The vaccine race is on

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What does it mean when they say that the judge threw the book at you? As I know it, the idiom translates to your conviction. In the case of the United States election and their incumbent president who is running for reelection, it is no longer just an idiomatic expression, it is literally happening. This is because several books have come out about him that are not at all complimentary or contributory to a sure victory. I heard about eight books have already been published, or in the works, that could give the votes to his opponent, Joe Biden.

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Why, even his own sister was the first to publish a book that reportedly was not at all flattering to her brother. One wonders what kind of family life he had as a child. But yesterday it was noted that they could have been affected by the treatment of their father, and the absence of their mother. Well, we have no way of verifying that, but I think such items were noted in all those books about him, among which was that written by his sister. And now more and more books are coming out, which CNN described as “an avalanche”, that could certainly affect his chances. In fact, another report said these books were so salable they were “flying off the shelves”!

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A bit of encouraging news is that about the three big pharmaceutical companies that are now competing in the production of a vaccine against the COVID that has so far eluded conquest by medicine. Pfizer, Moderna and Oxford are the ones believed to be nearing success but the item stressed that it will not be tested in the Philippines. I should say not, because another report said that a man who volunteered for testing, actually became sick. So let us not be in too great a hurry to be guinea pigs, let the ones with martyr complexes do it.

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Meanwhile, let us wait for the rejoinder of former President Barack Obama to the claim of President Trump that this is all the fault of the former President for neglecting health issues during his term. But he himself has been president for almost four years now, hasn’t he done something to undo what he believes his predecessor had neglected? He would have become a hero and a shoo-in for reelection had be accomplished that. Meanwhile not much has been heard from challenger Joe Biden lately. Maybe he is busy closing ranks with his party mates and whoever he can charm from the Trump camp.

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Isn’t it a shame that in the midst of a pandemic that has also hit our country badly, there is a move seeking the resignation of the Secretary of Health? If the allegations against him, especially those involving funds, are true, shouldn’t the President himself fire him outright? Now he is in hot water and some senators are calling for his resignation. But if the cases poised against him are credible, he should not only be allowed to resign, charges should be filed against him. The amounts supposedly involved are staggering enough to merit it.

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And ah, the Pemberton case that has earned the President a lot of criticism after he granted absolute pardon for the American Marine! Suddenly I recalled that the case involved a transgender who dated the American soldier who did not know that it was not a real woman he was asking out, and later – I can’t recall where and how – he discovered that he had been fooled. He was tried for her death and convicted, I think, six years ago, and now President Duterte has pardoned him. Well, at least he had served six years in detention, although some activists are angry that he was not jailed in the Bilibid prison.

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By the way there are plans – maybe they have already been approved by now – to close all cemeteries from October 31 to November 3. Now November 1 and 2 are sacred days for the dead, and that is when relatives flock to their graves to offer flowers and pray for their departed loved ones. Of late years, the practice has become a sort of fiesta where families bring food and make a party out of the visitation. It was also a good time to meet relatives and friends who are on the same mission. But now, if the order becomes official, believe me, our folks will find a way.

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They will either go there on October 30 or November 3 and do the same thing they used to. Anyway, some may reason, none of the dead there can infect anybody, since they died before COVID came out. And those who lately died of the disease have all been cremated and can no longer infect anyone. This time, it’s the living we should watch out for, the dead, not even their ghosts, can infect us with the disease that caused their demise. So, obey the protocols, but it can’t stop you on October 30 or November 4. Unless some killjoys in government also declares those days “lockdown times”, too.*

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