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Why is ‘Thank you coronavirus’ trending on Twitter?

Russel Loreto

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Why is ‘Thank you coronavirus’ trending on Twitter?
The Department of Transportation takes down its post which thanks the coronavirus, apologizing to the public over the post that was supposed to 'provide an enlightening and awakening narrative into this pandemic'

MANILA, Philippines – No, Filipinos are not exactly thanking the deadly virus. 

On Monday, March 23, Filipinos on Twitter slammed the Department of Transportation (DOTr) over a post which “thanked the coronavirus,” pushing the phrase to the top of the trending topics on Twitter.

In a post, the agency thanked the coronavirus “for shaking us and showing us we’re dependent on something much bigger than we think.”


The agency has since taken down the post and apologized, explaining that the poem they shared was “meant to provide an enlightening and awakening narrative into this pandemic.” 

“We acknowledge that not all of our audience appreciate the underlying message of the poem and video and we understand taht some view it as an insensitive act,” the agency added. 


Regardless, the damage was done and the screenshot of the posts have circulated online. 

In the post, DOTR shared an original poem by Riya Sokol, a Polish poet. 

Poland, whose healthcare system is publicly funded, has a total of 634 positive coronavirus cases, with 627 active cases and 7 deaths as of Sunday, March 22,2020.

This roughly translates to 1.1% mortality rate, which is lower than the 3.4% global average for mortality rate declared by WHO director general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The Philippines, which has a healthcare system ranking 102nd in the entire world according to 2019 Global Competitiveness report by the World Economic Forum, has 462 cases with a total death toll at 33 as of posting.

That translates to roughly a 8.3% mortality rate which is more than twice the global average.

Why post something like this? 

Why is a government agency posting something which many netizens call absurd and insensitive? 

On Twitter, Filipinos shared their outrage and expressed their disdain for the post. 


Who deserves our gratitude?

According to netizens, we should appreciate instead the volunteers in our communities for embodying bayanihan at this very important time. They also said that we should express our foremost gratitude to the frontliners and medical workers risking their lives to help the sick.



They added that instead of being grateful to the coronavirus, Filipinos should instead be thankful that some of us still have our humanity amid this insanity. 



Russel Anthony Loreto is a Rappler Mover from Quezon City. He is an undergraduate of business from University of San Carlos and is currently pursuing his Communication Arts degree in Trinity University of Asia. He is the current Public Relations Officer for Trinity University of Asia Media and Communication Organization.

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