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Deliver us from COVID, Lord

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

I am ashamed to admit that I am not sure yet what vaccines are available in our country, because all that I hear about are the AstraZeneca and the Sinovac. Haven’t there been any other medical establishments that have also produced other types, especially ones that need only a single dose? And by the way, can the available ones assure us of a lifetime immunity? The only thing I believe that can placate us is the fact that, as the old Tagalog song goes “Hindi tayo Nag-iisa”, or, we are not alone.

***

This is no ordinary malady we are facing, in fact it has already reached pandemic proportions, which means the whole world is suffering from it. Yes, I have yet to hear of a country that is completely untouched by it. Maybe the tiny exotic islands in the East that are not attractive to tourists? Because the more visitors your country attracts, the greater the chances of the COVID virus coming with them are. If only everyone can observe the simple precaution of staying home, perhaps, that may be possible.

***

But how is that possible? No man is an island, much more, no one can earn without leaving one’s home, except those who really have businesses, like home manufacturing of items, but even then, they have to go out to promote and sell them. Not many options there, you see. But I think our province and city are better off than a lot of others who may not have taken the virus seriously, at first. And they are now suffering for their negligence. Don’t let that be your problem, or for your loved ones.

***

Meanwhile, Holy Week will soon be upon us, and we will surely miss the ceremonies and other rituals that are observed during it. Also, haven’t you noticed that people really seem more solemn during those holy days? Even as children, my sister, brothers and cousins had always looked forward to observing those special days, even if it meant a little less fun and games, and more time in prayer. I guess we should all concentrate more on the latter this time.

***

I was amused at the news  that U.S. President Joe Biden had ordered a ban on assault weapons, and for a background check on those who are purchasing one. I guess he hasn’t heard, or has forgotten the saying about “locking the stable after the horse has run away”. Anyway, we are one-up on that issue, because we have stricter laws for the acquisition of firearms, but even then, many crimes are still committed, but many of them with unlicensed ones, too. I guess people with bad intentions will find a way to pursue them.

***

By the way, some countries in Europe have already imposed some restrictions in the observance of Holy Week. I think we will hear about our own from our parishes and churches soon, too. Ah, but I am sure I am not the only one who will miss the solemn Holy Thursday and Good Friday processions which I had always looked forward to, even as a child. Will our churches  still hold them? Can we have processions under the “social distancing” dictum? If so, I won’t be surprised if the first in line have already returned to the church while the rest are still waiting to start!

***

But we can still  –  and  I am talking about Catholics  – make mortifications as we were taught  as children. That means depriving yourself of something you want or enjoy most as a form of sacrifice during, at least, Holy Thursday and Good Friday. I believe that could be an acceptable substitute for making the Stations of the Cross, where you may be crowding with many others, or joining the procession where you can’t tell whether the ones next to you and the watching crowds do not include infected victims.

***

Back to the subject of vaccinations. Now that vaccines are becoming available in more places, there should be no reason, especially for people who need to go out in connection with their work, to neglect or avoid being vaccinated. If you do not fear for yourself, think of the loved ones you may infect, in case you become a victim. Let us protect each other, and in that way, perhaps, stop this vicious COVID in its tracks. And let us not forget to pray, especially this Holy Week, for deliverance from it. AMEN.*

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