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Are COVID and Flu cousins?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Did I hear it right? I was tuned to CNN yesterday and got jolted when I heard the announcer saying that the World Health Organization, easier recalled as the “WHO”, had warned that even those who have been vaccinated are still not totally free from infection by this new variant of the merciless COVID, and may still be infected in case  they get exposed to those suffering from it. So what could be the real, the most effective defense to it?

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But one cannot help wondering what is happening to our world now. Not only are we in constant terror over the possibility of catching the virus from China, we also  hear of other calamities, and destructions, like that building crumbling  down in the United States that have not only caused the death of some residents, but have been so mystifying that even now, several days after it happened, several possible victims have not yet been accounted for.

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I can only imagine the numerous charges that may be filed against the constructor of such buildings who may get convicted if some families of victims pursue the charges against them. But what could bring their loved ones, who had perished in them, back? I hope such incidents will warn our own engineers and architects, as well as potential owners of those so-called “high-rise buildings”, about the possibility that they may not be as stable as they believed.

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Such reports of tall buildings collapsing, if not from natural causes like earthquakes  and strong floods, make one realize that, fragile as they may be, nipa huts could still  be the safest homes, because your chances of survival in case of earthquakes, or structural defects, would be better. A silly thought, of course, because I doubt if one can still get a permit to build a nipa hut, especially in cities, nowadays. I don’t want to go scaring people, but lately, everytime I pass through  Lacson Street where  we now have some tall buildings, such fearful thoughts come to me.

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But what seems to be more worrisome nowadays are the chances of  wars breaking out among some countries, especially in Europe. With all the calamities  cropping  up, one wonders how the leaders of such  countries could still entertain ideas of power-grabbing. Some countries are reported to be sweltering under unbearable heat waves, and yet  some still attempt to grab territories that do not have the military resources to defend themselves.

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I must admit again my ignorance, but I was totally confused when I heard the news that the European Union has approved a Climate Change Law. What rules would that law impose on the climate? Can it control its changes and even the intensity of its temperature? Can they apply it to those countries, or parts of some that are now sweltering  under unbearable heat? Anyway, I wish  all those proposing it and working on it the best of success, especially if its effects could be felt in our country as well.

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Meanwhile, I was elated to hear the news that there is an order for members of the police force in our country to undergo psychiatric testing every three years. Indeed, that is a most sensible move, especially when we recall some of the cases  involving the police that indicate not only their unpreparedness for the job, but also  their lack of empathy for the people they have to deal with. One wonders how some of them ever got appointed or hired for police work. Maybe through political connections? That would certainly be the worst “qualification” of all!

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There’s a new one from Singapore. I heard that their medics there have  decided to treat COVID patients in the same way as they treat victims of flu. Oh,  so they must have decided that COVID and flu could be first cousins, if not  actually  siblings! Is this the first time medical practitioners have thought of this? And have  they already treated cases that way successfully? How many thousands of lives  could have been saved, had this been discovered earlier? I can’t wait to hear the statistics on the cases where flu medicines had saved COVID patients!*

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