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Rioting or Vote-Buying?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Was that only what they call a “flash in the pan”? I am referring to the lone medal that our country, through weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz, gifted us on the first days of the Olympics. But since that was the best we could muster, let’s be thankful that Hidilyn made it on the earliest days of the championships, and with her feat, made other competitors sit up and start to realize that  our athletes cannot be brushed off. And our people cannot do enough to show Hidilyn their appreciation, and by doing so, have given incentives to others to try their best and follow her lead.

***

But what is this report I got from TV that many people in several countries are hesitant, or even adverse to undergo vaccinations? Could they still be influenced by the old beliefs of their ancestors? At least the Philippines is more receptive, and, I should even say, more up-to-date in their outlook towards the advances of medicine, and especially vaccination. But, alas! The excitement of the Olympics seems to be blighted by fears of COVID and possible infections, not only from athletes but even from officials of the world’s most exciting competitions!

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It is very distressing to know, however, that one of our neighbors, Thailand, is among those worst stricken by this fearful virus from china that has managed to travel to more and more countries as the days go on. Perhaps we can blame this on the facilities for travel, which have continued to cater to those who have to cross oceans for important missions, or to visit their families in those other countries. Me, I wouldn’t accept any offer to travel, especially by air, where everyone is confined within an area where social distancing may not be easy to accomplish.

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But we cannot help sympathizing with the people in Japan  where I know many of our compatriots are now based. The last I heard from TV reports said 3,300 cases of the COVID were recorded in one day! And this was due to the variant called “Delta” that was described as “globally contagious”! And even  the Olympic  games have been affected, with several athletes sent home before they could compete after testing positive for the COVID! Did I just miss them or were there other gold medals for our players and teams after opening day?

***

This is another time when we should be thankful that we are not among the countries who go through snow and ice during certain months of the year. Suppose we had a climate like Greenland where, recently, such snow and ice started to melt, raising its sea level? This time, we should all pray that such vagaries of climate do not affect us in our beautiful and comfortable tropical country. This is again another time when we should, literally, “count our blessings”!

***

I was shocked to hear that Japan had recorded more than 3,000 cases of infections from COVID in just one day! But I have to admit I do not even know my own country’s statistics as far as this virus from China is concerned. But it seems China prefers to remain tight-lipped about its own cases, and if this is because it has managed to control the surge in their own country, then it is quite selfish of them not to share what they did  with the rest of the world, or even just with other Asian countries. We all belong to the same  continent, you know. Let’s share what we can with each other!

***

I’m sorry I wasn’t able to keep up with the Olympic events and how our athletes are doing, but since we were able to grab a gold on opening days, courtesy of Hidilyn Diaz, Pinoys are happy and grateful, as well as proud as can be for the achievement. I think  Hidilyn gave us our first gold, or has there been anyone else ever since we started competing there? Anyway, her feats should make other small countries like ours sit up and assure themselves that if the Philippines can do it, why couldn’t they? So expect a better prepared and stronger competition from Asians next time!

***

Meanwhile, I wonder why, the Americans are still harping on the incidents during their last elections, such as the riots when the supporters of Donald Trump (have they admitted it?) broke into the capitol in that shameful demonstration that one  wouldn’t have expected in such an advanced country as the United States. But politics does make even the most civilized  people behave differently. Hence, the Americans  stormed the White House, but Pinoys are more subtle, they just buy votes. And which  is more  reprehensible, I am not the one to tell you!.*

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