Smells like hell, tastes like heaven?

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Is swab testing a safeguard or a transmitter of the COVID virus? Indeed, it can determine whether a person has been infected or not, but is it true that some cases popped up involving people who had just been swabbed and found negative, and positive a few days later. I think that is the reason why a lot of workers I know refuse to undergo swab tests. Their fear is that they would be among persons lining up for swabbing who may already be carrying the virus. I think we should understand why some people are getting paranoid these days, but this disease is nothing to be taken lightly.


But is it true that there is a “flattening of the curve” – the new term introduced to described the cessation in the increase of cases in a certain area? Is the virus going away by itself, even before a cure or a vaccine has been discovered against it? In our prayers let us also include all those medical men and scientists who are trying to find or produce an antidote to it. But, in the meantime, let us not be obstinate and ignore warnings and protocols laid out to help us avoid it, and thus, also help our nearest and dearest, because of its high rate of infection.


In Valenzuela City, the mayor, Rex Gatchalian, has given orders for no home quarantines. I take that to mean that anyone suspected to be a carrier has to be taken to quarantine areas purposely set up for them. Of course that is understandable. Having an infected person in the same house will be like exposing all the residents to the virus, even if the affected one is isolated from the rest. It may sound like a fairy tale, but I believe it is true that this COVID thing is so mobile that it can easily reach out to whoever is in the vicinity. So let us not be stubborn and faithfully follow the “protocols”.


By the way, have the ABS-CBN network and the National Telecommunication Commission already reconciled? I must have missed the reports on such reconciliation, but after noticing the tagline of ABS-CBN in recent TV reports, suspected so. Well, that is a comforting thought for all media outlets and practitioners, who had become as afraid of similar censures and penalties from the RTC, as they are of the coronavirus! Yes, even we in the print media are also concerned, although those of us in the “boondooks” are just considered mosquitoes.


I think the old folks were right when they used to watch out for the months of August and September as the “fruiting” months. Indeed, we are now seeing in our fruit stands a lot of our exotic native fruits, like the durian and the marang that, I think, originally came from Mindanao. I was first introduced to durian during a trip to Davao where a fellow DBP staffer and I were holding seminars for the bank employees. It was durian season then, and the DBP staff urged and dared us to try their favorite fruit.


I know my mind has been poisoned by the talks I heard that Durian “smells like hell, but tastes like heaven”! But then fellow lecturer, Aida Moncal, who happened to be also a Bacoleña, dared to take a bite and convinced me. Now I feel sorry for those who continue to shun the fruit. They are missing a lot out of life! I remember to write about durian because my dear friend, whose father was also a close friend of my father, Lanibelle Velayo Javelosa, sent me again, as she does every year, some of her own products. Thanks Lanibelle! Your thoughtfulness made me forget a lot of the problems we in the STAR are trying to cope with now.


Is the Education Department really set on opening classes in October, COVID or no COVID? What have the parents got to say? Of course the education of children is paramount in their minds, but what does the Health Department say about that? Anyway, let us be optimistic and believe that, by then, all the coronavirus and its remnants have been swept away. But we are now three weeks into September, meaning October is nearer than we think. And I hope the DepEd folks know what they are planning, and who will protest if, indeed, the “coast” has been declared clear by then?


I wonder how the climate is in the United States now, I am not referring to the weather but to the political climate with their elections due in less than two months. Is President Donald Trump still “campante” about his reelection, or is challenger Joe Biden slowly and silently bearing down on him? I don’t know if the ones I talked to were just biased, but a lot of Pinoys who are now U.S. citizens seem to be going for Trump. Well, we don’t know what favors he has granted, or promises to grant them, but let us wait with bated breaths for November 5.*


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October 2020