Are you curious to know what the pandemic situation is like for your Virtual Elves VA?
During the start of the pandemic the Philippines was forced into, arguably, one of the world’s longest and strictest lockdowns, with 53.3 million people having to stay at home under an Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) – the strictest quarantine category, with 100% of the population required to stay at home. Since a lot of people were unable to go out for work, financial assistance was given to 18 million low-income households that were eligible for cash aid under the emergency subsidy program (ESP).
Local Government Units (LGUs) also tapped from their emergency funds in order to distribute aid in the form of goods and supplies to their constituents. Some LGUs who had more to spare, sent rice, canned goods, and fresh vegetables, plus cash aid on a regular basis while some LGUs who had limited resources sent food aid.
The situation has markedly lightened up, due in part to the availability of Covid-19 vaccines. The first batch of Covid-19 vaccines arrived in the Philippines on February 28, 2021. The following day, the government kicked off its vaccination program . Because of the limited supply, priority groups such as frontline workers, senior citizens, and persons with comorbidities were vaccinated first.
“5,180,721” – Total vaccine doses administered as of writing
What this means for your Virtual Assistant
Restrictions have been lifted and most parts of the country is under General Community Quarantine (GCQ) – which means that small gatherings (max 10 people), local and inter-island travel is now possible. Movement goes back to “new normal” under GCQ rules. Health protocols such as physical distancing, face shield and face mask wearing will still be enforced.
Establishments that are essential to your Filipino Virtual Assistant, such as supermarkets, banks, and other service providers (such as telecoms) are open. This means your VA is free to go for a “supplies run” or make transactions with service providers. Physical classes have yet to resume, so students take online classes. This means VAs with kids will still be sharing their home workspace and internet bandwidth with the kids.
Lastly, eligible VAs can now register to get vaccinated under their LGUs vaccine registration page or the Philippine Red Cross Moderna Vaccination Program. Please encourage your VA to do so as soon as they are able. You could even offer a paid leave on the day they are scheduled to get vaccinated.
This is what the “new normal” looks like for your VA. Things may be going slowly in that part of the world, but with luck and prayer we’re all going to get there.
Stay safe but not busy!