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Who are the pygmies?

The vaccines are coming! Well, that is the way reports on TV seem to say. And they already have the names of Pfizer and Biontech, or have the two combined their efforts to produce a very powerful one? Whatever its name is, or who invented it, that will surely ease the worry and fright of humanity that this coronavirus, aka, COVID 19 has brought to the entire world. Is it true that our President is ready to pay billions to acquire them for us? Of course he should be willing, what would happen to this country he is governing if all its citizens have succumbed to this novel virus?

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Well, the vaccines are really there, in the United States and some other wealthy countries, and for sure they are willing to share them with us. But there is the problem of shipment, because they require temperatures that may not be present or available in tropical countries like ours. Ordinary freezers will not do, and a big problem is its transit from one city or town to another. Let us just hope that some process will be developed to enable countries like ours to acquire them.

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Reports about vaccines make us hopeful, but those about victims, even from the biggest and wealthiest countries, can still be discouraging. Early this week, it was reported that 11,251,754 cases were accounted for in the United States. I failed to follow up on the mortalities, but they must be considerable, too. Vaccinations are said to be underway there, but politics seems to be getting in the way. The outgoing president, Donald Trump, is believed to have lost because he did not do much to counter the surge of the COVID. By the way, wasn’t he a victim himself?

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As for the President-elect Joe Biden, he seemed to know what his people wanted to hear, and therefore capitalized on it. He apparently said the right things at the right time, hence his victory. But if, as they say, “The proof of the pudding is the eating”, let us see how he fares in the early days of his presidency. Trump and his followers must just be waiting for him to make a slip, as far as the virus is concerned. Meanwhile, I cross my fingers as I say this, but doesn’t it seem as if our own doctors have a better – shall we say, more advanced – way of handling the COVID? Or is it because we are not very faithful in reporting statistics?

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But listen to this and rejoice, all ye females! The one who pioneered in producing the vaccine against this new virus is a woman, identified as KatalinKariko (hope I got the spelling right). Of course she was later joined by other scientists but she is credited for starting it all! She belongs to the group of Biontech. Whoever it is, the pioneer’s name will go down in medical history, especially if the percentage of prevention is very high. For the sake of mankind, let it be!

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Meanwhile, when will classes start in our country? Thousands, even millions of students in all levels of education must be cooling their heels, or getting into mischief now with nothing to occupy their minds or distract them from it. Are the online classes succeeding? What about children in remote barangays and puroks – is education accessible to them? But the President was quoted as declaring that classes will not open until a vaccine is available. Is he ready with the P73 BILLION that is supposed to cost our country?

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Despite the seeming absorption of countries in the COVID surges cropping up everywhere, the international chismis involves the alleged hacking of American agencies by Russia! Tsk, tsk,  that’s all we need at this point, a war between the two giants! Maybe the pandemic is not enough distraction for them? But conflict between the two is nothing new, they have always been on the verge of conflict – what with their different ideologies and beliefs. All the rest of the world can do is hope and pray that this does not develope into a major conflict that nobody wins.

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Those who lived through, or have studied thoroughly the origin and progress of World War II probably recall that even our country, then a fledgling one, was involved because we were under the wings of America then. Now we are independent, thanks to the generosity of the U.S.A. but will we be unscathed if the two come to blows? There is another saying I like to quote – “When giants fight, the pygmies tremble”. And who are the pygmies?*

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