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Heaven Watch the Philippines!

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Good heavens! Are we living in a gun-happy generation? I’m not talking about our country, although I do fear sometimes that we may get into it. I am more concerned about the United States, supposedly the “land of the free and the home of the brave”, where it seems no day passes without news of some shootings, unreasonable ones, and, in fact, recently, of “mass shootings” as well! How did this come to pass? Me, I suspect this is partly due to the easy access to firepower, because, from what we hear or read in the news, it is very easy to acquire guns there.

***

Well, if their government is really intent and serious about controlling  this strange  development, they could take a cue from our laws on gun possession. Okay, say we have lots of gun shooting cases too, but the acquisition of such arms is more difficult, and the penalty for possessing  unlicensed ones is rather stiff, too. But then, their civilization is older than ours, and yet they cannot control such uncivilized incidents. Note that in some of the mass shooting cases there, the gunman even ends up killing himself as well!

***

I guess religion has also a lot to do with this phenomenon. For this we can thank our Spanish conquistadores for introducing us to Christianity and the stringent prohibitions it imposes on the act of taking the life of another person. That is, of course, to say nothing about how the State also deals with killers. But then, how can we influence those countries that are older and more advanced in every aspect of life than us? And we have to admit, too, that lately some of our own people are getting to think that way, too

***

But now Nature seems to be intervening, and adding its own victims through diseases that humanity had not encountered before. Who would ever think that our lives, seemingly so peaceful, would suddenly be disrupted by a pandemic as devastating as this COVID that is still to be vanquished by science and medicine? When did we all ever imagine that all of a sudden, a new virus would spring out of a Chinese  City called Wuhan, and spread its effects so quickly in so many parts of the world?

***

But the Good Lord has been kind enough to inspire our scientists and medical professionals to discover a vaccine that has, so far, apparently succeeded in holding it off. But, just a minute, maybe I said that too soon. Because a new variant of the disease has also shown up currently, again puzzling our experts, and setting up paranoiac behavior among a lot of our people. Now, most of us are afraid to go out and mingle freely with others and have to go about covered with masks and shields that make us unrecognizable even to our best friends!

***

I heard that about 40 percent of the people in the United Kingdom have already gone through vaccination against COVID. That’s a good enough percentage, and makes me wonder what it is for our country? I am sure that even our major towns and cities have not yet accomplished that much. And, in some cases, not because the vaccines are not available, but people are still hesitant to undergo it! Do we have the percentages of those inoculated in our towns, cities and province? Would they reach even 30 percent? I doubt it. More information dissemination is still necessary to convince everyone of the advantages of the process of vaccination.

***

As I write this, news on TV is reporting that the Delta variant of the COVID seems to be doing its worst, creating concern among our medical community. And finger-pointing will not help, as when some point to travelers or new arrivals as the source of transmission among them. That could only cause enmity. The news right says that the Delta variant is 60 percent more transmissible than its predecessors! But if it is true that only 45 percent of Americans have been vaccinated, what more in the poorer and more distant towns and  countries?

***

But a hopeful bit of news is that U.S. President Joe Biden  had promised  to share vaccines with the whole world. Please, Mr. President, place our country among your priorities. Remember, we had been your adopted children before, and we stuck with you  through thick and thin during World War II. We are therefore counting on that as an assurance of your concern. And we are, at the same time trusting in our favorite hymn that says “Heaven watch the Philippines!*

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