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RP top Olympians in SE

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

I guess it has been because of the isolation. I suddenly realized I have become “bingit” – sorry I can’t find an exact translation for that in English, but in our dialect, it is not a very complimentary word, because it means you are too sensitive, and if you are still a child, it would mean you cry at the slightest provocation. But I confess that I felt teary-eyed when I watched the closing of the Olympic Games, without the thousands of spectators,  butmaybe millions only watching via TV,  suddenly I felt like exclaiming “Oh COVID! What have you done to this generation?”

***

And yet, I do acknowledge, and every morning and night, give thanks to Our Lord for protecting our country, and especially our city, from the effects of this new virus that China has shared with virtually the entire world. Not only had it affected peoples’ activities, as well as their mobility, it has also created a fear that I think no other disease or epidemic had brought upon us. Of course I acknowledge, and morning and night, give thanks to Our Lord for sparing our city, our province, and in general, our country, from what other places have gone through.

***

It was quite an emotional leave-taking for the athletes and officials of the Olympics. It was very uplifting to note that winners as well as losers were equally  teary-eyed at parting. I guess they were all emotional, not only because of the friendships and closeness that had developed, but also for the fact that they had all survived the odds of catching the virus, despite their interactions. And it could also be partly for the fact that they had given their all as they played and competed, but there were no spectators to cheer and applaud their successes.

***

The games closed with the handing over of the Olympic baton from the representative of Japan to that of France, because the next venue of the international sports fest will be Paris. Oh my! Unless Mr. COVID gives up its mischiefs next year, the games may not draw as many spectators as they used to, in pre-COVID days. But Oh! What a come-on the site will be not only for sports lovers, but also for the ordinary tourist who will find an excuse to save and prepare to travel to the City of Lights.

***

Whoever had spread the canard that our city and province have already been invaded by the Delta variant of the COVID, must be someone who envies us for the fact that we have been spared the number and the intensity of the disease in other areas. Or perhaps they had heard that no less than our Health Department had been quoted as having warned that the Philippines is considered a high-risk area for the COVID.

***

But, indeed there are some provinces and cities in our country that have been hit harder by this virus, and among them is Pampanga where 27,000 reportedly tested positive! One can only wonder whether their officials have done their duty in seeing to it that their people are properly protected from this raging virus. Or could it be that their people are themselves not willing to undergo vaccinations and other procedures that could minimize the risk of infection, and even protect their loved ones as well?

***

Because, nowadays, it could be selfish on the part of a family member, whether he or she is the breadwinner or not, to be careless about undergoing the procedure that could save them, or reduce their risks to infection and, in turn, pass it on to their families. With the government also doing its best to provide vaccines and other support to its constituents, there is no reason for getting infected, unless one has a death wish! Of course, there is no 100 percent guarantee that vaccinations can completely protect you, but there will be no one else to blame if you do not take advantage of the preventives being provided for everyone, and for free at that.

***

But there is some good news for our country in that our Olympic participants did very well in the Games that closed Sunday. The Philippines was reported to have topped all Southeast Asian countries in the medal hail, and for the first time, our athletes brought home a gold, a silver, and a bronze medal! That is something to take our minds off the virus, which, fortunately, did not attack any of them during the games. But is it true that cases ballooned in Tokyo during the games? Don’t look at us, our athletes didn’t bring any virus there!*

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