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Muhammad and Manny

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

What is the new fashion statement  today? I give the reader one guess. I am sure many will guess right, but for those who are doubtful, let me see if you agree. I think the new fashion statement is via masks. Yes, the masks we wear over our mouths and noses as protection against infection from the deadly virus that has confounded the world for more than a year now. Yes, vaccines have been introduced, but I don’t think they are available to all parts of the world and to all its citizens.

***

In the meantime, there are some homegrown remedies that are being considered, and I hope people in areas that are far from medical facilities will be advised to take advantage of them. These are the local and very common plants, or herbs,  called the “lagundi” and the “tawa-tawa”. So, in case you live in a place where pharmacies cannot be found or, are very far from you, try looking for those plants, and try them with a prayer for healing to accompany your ingestion.

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But, of course the best protection against this vicious COVID, is still avoidance of those infected, and going among crowds as long as it can be avoided. Remember that one member of a family who gets exposed, and therefore becomes a carrier, can infect, not only of his or her entire family, but all those they come in contact with, even before they have realized that they are already carriers. And now that vaccines are becoming available, those who need to go out to earn a living or for some important missions, must try their best to avail of it to save, not only their own lives, but those of their folks and friends as well.

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Meanwhile, the good news I got from TV yesterday was that U.S. President Joe Biden has ordered a background check for all those who are applying for licenses to buy guns, or any sort of firepower. It’s a little late, of course – we are far ahead of them in taking that precaution, but, as the old saying goes. “Better late than never”. Now that they have recorded so many killings by gunpower that are due to the ease of acquiring guns , they have made this move, at last. Not that it is expected to totally end murders and other crimes with their use, but at least gunowners can be identified.

***

Now Americans are worried about the rush of migrants to their country that will certainly create more economic problems for them. But how can they push away those people with their families who managed to get through their borders, in the hope of becoming permanent residents? Haven’t they prided themselves in calling theirs the “land of the free and the home of the brave”? And they should think of their own forbears, who had also come to the Americas as migrants. They only have to visit the statue of Liberty and see what an invitation she is  offering to impoverished and troubled  countries.

***

But I was happy to hear that COVID cases are dropping in California where I have a lot of relatives, and I know many other Filipinos who have settled there. What about the other states, have they managed to control the surges reported in other parts of the world? Until now, I am still puzzled at how silent reports from China have been regarding this virus that originally came from Wuhan City there. If they have found a sure cure for it, aren’t they sharing it with other countries? By the way, is “Sinovac” a Chinese product?

***

As I write this, news coming out on TV says that the Suez Canal problem has not yet been resolved, with that one big vessel still stuck and more than 50 (as of yesterday) others lined up to also enter and pass. It seems strange that the stuck vessel had not observed the required size and dimensions of the ones passing through. Maybe it is the first time it has tried to go through? By this time, maybe a hundred may already be in line with cargo that could spoil unless delivered soon.

***

For lack of nothing much to do yesterday, I twiddled with my TV remote and caught a fight between Muhammad Ali and Jugger Blin held in Zurich, Switzerland in 1971! I was fascinated, because I have also watched, in person, at least three fights of Manny Pacquiao in the U.S. so I kept on till the end where Ali was declared winner. And I realized what he meant when he said that his technique was to “Float like a butterfly, and sting like a bee”. I am prejudiced, of course, but I think Manny Pacquiao,  is still a more graceful, as well as a more humble boxing sportsman any day.*

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