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COVID and the Olympics

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Have you noticed that nobody, especially the media, talks about “rules” anymore? The favorite word now is “protocol”. I wonder what today’s students think of that. Anyway, our officials and media people hardly ever use the old word, anymore, so now it is considered to be hip when you talk about “protocols” instead. At least it diverts us from thinking or worrying too much about this pandemic that does not seem to have plans to go away yet.

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But I believe that the drives for vaccination that is now ongoing worldwide, may be the answer to the malady that has stricken our generation. The puzzling thing is that many people are still reported to be hesitant about accepting vaccinations, that are considered our only weapon against this plague. Why is this so? I heard that certain area in  Metro Manila has adopted the come-on of giving vegetables to those who voluntarily come for vaccinations.

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Are our people, or, at least, many of them still ignorant about the help that vaccines could provide them? Seems unbelieavable in this day and age, but that has been cited in the national news. I hope we still don’t have folks who would rather go to the siruhanos, or herbolarios when they get the symptoms of this raging pandemic. In Bacolod, the mayor had to show himself getting the “shot” to convince people that it is safe! Luckily, he did not feel or suffer any after-effects, otherwise the vaccination drive would have been ended!

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And I hope more will agree to undergo vaccinations when they hear that more than 20,000 have been victimized by this COVID already in our country. That is even less than what other places have recorded. I wonder, though, why some people are still afraid or wary of vaccines. Me, my reason for submitting to it was that, if it could, at least, lessen the effects of the disease, why not take the chance? This is one disease that seems to be developing variants all the time, so if you have a chance to stop it at the earliest time, why hesitate?

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So far, according to media reports, 20,000 have died from the COVID in the Philippines. That is lower than the statistics from other countries, so if there is a chance for less people to be victimized, let’s not be hesitant about accepting the vaccines which, I understand, are administered for free. So why not take advantage of it? News from other countries continue to stress the continuing surge of the disease in them. The last I heard reported was Australia where a “fresh outbreak” of the COVID was reported yesterday.

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I cannot disagree  with President Duterte when he reportedly suggested stiffer penalties for violators of the protocols against the COVID. This was after that so-called “pool party” was held at the NCR, where most of the party-goers, and the swimmers were the most affected. Let us all take this disease seriously, because it has managed to victimize, not only our country, but so many others. And avoidance of crowds and care about the company you keep are just the simple things to observe in order to avoid it!

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A news item yesterday said that Puerto Princesa is seeing a surge of COVID cases. To think that it even seems to be an isolated island! Their worst problem, as reported yesterday, is that they lack nurses and caregivers, and hospitals are offering P30,000 as monthly pay, but there are no takers. They cannot even find nurses’ aides willing to be hired there. One can only wonder how their present staff is coping with this very contagious disease. But at least one good news I heard yesterday was that teenagers can now be vaccinated with the Pfizer vaccine. I’m sure parents are now breathing sighs of relief.

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I am afraid the chances of the Olympic Games, scheduled to be held in Tokyo, Japan this year, are getting less and less with the sponsors themselves calling for its cancellation. And who can blame them. The same report added that only 5 percent of the people in Tokyo have undergone vaccination. Who are the team leaders and athletes willing to take the chance of competing there? After all, who wants to take home stricken athletes instead of trophies? COVID is not a game but a deadly new disease.*

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