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Blue blood in the animal kingdom

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Something is really wrong with our world, but perhaps we should consider ourselves luckier, or more “protected”, than others whose countries are beset with floods, wildfires and other calamities. I think we are being reminded that we have become too complacent, thinking that we can get along, figuratively, on “our own steam” without seeking the help of our Maker. Sorry to sound so morbid this early, but maybe this isolation is also getting me into that state.

***

Seeking entertainment or distraction from TV could only make matters worse because, except for the joy that our Olympic performers had given us lately, there haven’t been any happenings or news that could lighten up our spirits. After hearing about floods and wildfires, there was also news yesterday about a strong earthquake in Davao that was reported to be at Magnitude Seven! Now, that is quite a strong one, and we can only wonder how the people there have reacted to it. I recall how frightened we were to experience Magnitude 3 or 4 – how scary would Magnitude 7 be?

***

But life has to go on, pandemic or no pandemic. And how I sympathize with the new graduates of Law who are due to take the bar examinations. That means those who are from the provinces have to risk travelling to Manila where some of them had to take review classes, while their families back home worry and pray, not only for their successful results in the examination, but also for their protection from the virus spreading its venom there.

***

I can just imagine what the bar examinees have been going through as they prepare to hurdle what is probably one of the most, if not the most, difficult tests in their lives. And the bar examination is not just like any civil service test that one can do without passing, it is the only means they have to be able to practice the profession they have studied long and hard, for. And it is one course that takes several years of college work, but which one cannot practice without literally “passing the bar”! These days, not only the examinees are worried about passing the exams, their folks also cannot sleep worrying about the exposure they may get to COVID carriers!

***

One thing this pandemic has also confirmed, for me, at least, is that we Filipinos are more concerned about our health and do not need to be threatened in order to comply with requirements, like, for instance, the wearing of masks. In some countries, reports have come out about people getting into arguments, or being arrested for their resistance to the very simple requirement of covering their noses and mouths, to avoid inhaling the virus that could be flying in the air, waiting for victims!

***

But it is distressing to hear that, so far, only about 18 million Pinoys have been fully vaccinated, that is, with the required two doses. Maybe some of those who got the first shots, didn’t return for the next, thinking that was all they needed to escape the COVID. And for those who believe, or used to believe, that children have natural immunity to this virus, should disabuse their minds, because the latest reports have shown that some 3,000 kids in Cebu, have tested positive for it! What about other towns and cities? Have they managed to keep the virus at bay?

***

But one cannot help sympathizing with the people in Cavite whose relatives had succumbed to COVID and were not only shocked, but also resisted the efforts of hospital staff to ensure that their bodies were cremated! Because, of course, cremation is not common in our country, and perhaps the bereaved families are shocked by the idea of having their beloved member burned to ashes! I don’t know if that is now a lawful requirement, I mean, cremation, but I guess the authorities have good reason to require it, to protect members of the family of the departed one, and even those who insist on going to the wake and attending the burial.

***

Maybe we should be writing about matters that can lighten our spirits, like for instance the report that the octopus, yes, the relative of the squid, has been discovered to have blue blood! Wow! They must be the “royalty” of the animal kingdom. I always thought that, because squids squirt inky stuff, octopus (should it be “octopi”?) have the same bloodline. The next time I see an octopus, I will insist on seeing it bleed, so I can tell Queen Elizabeth and all the members of royalty, that they could be related to the octopus, and see how they will react to it!*

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