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How are the others doing?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Will the Olympic Games push through? As I write this, there is still no assurance that the most awaited contest of the year, and of the world, for that matter, will go on as scheduled. There are reports that thousands of participating athletes, their coaches and managers have already started arriving in Tokyo, but as to the holding of the sports contest, there seems to be no assurance yet. I am among those who hope, and wish that the games will go on, as I believe that all the participants must have undergone vaccinations by now, but who knows? Maybe this morning will give us the final decision on it.

***

I heard, though, that the Olympic torch has been lighted, and may have started going its rounds by now. What is not very sure is whether all the previous participating countries will send their athletes this time. I keep on hoping and praying that it will go through, though, because I believe it will be a great reliever of all the tension and fear that the COVID pandemic has brought to the world. I have not read nor heard any news, though, if our country is preparing for it, or is bent on joining it. But since vaccinations have been going on, and certainly, sports participants have undergone it, we may still be able to participate – if it pushes through.

***

So the presidential daughter will vie for the presidency after her father’s term? At first I thought the news was fake, and would be denied the next day. But yesterday it was repeated again on TV, and it no longer seemed to be a prank, or somebody’s “wish lang”. Well, let us watch developments closely and, maybe look out for the president’s comment. But since up to yesterday I had not heard any reaction, either confirmation or denial, from the Palace, there must be some truth to it. As the old folks like to say, “Silence means consent”.

***

Well, Madame Sara is certainly qualified, having been mayor of a big city like Davao for several terms. And if she gets endorsed by her father, we might say that “Tapus na ang boksing”, or “The boxing is over”, for our foreign readers. Well, we didn’t do so badly with the two ladies we had voted to the presidency, did we? Remember Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, daughter of Cong Dadong, and Corazon “Cory” Aquino, widow of Benigno “Ninoy” Aquino Jr. who was believed to be a shoo-in for the position, until he scared those in power who made him a martyr for Democracy. Who can ever forget the sight of Ninoy Aquino’s body lying face down on the tarmac, as if he was hugging the land of his birth? But I wish we could hear from President Duterte himself what he thinks of the idea.

***

I heard that the White House, led, of course, by President Joe Biden, is planning to distribute millions of vaccine doses worldwide. I hope he does not forget the Philippines, supposed to be one of his country’s closest allies. Meanwhile, it is good to know that our people are gradually accepting vaccinations. Earlier, most were apprehensive, and had to be bribed with foodstuff to submit. Now they have realized its value and are more open to it. But a warning that came out yesterday is that one must be sure it is the same type of vaccine he or she gets in both first and second dose. I am not sure what the danger of mixing is, but better be safe than sorry.

***

Why is Central America among the worst hit by the COVID virus? One would think China would have the highest casualty rate, being the country where the virus was discovered. But China just hasn’t released statistics on COVID cases. Yesterday, there were reports that Brazil is one of the hardest hit. And it is so far away from Wuhan, the Chinese city where the virus was originally discovered. I wonder, though, why our Health Department does not give us a regular report on the number of COVID victims like other countries are doing. Is it not keeping tabs on the cases, and the mortalities?

***

News was flashed on TV that Vice President Leni Robredo has not announced or confirmed any talks about the position she is running for in the coming election. If she does run, we will have two women candidates for president, and who are the men who will challenge them. Certainly there will be many, but some, or even most of them change their minds come campaign time. If this happens, we will have a very interesting contest, two women – one from Luzon and the other from Mindanao. What about the Visayas? No contenders?

***

By the way, President Joe Biden of the United States has announced that 70 percent of his people have already undergone vaccination against the COVID. Does that constitute what they call “herd immunity”? I am truly amazed at the swiftness the Americans are releasing statistics on this pandemic. Why don’t we hear much from other countries, like, say, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Russia and the rest? Maybe they do not get covered as intensively by the very efficient CNN?*

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