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Look out for February 15!

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Last week, I rashly used the headline “The vaccines are coming!” relying on some TV reports announcing it. This time, though, a definite date has been mentioned, so it could be the real thing. February 15 is the day mentioned although when the supply would get to regions like ours in the Visayas, is still unclear. And the amount mentioned also does not seem sufficient for the entire population. There was a report, however, saying that only about 75 percent of the population may be accommodated, but that should be all right since some 25 percent  are said to be hesitant about submitting to it.

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Anyway, February 15 is just five days away so we can keep our hopes up. And also pray that there will be enough of the stuff to cover all those willing to undergo it. And it is heartening to know that President Duterte himself ordered government workers not to stop the vaccines at the airport, that is, appropriate them for their own  selected recipients. The “roll-out” is supposed to go  on all over the country and local officials must be on the lookout to ensure that not only the bigger government units get access to it.

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In the meantime, the question has arisen about whether former COVID patients who have mercifully recovered, still need to undergo vaccination. As far as I have noted in the item published about it, having survived the COVID is no assurance that one is already immune. So it is not like measles or chicken pox that very, very seldom make a come-back to a former victim. But there is also some encouraging news that the incidence of infections are going down, so let us just be more careful about physical contacts with unfamiliar people to protect ourselves, vaccine or no vaccine.

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Maybe the COVID virus has not found time to enter Myanmar, that is why they are now having a different problem with the coup d’etat staged by the military, which the citizens are protesting, so there is turmoil in their streets. Also their leader, the popular and much respected Aung San Su Kyi has been detained, while her loyal subjects march thru the streets, daring the military. In the meantime, the Philippine Government has sent emissaries to rescue Pinoys there.

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Reports say that proof of negative COVID tests are now required of plane travelers in the United States. Are we also taking the precaution? If so, I haven’t heard of it since, anyway, I have not travelled by air for more than a year now. But that seems a very practical precaution, because even if passengers are required to observe physical distancing, think about the fact that you are all in an enclosed space, with no windows for fresh air to come in and go out. I am sure, though, that all of them keep their masks and shields on all through the flight.

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The bad news for vehicle owners and transportation companies is that hikes in oil prices are expected to continue for some time. Which seems ironical because less people are traveling now and oil consumption should not be too high. But there it is, the increases are expected to be higher than any imposed in recent years. I hope we don’t have to go back to the calesa and carretela days, to augment the bike-driven ones? Are we retrogressing, transportation-wise?

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In the United States meanwhile, elections have been over for some time now but the former president who lost, still cannot accept defeat and has his lawyers working on some means to get him back to the White House. Unfortunately there are still a lot of Americans who insist on regarding him still as the president, despite the results of the election, and so does he. When the lawyers he engaged to work on his return did not please him, he hired another set. Will they be the type who, like the mischievous tailors in the old folk tale managed to convince the emperor that they had clothed him in imperial robes until a little boy called out: “But the emperor has no clothes!”

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How can we stop focusing on U.S. events when nothing much seems to be taking place politics-wise in our own country? Supporters of Donald  Trump claim that there is no question about it, he will return to the White House next month. And TV showed a photo of Donald Trump hugging the American flag, which a commentator said is against a law passed in 1918. If that has not been repealed yet, what is the penalty for doing so? It would be interesting to know.*

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