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Politicians and takeovers

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Now that Christmas is over, and we are giving thanks for having a peaceful and joyful one despite all the problems that the world is dealing with now, let us look forward to a truly happy and prosperous New Year. Cynics  may scoff at this, but I believe in the predictions of economists that the Philippines is one of the countries that will regain its economy and grow faster this coming year. Well, it will be 2021, and 21 is the age of maturity and reason, so let’s look forward to it and do our share in making that come true.

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It didn’t seem too long ago when we entered the year 2020, and now that has gone by, or almost, that is. Three more days to go, with a holiday between them and we sail into 2021. How will the new year change our present conditions? Will it drive away the fearful pandemic that has decimated world population by the thousands? And  are we Filipinos showing our gratitude to our Maker for lessening its effects on our country? As we give thanks for that, let us also plead that a similar one will never happen again.

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But I am sure those parts of the world that were adamant about wearing masks, believing they were immune to the new virus, must be envying the Philippines where citizens immediately realized the necessity for it, and complied. Note that the cases in our city and province were mostly blamed on arriving LSIs, or Locally Stranded Individuals, and people from other regions. Note also that in our city, one very, very seldom sees unmasked people going around.

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Everybody tried to comply and nobody  thought of complaining in court when the use of the mask was made mandatory. I am sure we would have bigger numbers of victims, had unmasked people been allowed to go around freely. Funny, but the order to wear masks and the prescribed penalties for failing to do so, reminded me of the Biblical story where lepers were obliged to shout “Unclean! Unclean!” when they appeared in public, so others could  shyaway from them. At least nobody has been seen running away from a masked neighbor or fellow passenger on a jeepney since both passengers and driver  are masked, too.

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Speaking of masks, I am sure their manufacturers are making a killing these days. How many millions do they roll out from their machines everyday? I wonder if they are supposed to treat them with some chemicals before selling them, but I do know that there is a warning not to soak it in alcohol before using because it might cause irritations. So don’t be over-cautious and “sanitize” them your way. Trust the manufacturers, or you might ruin your complexion, this, especially for the ladies.

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But others do not wear the ones on sale but prefer to improvise on their own. In Madagazcar, two women were shown on TV wearing colorful scarves in place of masks, and well, they must serve the same purpose. And they don’t have to buy them by the boxes or the dozens, and only have to wash them after use. I wonder what medical practitioners think about that. Meanwhile, I wonder, too, how parents can make their babies wear masks without worrying that they would be stifled by them.

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Will the Philippines take a cue from the United States and also set up what they call a COVID-19 Relief Bill? The amount proposed in it is $900 Billion that will be given away to citizens and help the economy. Last I heard, President Donald Trump was balking at signing it. What does he care, anyway? The voters have rejected him, even if he does not believe so. But now he is playing dog-in-the-manger, because what does he  care, since he has to step down in about a week from now?

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Say it isn’t true! There was talk the other day on TV about the possibility that outgoing President Trump might declare Martial Law! Is he that desperate to hang on?  And will the American people, their Senate and House of Representatives let him get away with it? The quieter President-Elect Joe Biden has just  about a week more to wait. I hope Trump’s men will not do what  the staff of a defeated  former mayor of Bacolod did when, before leaving the mayor’s office, vandalized it, even tearing off the telephones from the wall and scattering documents all over that place!*

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