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Fear the COVID, not the vaccine

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

As if it were not enough that we are experiencing floods, earthquakes and a pandemic to top them all, some regions and countries are also going through, others are also frequent and long lasting brownouts these days. Whenever you talk to people – on the phone, that is – no other topic grabs the show than the statistics on COVID-19 infections, as well as the sacrifices and agonies of officials who have to continue trying to find a panacea for all the ills we are going through these days!

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How long, Lord God, how long? That was the cry of a high priest in olden times when his country was also hit by what our generation has identified as the one brought by what medical people have identified as the coronavirus disease, that people quickly nicknamed as COVID-19. But alas, it was only its name that was adopted quickly, its tenure has, as yet, to be determined, even with specialists all over the world struggling to find a cure for it. I have the feeling that this era may be referred as the COVID era!

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But hope springs eternal, and now we have a vaccine especially intended to protect the innocent from infection. I hope it is not true that some people are still suspicious about its efficacy. And if it is true that some people still refuse to undergo the very inexpensive and even free vaccination from their local governments, then they would have no one else to blame if they catch it, and infect their families and loved ones! There are reports coming that some of those vaccinated got infected, anyway, but I also heard they were able to survive it.

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So I keep hoping and praying that vaccination teams will be able to reach out to all provinces, their towns and cities, barangays, as well as puroks. They will bless their officials if their loved ones continue to be free from infection, or, if at all, infected, could be able to survive it. I hope their officials will remember to remind them of how our forefather had suffered from scourges like small pox and tuberculosis that used to be incurable and had caused agonizing deaths in the past.

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Neither I nor the staff of the DAILY STAR had any idea of how far our newspaper had been reaching until this pandemic came along and we missed a few issues when the COVID stretched its reach. But the STAR was born from the efforts of local media men and women who were titillated by the idea of having a daily paper for our city and province. Now we are aware that we are being read worldwide because of feedback from so many people in other countries. That made all the sacrifices and fears about its longevity disappear, knowing “Hindi tayo nag-iisa,” or We are not alone!

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But one cannot imagine how cruel those oil producing countries and companies can be when they, too, hastened to hike the prices of their products to the despair of poor countries like ours that have to rely on them for our needs. One cannot help thinking of the phrase “Man’s inhumanity to man”, whenever an oil hike is announced. Whenever a hike in oil prices is announced, I always think of that time during Cory Aquino’s presidency, when there seemed to be a “find” of an oil source in our country. Whatever happened to that?

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Did I hear it right? I am referring to a news item that said the president has ordered that vaccination must be made obligatory. Me, I have no objection to that, having gone through with the required two doses already. But some philosophers are saying that they know of some vaccinated people who still got infected, anyway. But the one good thing about it is that, they got infected mildly, and recovered! So it is still worth undergoing the process, if you don’t want to end up among the statistics on fatalities.

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But if you have not been vaccinated yet, better go through it because the President has hinted that he will make vaccination “obligatory”. Now, you don’t want to be dragged out by policemen for the process, because it seems that is what our President intended. Yes, some have philosophized that they know of vaccinated people who got infected, anyway. But the better news is that they caught the virus, but it didn’t kill them. That’s something to think about, isn’t it?*

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