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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, March 26, 2020
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OPINIONS

Now itís New York City

Ninfa Leonardia

It is now the sixth day of my “incarceration” and there is still no hope of pardon. It could have been a wonderful vacation, with nothing to do but rest, watch and find fault with everything and everybody, if people do not keep reminding one that this is regulatory for “seniors”. Do they have to rub that in? Anyway, I now have a long distance relationship with the STAR staff, and so far, things seem to be working out.

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That is, if we are not threatened at the close of everyday that the next day there will be a lockdown or a 24-hour curfew which would mean that there would be nobody on the streets, in the shops and in the playgrounds. But then one feels guilty for griping when others are dealing with weightier problems, so I chastise myself that things could be worse, as it is with other people, and no other countries. Indeed, when you come to think of it, aren’t we much better off than those others? So let us be thankful for this privilege and keep on praying for the victory of science and medicine over this plague that has come upon us.

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But listening or watching the news on TV could also heighten one’s anxieties. Like when you learn that some official who seemed so healthy has been stricken by this coronavirus that has baffled the world’s best minds in science and medicine. For instance, it was a shock to learn that Senator Koko Pimentel, one of the bright young men in the Senate, has tested positive for the virus and also the mayor of Naic, Cavite who was not named in the report, though.

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How things have changed, really. You see people attending meetings, sitting a meter away from each other. You see groups of people waiting for rides, all masked and virtually unrecognizable, and it now looks as if it is the most normal thing to see, but you hardly recognize your friends because half their faces are covered. You also are saddened to hear that, so far, five medical doctors have died because they had been contaminated, most possibly by their own patients. Couldn’t we call them martyrs for the virus?

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It was good that an order was given that stores should not require their customers to wear masks. Is it true that some establishments have put up signs saying “NO MASK, NO ENTRY”? Now that is clear, and paranoid establishments must know they cannot oblige customers to wear masks before admitting them. But let us congratulate the enterprising ones, like those in Pasig City where a rolling store is now going around servicing people. It won’t be long, I am sure, before others get the same idea.

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Meanwhile, New York City is getting to be what they call the “epicenter” of the coronavirus, or “China Virus” as President Trump has renamed it. This is a source of worry for my folks, because we have a lot of relatives living there, but so far, none have reported any problem virus-wise, so we just accept the saying “No news is good news”. By the way, was it UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson who told his people to “Stay at home, don’t be selfish”?

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Ah, but we have some good news also being reported lately. There is the one about the New People’s Army agreeing to a ceasefire that at first it seemed so refuse. I think it is also good news that the Olympics officials have finally agreed to postpone the games supposed to be held in Tokyo in July – or is it June? How do we know that the virus has fully rotted away by then? In the meantime, let us continue to pray that our leaders are granted the wisdom and inspiration to be able to adopt the proper measures to save our people. Prayers are our last recourse in this.

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And let us not complain anymore when we are prohibited from going out and exposing ourselves to the lurking danger of infection. Although, Thank God, we have heard of only one PUI, or Person under investigation here, one is too much already if set free in a community. Let us remember that Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, who has been in office since 2005, hence also a senior citizen, is now also working from home. Like me. He he.*

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