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Call it ‘social dis-dancing’

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

As I sat down to type this column, the TV announced that Japan has declared a “State of Emergency” in Tokyo. Bye, bye Olympics? Sorry to sound callous, of course I sympathize with the people of Japan who must be nearing a state of panic, if not already there. Of course theirs is not the only country being threatened by this mysterious disease that had sprung up so suddenly, and spread its venom so widely. Have our doctors  and scientists not yet concocted a sure cure, for those infected, and are the vaccines already in the works succeeding?

***

The latest from the international media is that Africa seems to be the worst hit by the virus. Strange, because Africa is far from China, where it originated. Have there been many travelers from China, and other stricken countries who have traveled to Africa? But how can any country declare itself closed to any foreigner coming in, especially if they happen to be people who have business or relatives, even families living there? We cannot stop people from traveling because they either have folks in those countries they are visiting, or may even have business connections there, too.

***

This may sound funny, but in some countries, especially those observing the “social distancing” dictum strictly, the young folks are asking for them to be allowed to hold dances and parties, with the assurance that they will observe S.D. If  that puzzles you, it is just my nickname for Social Distancing. And what they mean is that they can go dancing, but have to do it solo – meaning no holding-holding, no check-to-cheek. But I think there is an advantage there, because no one needs to be a wall-flower, one can stand up and wiggle to the music by his or her lonesome!

***

Oh, I am not making a joking matter out of this scourge that has come in our generation, but surely we cannot just moan and curse those who may be transmitters of the virus, because they themselves are victims and could not have avoided getting hit by it. So all we need to do is listen to all the advice and warnings intended to keep us free from being contaminated. And if you don’t care for yourself, think of your loved ones  you may contaminate. And adopt the old saying that “Home is the best”.

***

But what is this late news that Tokyo is now among the hardest hit by the COVID? Will there be time and facilities in other countries that may be willing to host the international sportsfest  that the world has been waiting to watch and enjoy? Even young people, still in school, are  eagerly looking forward to it, with some, who knows, even dreaming of being able to participate it someday? But we have to sympathize with Tokyo, it must have spent quite a lot of time, effort and funds to prepare the venue, and now, who knows if it can even take place this year?

***

Now for the lighter side of the news. I was quite amused, and, of course, proud when I was watching a TV program featuring food, and recipes that I am sure many housewives and cooking enthusiasts are watching. There was this demonstration on cooking and one on recipes featured rice. And one of the observers, a male, very formal and dignified  looking,  was asked to sample a dish that featured rice, and he exclaimed, “Why this tastes like the Philippine calo-calo!” I guess the guy must have been to the Philippines, but I don’t know if other towns and cities also call our lightly fried rice also “calo-calo”!

***

On more serious matters, the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan  must have been a big blow to its people, who are now cowering  in fear that the Taliban will attack them and, worse, take their government over. All these years, the Afghans  had  been feeling safe, thinking no other country will disturb them with American troops standing by. But the new U.S. President probably does not think much of the idea of sustaining American soldiers there, and recalled them.

***

I am sure other countries are sympathizing with Afghanistan, that has only kept the Taliban at bay because of the presence of the American military there. But with the Biden decision to pull out his troops, leaving the Afghans to their own devices, one cannot blame them for being both disappointed and disgusted. That is to say nothing of their being fearful that the Taliban will swoop down on them anytime. Can we blame them for saying, as quoted in the CNN report, “No one will trust the Americans anymore”. Sorry guys, maybe they want something in return.*

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