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A ‘Crown of Thorns’ indeed

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

I thought it was only rumor when I first heard that Press Secretary Harry Roque was among those stricken by the COVID virus. However, his appearance on TV yesterday seemed to confirm that he was not in the peak of health, although, I believe that he is going to hurdle it, with the resources available to him in his position. I hope, though, that neither the President, nor any member of his family or staff, had been exposed to him. I wish him well, though and I am sure other Filipinos are praying for him, too.

***

But we Filipinos should continue to pray and observe all precautions to prevent another surge of this pandemic that seems to have no mercy on countries and races. Let us think of the situation in Hongkong where, according to yesterday’s news, was facing its fifth wave of the virus! Of course that is believable, considering what a mixture of nationalities and visitors live, as well as visit there  as tourists or for business purposes. So if you have plans for traveling for pleasure, or even business, be a little prudent, and skip them for the time being.

***

Another worrisome report on this virus is that, lately, it has the tendency to hit children. That is why, I hope classes will continue to be suspended until everything has been declared clear. Let us make do with online classes, or, if that is not available in a community, let the parents, or other household members undertake the tutoring of the kids to prepare them for the time when face-to-face classes will be allowed. As much as possible, let us listen to all the advices and warnings intended to keep us free  of this pandemic. Don’t ever forget the age-old bromide of “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure”.

***

Think of Hongkong that is said to have a big, big problem with the virus now. As of Monday, the number of cases  published was 5,404. Even the Senate was reported to be on lockdown. I was really concerned when I saw the report that San Juan in Metro Manila has many families affected, and I am praying very hard for its residents, of whom very many are my beloved relatives. I pray for them day and night, and wish that they had come home to Bacolod at the start of this pandemic. Not that we are entirely free from it here, but it seems our officials and our residents are all cooperative in trying to keep the numbers down.

***

This may sound funny, but the thought came to me that the themesong  for this COVID period should be the old favorite “There’s  No Place Like Home”. Seems those whose families have avoided contamination are those who observed the “Stay Home” orders. Oh, we have reports of entire families being affected, but that must have happened because a member, or members, have disregarded rules and sallied out, ending up with bringing the virus home with them. So, “be it ever so humble, There’s no place like home” – while the COVID plague  is still raging.

***

Why do I believe in the saying “No place like home”? Because the alternative is, if you keep wandering around and mixing with other people, you are likely to catch this virus and worse, share it with your loved ones at home. So, if not for your own sake, think of others you may infect, who could be your loved ones. Remember that even the biggest and most advanced countries have been having, not only sick people, but mortalities, as well. So, keep in mind always, that “ounce of prevention”.

***

But life goes on, COVID or no COVID. That is why we hear that the Commission on Election is now deep in preparation for the 2022 elections where we will decide whether to change our leaders or maintain the status quo. I hear, though, that President Duterte is not very keen on seeking another term, but who knows? His partymates could be very convincing and he may not be able to resist the second call of duty. Let’s wait and see, but for now, there does not be any heir-apparent in the horizon.

***

It is supposed to be good news that a shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine is due to arrive in the Philippines, but accompanying the report  is a “minus” which says that the vaccine has been noted for causing blood clots in recipients. Now our medical experts have to work on how to counter the blood clots! This sounds like another case of pluses and minuses, but how do we counter it? Will another medicine have to be invented or produced to prevent such effects, and how long before that can be realized and approved for worldwide use? Oh COVID! You truly deserve your original name of “coronavirus”, You are indeed a “crown of thorns” to this generation!*

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