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Journalist Howie Severino Detained for Pulling Down Mask to Take a Drink

He had been biking and needed a drink.
IMAGE Wikimedia Commons, Howie Severino
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On Wednesday, July 8, barangay officials and police briefly detained journalist Howie Severino after he pulled down his face mask to take a sip of water. Severino had been biking in Quezon City and stopped at a bike shop on Mother Ignacia Street to buy refreshments at a store. He was with two friends when he was arrested.

“We bought drinks at the store next door, and drank them after pulling down our masks below the mouth (because we have not learned to drink yet with masks on),” wrote Severino in a Facebook post.

“We were all outdoors where the risk of infection is much lower than indoors and maintained at least four feet distance from each other.”

Severino had just finished his drink and returned the bottle to the store, but before he could pull his mask back up, at least two vehicles of Quezon City law enforcers arrived to tell him he was talking without his mask covering his mouth and had to be brought to Amoranto for a seminar.

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Back in April, Severino caught COVID-19. He later documented his ordeal and how it felt to have the virus. He was patient 2828.

In his Facebook post, Severino wrote that his chances of infecting people were zero, because he had already tested negative three times for the coronavirus.

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“I have followed all other safety protocols including a long isolation and quarantine after my discharge from the hospital until I was officially declared a recovered patient. I have donated plasma for gravely ill patients. I’m very grateful that no one I was in contact with got infected,” said Severino.

Below is the Facebook post of Severino detailing what happened.

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Mario Alvaro Limos
Features Editor, Esquire Philippines
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