Netflix Would, Probably, Thank the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has crushed many businesses here and abroad. Its effect has been inevitable that business leaders have to find their means and ways to survive. And yes, it can be a matter of survival for all those that hold on to their grounds to beat the odds. While numerous corporations are worrying about the negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, some companies like Netflix Inc. confidently stand to play their games.

The presence of Netflix Inc. in the United States and other countries around the world, for instance, allows its users to enjoy watching various films. Through streaming online, Netflix subscribers will enjoy their days and nights twenty-four-seven for the whole month or so due to the stay-at-home policies and travel restrictions. As a result, many of them do not have choices but to stay with the family members at home and watch Netflix shows.

As well, the pandemic compels people to follow the government rulebooks to maintain social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home policies. This crisis compels people to stay indoors forgetting their jobs in brick-and-mortar institutions. Based on the mandates of the local and national governments, many people cannot go to school, watch field sports, shop with people, and go to church. They cannot even go to the fitness centers. This status quo tends to limit them to go outside forcing them to find ways to get entertained. In effect, Netflix streaming services fast-tracked and went up to the exciting figure jumping to 32% in March (Swartz, 2020). The company found itself in the cloud nine as it experienced sudden jump of growth since March. This favorable outcome, as observed, would tell how Netflix Inc. has soared its figures and numbers at present.

Despite the growth of Netflix in the market this pandemic, Netflix Chief Executive Reed Hastings still worries about the present market. He mentions that competitors like Walt Disney Co., Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., and others are also working hard to maintain their positions and ranks in the market. These companies will not allow to lose without a close fight in the tough market competition.

However, Hastings accentuates that Netflix will gain benefits in the future. Subscribers and users of Netflix Inc. will still stream their movies and other shows online since the COVID-19 pandemic fails to show any sign of departure in the war on health.

To mention, Netflix Inc. would probably thank the COVID-19 pandemic. Its users and subscribers have gone through the roof. In February last year, Disney recounted that it had 28.6 million subscribers. Hulu had 30.7 million subscribers. However, Apple did not divulge its subscribers, and for no reason, readers did not know. Though Apple did not display its number of subscribers, Netflix gained 167 million subscribers including 61 million in the United States alone in 2019. Therefore, Netflix Inc. as the video streaming company would, without a doubt, express gratitude to the horrible pandemic.

References

Swartz, J. (2 May 2020). Netflix may have an edge on the competition as coronavirus keeps people looking for new shows. https://www.marketwatch.com/story/netflix-in-the-age-of-covid-19-streaming-pioneer-may-have-new-edge-on-competition-2020-04-07

A Photo Taken from unsplash.com

Back-riding on Motorbikes, Still on Amber

Misamis Oriental (June 20, 2020) – Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque made a clear announcement on Saturday whether motorcycle back-riding would be green to go or would be on amber.

Motorcycle back-riding as a means of livelihood allowed drivers to earn a living. After months of nonoperational, motorcycle drivers did not earn their monthly income, which added to their problems.

However, Spokesperson Roque said that the government would allow back-riding “in principle” on motorbikes soon.

As reported, Spokesperson Roque wished to elaborate that motorcycle back-riding would soon pick up where it left off after the technical working group (TWG), composed of the Department of Transportation, Department of Science and Technology, Department of Health, and Department of Trade and Industry, as well as the Bureau of Philippine Standards and Metropolitan Manila Development Authority, could set its approval of the requirements issued by the National Task Force.

Spokesperson Roque mentioned this report in the Laging Handa virtual meeting that the NTF would issue the guidelines, and the TWG would set the approval of the requirements.

As this situation happened, motorcycle back-riding would remain on amber or yellow-orange in the traffic light. As soon as the TWG finally set the approval of the requirements and as long as the safety of the people helped flatten the curve of the coronavirus, it would, furthermore, greenlight sooner or later.

Indeed, the TWG would only ensure that this move to allow motorbike back-riding should not jeopardize the mission to shrink the COVID-19 cases. Once everything was set, the TWG would give a go if the TWG group took the chance to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. Once this condition happened, the public would be green to go on back-riding again.

Photo credit: From Pexels

Dr. Leachon’s Resignation vs Secretary Duque III and Spokesperson Roque on DOH Rant

Misamis Oriental (June 20, 2020) – Dr. Anthony Leachon, whom he said he served as the special adviser of the National Task Force on COVID-19 alongside Chief Implementer Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr., made a public announcement on Wednesday, June 17 via Twitter that he would no longer serve his position. He said that two Cabinet officials got peeved when he exposed the government’s holes in its method and procedure to respond to the crisis.

Dr. Leachon’s statement to vacate his position as the special adviser of the NTF came to light three days after he criticized the Department of Health. He articulated his thoughts to CNN Philippines that he thought he was requested to step down. This decision would probably be linked to his comment on the DOH’s lost emphasis on prioritizing the control of the COVID-19 infections.

As said, Dr. Leachon thought that it would be beneficial to the Filipino people (country) to know the real score. He thought that “time and again” he had to inform the public despite the cue not to speak about his viewpoints.

However, Dr. Leachon posted his comment on Twitter on Saturday. He said that the DOH has been facing issues in handling data and in battling the COVID-19 outbreak locally. He noticed that there have been delays in terms of data management for COVID-19 cases.

Also, Dr. Leachon only wanted to speed up process in terms of communication protocol, data collection, and plan execution to let the local authorities respond to the crisis instantly. As he called on these authorities to discharge the granular data for COVID-19 cases in real-time, he noticed how the DOH handled the tasks. He said that the undependable and late reporting of the confirmed COVID-19 cases needed to prioritize.

Dr. Leachon mentioned that his manner of communicating to the public, which can be open, straightforward, transparent, and truthful, might not be congruent to the strategy that the Palace implements.

Moreover, Dr. Leachon said Health Secretary Francisco Duque III and Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque got irked with the public comments that led Galvez to ask him to leave.

Finally, the Ombudsman, as announced, would investigate the DOH and Secretary Duque concerning the cited delays in data collection and management that helped curtail the widening bedlam. Dr. Leachon drew attention to the issues and said that the Ombudsman’s action to examine the lapses would be apt and sympathetic to his remarks.

References

    • CNN Philippines Staff. (17 June 2020). Dr. Leachon told, to resign from the COVID-19 task force after DOH rant. Retrieved June 19, 2020, from https://cnnphilippines.com/news/2020/6/17/Dr-Tony-Leachon-Special-Adviser-to-the-National-Task-Force-on-COVID-19.html
    • Gotinga, J.C. (17 June 2020). Leachon’s posts ‘jeopardized’ gov’t messaging on pandemic – Galvez. Retrieved June 19, 2020, from https://www.rappler.com/nation/264112-galvez-says-leachon-posts-jeopardized-government-messaging-coronavirus-pandemic
    • Photo Credit from Creative Commons

What I Want After the COVID-19 Pandemic

I am writing this to think of the possibilities to happen in life after the pandemic, only if time allows.

I want a time reset. I never want all things to go back to the way they were. I only need to reset the time to remove all my worries – my credit cards, car loans, mortgage loans, and others.

I want the loan sharks to stop collecting payments for my debts for home appliances, laptops, smartphones, and the like.

I want the local and national government to give the last wave of the stimulus checks or SAP assistance as a start to have a new life. Also, I want the government to include all people when it delivers this assistance. I mean, I want the government to consider all people without choosing its recipients – all people, such as the poor and the middle class, not just only the poorest

Additionally, I want to have a new loved one whom I can spend time for the rest of my life.

I want to have a new house. I just got bored looking at the four corners of the room throughout the pandemic. I want to have a new car for a new line of business, like restaurants or any dry goods.

I want to study at a cutting-edge school, to meet an ultramodern teacher, and socialize with productive classmates. I want to have new environments and new people.

Moreover, I want to have a new job whether a part-time, or a full-time job. I want to earn money since all my resources just get vanished throughout the pandemic.

Then, I want to have new officemates. I do not want to work with people who usually talk about politically charged opinions and views.

I want to live and ask for a new policy or a new rule. I want more freedom to speak as long as I do not hurt others. I want to express my opinions and thoughts without charging me for cyber libel.

I want to be who I am – free from the dictate of society.

What is more, I want to have a new neighbor. It is because I am getting bored and sick at those people who always spend their seconds, minutes, hours, and days talking to their fellow gossipers.

I want to be with new friends. I just want a new life in which I can breathe freely, smell fresh air again, and remove my facial mask. I want to be in the group without hearing any reminder of the social distancing policy.

I want to be with others – the ones who care. I just do not want to stay at home anymore. Staying at home makes me feel like a toy in a box.

I just want to walk freely without being asked for my travel authority – travel passes or quarantine passes.

I just want to be happy. I just want to live my worry-free life after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Syria, To Face Caesar Act Sanctions by the U.S.

Misamis Oriental, Mindanao, Philippines (June 18, 2020) – Syria confronted new sanctions under the Caesar Act imposed by the United States government. This Act would deem to target foreign entities and persons who might assist Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime to procure goods, services, or technologies.

On Wednesday, the United States government under the Trump administration did, however, announce fresh sanctions against Bashar al-Assad and his wife Asma al-Assad, as well as others who have been involved. The United States Treasury Department stated that the government debarred some foreign business organizations, divisions in the Syrian army, and other 39 individuals.

In the Caesar Act, the United States government would target Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his regime and face sanctions for war crimes against the Syrian population. As well, the United States would enforce pressures among business leaders, especially foreign investors who might support al-Assad and his agenda.

The United States government then issued initial sanctions before, and now, imposed another endorsement to put the Caesar Act into force. This Act was named after the Syrian military war photographer who did expose thousands of photos about an act of bloodshed and torment during President al-Assad’s regime.

Now the sanction moved, and the U.S. has pushed an amplified economic drain to pressure al-Assad and his government, as well as his supporter – Russia to negotiate and settle further agreements to comply. However, Assad and Moscow remained upfront as both would move their course and force forward with a campaign to defeat the last headlock of the dissident despite the crumbling economy of the country.

However, one surprising report that came would be the presence of the popular Asma al-Assad, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s significant other. Asma al-Assad described as the “rose of the desert” by Vogue magazine became one of the most tarnished war profiteers in Syria according to Mike Pompeo on Wednesday. As part of the Caesar Act, Asma al-Assad would confront the sanctions and face the crumbling economic ruins.

Finally, James Jeffrey, who is the U.S. special envoy for Syria, said on Wednesday that the U.S. government would never compensate al-Assad along with his connections to extinguish his nation and help them re-establish.

Dexamethasone, A Steroid Drug, To Cure COVID-19 Patients

Misamis Oriental (June 16, 2020) – The leading researchers in the United Kingdom conducted an experimental study and found preliminary results that dexamethasone might be the key to help treat COVID-19 patients, even the sickest ones. This study happened in a hospital that would require oxygen or ventilation. Based on the initial findings, which were being accumulated, these leading researchers saw potential signs that this extensively obtainable steroid drug dexamethasone could treat the sickest COVID-19 patients. Though the initial result of the study did not reach its publications in a peer-reviewed journal, one expert who reviewed the trial of steroid drug would call it a discovery.

In a computer-generated press meeting on Tuesday, the two lead researchers who conducted the UK-based Recovery Trial said that a little dosage of dexamethasone could reduce the risk of death. This UK-based Recovery Trial team declared to the reporters that the small amount of dosage of dexamethasone to be given to patients for 10 days could shrink the menace of demise by a third among COVID-19 patient population in the trial.

Martin Landray, the deputy chief investigator of the Recovery Trial and the University of Oxford Professor, said on Tuesday that the preliminary findings of the study showed a statistically substantial result.

Landray pointed out that the findings of the study using the dexamethasone drug exhibited an entirely gripping outcome. He added that patients who were on oxygen demonstrated a substantial risk reduction of about one-fifth.

As well, Landray made it clear about the outstanding questions if the result of the study would treat all COVID-19 patients regardless of the physical settings. He and the team did only clarify that patients who were on oxygen or ventilation in hospitals showed positive outcomes. Because of this, some people who treated COVID-19 patients at home did not take the dexamethasone.

Landray accentuated that he and the team did not administer the trial on patients in the community. Instead, he only emphasized those patients who received the treatment under oxygen or ventilation in hospitals. He then underscored the results of the study that COVID-19 patients, not on oxygen, did not present any positive outcome.

Regarding the Recovery Trial, the leading researchers collected the data, gathered other sources, and compiled them. Included in the study have been about 2,100 hospitalized COVID-19 patients through random sampling to take dexamethasone. Additionally, these researchers would include another group, which could consist of 4,300 hospitalized COVID-19 patients through random sampling to get the common standard of care.

Moreover, patients during the Recovery Trial received a dosage of 6mg dexamethasone once a day for up to 10 days. This drug will be taken via injections or oral methods.  Based on the preliminary result, the researchers recounted that COVID-19 patients who received dexamethasone did not show any stern adverse reactions.

Landray said that he and others did not find clear adverse reactions to the Recovery Trial then. He also declared that people should realize two points in the trial. Firstly, the administration of dexamethasone drug could only work well on COVID-19 patients who required oxygen or ventilation. Landray and others cited that COVID-19 patients on oxygen or ventilators received great benefits from the trial. Secondly, the use of dexamethasone drug did not display benefits to those COVID-19 patients who did not require oxygen or ventilators.

Finally, Landray mentioned that they conducted the trial to focus on mortality to help COVID-19 patients. However, the dexamethasone drug showed conceivable results. COVID-19 patients who took the medication under oxygen or ventilator exhibited positive recovery. Indubitably, they said that they have looked for other causes of deaths among other COVID-19 patients if they had other forms of complications and infections but they have not found one.

References

    • Howard, J. (2020). Steroid reduces risk of dying in sickest coronavirus patients, preliminary study results suggest. Retrieved June 16, 202o from https://cnnphilippines.com/world/2020/6/16/Steroid-reduces-risk-of-dying-in-sickest-coronavirus-patients–preliminary-study-results-suggest.html?fbclid=IwAR2c21uVf95sXZc9_cd0oXbqbYdd_IQTZ45rgHlTePJcDTe7kAqghk-3EqU
    • Photo credited from the daubao.com

 

Moving Forward: OFWs’ Strategy to Challenge COVID-19 Hurdles

We’ve got a lot of hullabaloos recently. Wherever we live in the world and whether we suffer from frightening circumstances under the community quarantine period, we’ve just realized that things around us completely transformed into a “new normal.

This time, it appears to be politically correct to say that we live in a completely “new normal” society where we keep our distance and wear our face masks. We barely realize that we lose everything after the pandemic. Gone are the days when we meet friends and attend some social events. Gone are the days when we hug and kiss our friends when we see them. This time we only have patterns to do things – wear a face mask, go to the department stores to buy for the basic needs, and go home. We’ve become parts of the dynamics of the “new normal” – a term that other people discover during the pandemic.

As OFWs, we’ve been secretly crying in despair and isolation. We’ve been away from family members and friends. We, too, have the same experience with our family and social circles around the world. Sometimes, we’ve lost connections to them due to horrors brought about by the contagion.

As well, we can say that we feel it difficult to be away from family members. Our fear that our loved ones may be infected by the virus does not allow us to sleep well. We can say we have sleepless nights to think about them in the Philippines. It is because, in our deepest corner of our minds, the safety of our family members becomes our top priority.

At present, we experience some impediments in life. All complications in life get us disheveled that we suffer emotionally, financially, and physically. Despite our distance, we have to find means and ways to get better and pull through from them.

Stay composed and optimistic.

We know we suffer a lot of brawls and scraps throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we still have the option to stay positive. We cannot think well if we lose your nerve and feel restless. When we face all these problems in terms of economic, emotional, and physical concerns, we must stay constructive and hopeful. The point is, we must find means and ways to disassemble the negativity and to let them vanish in life. Despite the moments under the quarantine, we can think of plausible actions to plan for the next steps to succeed in life.

Stay connected.

We’ve all been experiencing the struggles financially. Since all business companies and establishments undergo some financial obstacles, we must stay connected to our loved ones and friends. We can use Facebook, Messenger, and other social media sites to communicate with our loved ones and friends and relatives. Despite the moment of isolation, we make use of technologies to stay interconnected with the people and family members. We must stay attached to friends and loved ones and ask for some advice to defeat the shortcomings.

Stay productive.

In times like this, we’ve learned so much from day one of the pandemic and up to this day. We’ve realized we’ve had so much potential to recuperate from losses and horrors. If we face the pandemic through emotional, economic, and physical, we ask someone who can help us resolve the problems. We do not need to blame people and time for why these things happen. Out of the situation, we’ve managed to understand that we could still smile after the rain. We only have to remember that we are in this together. We are not alone. As others slowly stand their feet to look ahead, we do the same thing to cope with the burdens poured in us. As OFWs who are far from home, we can look for real people and communities to embrace the same breaths of pain and struggle so that we, together, can recover the same.

All these actions are imperative. The struggles in life brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic are real. The impact even disturbs us. As we take a moment to think of this present situation, we realize we have so much to think about to move forward!

Photo credit: Rappler

3 Things You Should Know about President Rodrigo R. Duterte

Who could have thought that a town mayor from Davao, Mindanao would rise as the 16th President of the Philippines? Through crucial and stern battles during the political campaign, President Duterte managed to win the hearts of the people. Some people might have an unfair judgment about him. Labeled as this and that and so and so from various opponents, President Duterte remained firm. He became the first president coming from the Mindanao region and the oldest president of the Philippines. Besides, President Duterte became the first Philippine president to handle and have worked in the three government jurisdictions – executive, judiciary, and legislative bodies. Of course, you probably knew about him in his political rants, but you never had the chance to learn three things about his character, his sense of humanity, and his soft spot.

A Loving Husband

Many people did not know about the president and his emotional side. As the PDP-Laban Chairperson, he worked so hard to accomplish his political task. However, he never failed to love his loved one known to many as Honeylet Avanceña. As a husband, he provided everything and took good care of his wife and children. He could be the best person to speak about time management since he multitasked to support his family, to fulfill this political task, and to lead the country. Like an ordinary man and significant other, President Duterte lived by example as a good and loving husband.

A Caring Father

President Rodrigo Duterte has always been an exceptional and reputable father. As a father of some, he equally treated his children and raised them properly. He became a role model for his children. The fact is, his children followed his footsteps to become leaders and to lead the people. His firm decision and his strong personality allowed him to discipline his children that inspired them to become one. Additionally, most of his children have held offices from various districts and regions. This position in life could prove that his fathership worked well.

A Respectable Leader

President Duterte managed to handle the demanding challenges of his time. From the Marawi Siege to the COVID-19 pandemic, he managed to provide assistance and care for his people. His immediate actions to solve the problems made people feel safe and secure. There might be other people who jeopardized his actions and decisions to delay his urgent assistance to people; however, he made clearer actions and decisions to penalize those who violated his mandates. In terms of providing the Social Amelioration Program (SAP), he immediately issued assistance to the people. Some people might not receive their assistance from the government and felt bad about it. However, the President clarified that he would punish those people who stole the money instead of assisting the people, especially the poorest among the poor. Because of that, people respected him.

Indeed, President Rodrigo R. Duterte thrived in all challenges. He managed to confront all difficulties in political and social life. He beat all the odds. Though he received reproach here and abroad, he prospered in whatever decisions he made.

Photo credit: Manila Bulletin