No name-calling?

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LOCKDOWN! Is that what someone who has been arrested and held without bail feels? But I guess few people are complaining this time, as they can always be told “This is for your own good.” Who wants to be roaming around, browsing at shops and standing by in street corners with one’s “gang” when anyone of them could be a carrier of this new and incomprehensible virus that the brightest and most famous of the world’s experts have failed to rein in yet? So let’s not be resistant, remember that this virus is not only dangerous but also very, very contagious. If you are not careful for your own self, think of your family and other loved ones you may infect!


So let us all be good little boys and girls and do what we are told. Avoid going out of homes – the safest place you can ever be – keep up with happening on radio or TV, or even by texting messages to while away your time. And what about setting up activities that can even make you and your folks closer? Or maybe do some home improvements, or learn some new things to do like cooking, baking, sewing, and the like? For the men, what about repainting rooms when the old paint had fallen off, or repairing broken items to please the missus who had been complaining about them for a long time?

Sometimes we hear good news that claim that this COVID will soon be conquered because vaccines and cures are being perfected in some countries. That is very hopeful, but has the World Health Organization approved or endorsed any of them yet? Lately, I have heard that the local plant “lagundi” is effective, but no cases of recoveries due to it have been mentioned. So it is still a guessing game. Let us just keep on praying that, like the discovery of penicillin and other antibiotics, something will soon be discovered that will remove this COVID-19 away from the medical books.

I was old enough to remember when contracting tuberculosis was like a death sentence. Those who had it were isolated from their families and fed healthy food, and treated with herbs and visits from herbolarios, but there was no medicine yet that could completely cure it. Then came such antibiotics like penicillin and streptomycin, and I forgot what the others were, but, see? Now tuberculosis seems to have been vanquished completely and can be found only in distant areas where people have no doctors or even nurses to help them. Let us therefore, pray, that will be the fate of China’s gift to the world, the coronavirus!

I am sure some people are complaining about the lockdown that has been declared for our city, but it could mean a stop to new arrivals from other places of the LSIs, or locally stranded individuals for some time, that could also result in a halt in the increase of COVID cases in our city and province. As of yesterday, reports said that there were already more than 205,000 cases in the Philippines, and if that does not scare us into observing all warnings and instructions on how to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe, I don’t know what can. This is really no time to be hard-headed and ignore advices meant for our own good.

These are unusual times, indeed. While two ambitious Americans are beginning their fight over the presidency of their country, in Japan, the Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, suddenly shocked everybody by resigning, claiming that his health could not keep up with the responsibilities of office. What a decent person he must be, thinking of the good of his country instead of holding on to power. May God forgive him his sins, but I was reminded of our own situation years ago when the news about P.M. Abe came out.

I recalled very clearly an incident when the late President Ferdinand Marcos was at the height of his dictatorship. Despite the fact that he looked sickly and whispers were that he was suffering from Lupus, he persisted in holding on to power, and even went on trips to the provinces. On one such trips some of us local journalists “ambushed” him as he came out of a restroom with a man who, I think, was a doctor. But he tried to be as friendly and accommodating to us, though some of us noticed that there was blood on the sleeve of his barong. Later somebody surmised that he had been undergoing dialysis while in the restroom. To his credit, he went on and delivered a stirring speech to the crowd.

In the United States, meanwhile, it seems as if they are more concerned over their coming elections than over the health conditions of the population. It does look as if the incumbent and reelectionist Donald Trump is more focused on retaining his post than in the national health. Both have already held the national conventions of their respective parties – Joe Biden with the Democrats, and Donald Trump with the Republicans. I noted in the reports, though, that although Trump mentioned Biden’s name 41 times in his speech, Biden did not mention his even once! Now who is the compleat campaigner?*


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October 2020