, July 8, 2020. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)

The reality that not everyone can purchase face masks for daily use amid the COVID-19 pandemic was highlighted as among the struggles faced by delivery riders who are part of the country’s economic frontliners.

Dr. Mahar Lagmay, executive director of the University of the Philippines Resilience Institute, shared a Facebook post encouraging Filipinos to hand out extra face masks to the riders if they see that they don’t have one.

“Saw this and thought it would help a lot,” he wrote on Twitter.

Lagmay’s post was accompanied by the Facebook screengrab which calls for Filipinos, particularly those who have frequent deliveries, to be more compassionate to the riders.

“If you frequent delivery services, you will notice that most of the delivery guys don’t wear masks, they just use those thin bandanas wrapped around their faces. If you have an extra mask, please do give them, iba ‘yung liwanag ng face nila everytime they receive one, at sinusuot nila agad,” the post reads.

“Takot rin sila sa virus but wala silang choice kundi kumayod. Not everyone has the capacity to buy a mask regularly. Who knows, you could’ve prevented a virus spread by doing this small act. Also, we can send them off with a silent short prayer,” it continued.

“May we all be compassionate towards one another especially in these challenging times,” the post further said.

A face mask is considered one of the essentials in the COVID-19 pandemic since it minimizes the risk of acquiring the virus which can be spread through respiratory droplets and aerosol particles.

Nowadays, “double masking” has been recommended by a health official amid the case surge attributed to the new variants.

Meanwhile, Filipinos who read the Facebook post through Lagmay’s tweet expressed their appreciation of the suggestion. Others gave some tips on how to ease delivery riders’ daily grind.

“Also add some extra tip,” another Twitter user wrote in response to the Facebook post.

“Also offer water, too. It’s so hot nowadays, tapos balot na balot pa sila!” added a different online user.

The same suggestion was shared by indie musician Bullet Dumas last year, who posted a screengrab of an Instagram Story encouraging people to provide water to delivery riders amid the heat.

At that time, the country was in its “hot dry season” which pertains to an increase in temperature and heat index levels.

Delivery riders are considered authorized persons outside residence (APOR) who are exempted from curfew and travel restrictions in areas under hard lockdown.

They are considered among the country’s economic frontliners since they ensure that goods still make its way to people without the need for them to go out of their house and be at risk of COVID-19 exposure.