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Where is home?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

I heard that it was a Filipino nurse who administered the first vaccination against the COVID 19  to a British citizen! Why? Did the native Britishers not have the guts to   do   the first puncture? That was reported on TV, so I am sure other Pinoys and Pinays over there must have considered it quite a distinction. I hope, though, that the patient did not get any bad after-effects, or they might blame the Pinay for not doing a good job of it. Meanwhile, what is stopping us from also administering the vaccine to our people?

***

I also learned from TV that President Duterte is willing to shell out some P73 billon or was it million, to acquire the vaccine for use in our country. But the amount mentioned does not sound adequate for everyone. Maybe that is all right, because some of our people may be apprehensive, or fearful, and even superstitious about undergoing it. So let the willing ones go first. Is it true that the Secretary of Health, Dr. Francisco Duque, has signified willingness to go first? Bravo!

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But what about the initial report that this vaccine must be kept at temperatures far below what our planes can provide? If so, how do we store it, even if we acquired it? Questions, questions! I do not doubt, though, that someone will soon discover a way of mixing it up so the temperature demand will not be necessary anymore. Ah, if only our own local medics and scientists can themselves find a native cure that could surpass even those concocted by other countries! How famous they would be!

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I heard a warning on TV, though, that even babies can be infected, and, in turn, infect others, too. That report will surely frighten mothers-to-be away from hospitals where their babies will be placed in a common nursery. So where will they prefer to deliver their babies? Surely not at home with the local “paltera” who, herself, may be  a carrier, too? Well, all we can do is pray for deliverance from this virus. I heard Senator Bato de la Rosa declare that his entire family of four had been stricken with COVID, but they were all cured by prayers. So there’s our cue when – God forbid – we get stricken.

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From the reports we get on TV, the United States is one, or the hardest hit of all, by this COVID disease. How come? Well, the answer is obvious when you watch their people on TV, with many of them still “unmasked” and going around freely. I believe we Pinoys are more health conscious, and compliant with instructions on how to keep safe. Go around our city, for one, and you will hardly see an unmasked person. That is not so in the U.S. where some people seem to flaunt the rules that would protect them.

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Haven’t you noticed that holidays seem to be the time for the COVID virus to celebrate, too? In the U.S. their recent holidays were also occasions for the surging of the disease. Let us pray that this Christmas celebration will not make our people become careless and disregard all the rules, all right, “protocols”, to keep ourselves free  of this yet unconquered scourge. And, take a cue from Senator Bato, keep on praying, because “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of”.

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I felt very sad when I read the item in this paper, about a moratorium on the return of LSIs, or Locally Stranded Individuals, returning to Pontevedra town in Negros Occidental (there is also a Pontevedra town in Panay). Seems the Regional Inter-Agency Task Force or RIATF has imposed that, to protect the natives from catching the virus from the LSIs who may have been infected elsewhere. But if they are natives of the town, can they be denied a return? Quarantine them, maybe, but, as the Spaniards say to their guests, “Esta e su casa, bienvenida” – This is your house, welcome!

***

The famous  American  poet – or was he British? Robert Frost  wrote the poignant poem “The Death of the Hired Man”.  Seems the family he worked for did not know exactly where he came from, and could not decide what to do with his body. He had been on that farm for so long, nobody knew his real home, not even the town or the state. But the poet,  decided it in his poem by saying “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in”.*

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