A gun-happy country?

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Finally! The President of the United States has condescended to wear a mask after so many unfavorable comments were heard from his people. But why did he choose to wear a black one? Is that still a sign of protest, that he is wearing it under duress? But who are we to question the president of such a powerful country as the United States? It is good enough that he has decided to help prevent the transmission of the wicked virus, not because he has been proven to have it, but because he may become a host, and, hence a threat to others.


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Maybe President Trump never had the dictum “Lead by example” drummed into his ears as a little boy, and even as a grown man and a professional. Now that his country is among the worst-hit by this disease, he should have initiated the wearing of the protective device himself. But that is water under the bridge now, and Americans, especially his closest aides and officials, must be sighing in relief that they, at least, could be protected. Even if you get the virus from a President, it will not matter if it will cause your untimely demise!

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This COVID is no respecter of V.I.P.s, and the latest reports tell us that one of them, Mark Villar, has been stricken, and what has worried a lot of people is that he was with Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque recently. As of now, we haven’t heard any report on how Roque is faring. But we do hope he hasn’t gotten near his boss, the President, lately, or we will be in greater problem. So far, it seems the Big Boss himself has been well protected, and we hope he continues to be safe.

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But obviously, the President of the United States only has his reelection on his mind at this time. Reports say that his latest news conference even turned out into a campaign for his reelection. This could be because of reports also that his vice president, Joe Biden, was shown to be leading in a recent poll. But who can blame Biden for hoping? After, it is always emphasized that a vice president is only a breath away from the presidency. So if Biden plays his cards right, he may get his wish in November, or even earlier if rumors of impeachment turn out to have basis!

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In the local scene, meanwhile, wasn’t it a great shame that several people, heads of barangays and their kin are now facing charges in connection with the distribution of the funds from the Social Amelioration Program, or SAP? The complainants against them claimed that, in giving out the funds, they ensured that their own relatives and party mates were included, and even prioritized! The charges they are now facing are quite serious, and let us hope this will warn other officials who may be handling similar funds not to be tempted to fill their own pockets and those of their kin first.

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How can we avoid talking and writing about the COVID-19 when reports about it always hog the news, day after day? As of yesterday, the global tally was at 13,113,181 cases, and rising! Is it true, though, that Russia has perfected a vaccine against it? When will they share it with the world? And what cases have they revealed as having been prevented by the vaccine? Indeed, this disease has confounded medical and scientific experts, but we know that they keep on trying to find, I hope, a cure first and then a vaccine, or better yet, both at the same time. The world needs them badly now.

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But, as if the COVID scourge were not enough for them to contend with, the United States is now also struggling with the rising number of gun violence cases that have claimed many victims already. Maybe it is because it seems so easy to acquire firearms in that country or could it be that people are getting gun-happy because of the problems they are facing? I doubt if advising them that two wrongs don’t make a right will help. But have their lawmakers never thought of passing legislation that will make the acquisition of guns stricter?

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Meanwhile, a news item said last week that international flights from Manila would resume yesterday, Wednesday. Did that happen? I hope, though, that they will not bring in more LSIs, or locally stranded individuals who may be carriers of the disease. Of course we can expect a lot of overseas workers to come home, but let us pray that those who do, will be declared free of the ailment upon arrival. These are dangerous times, times, indeed, and neither the citizens nor the authorities can be too careful in assuring that we don’t bring in more transmitters of this novel disease that the world has yet to conquer.*

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