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School in summer?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

As I was starting to write this column, news flashed on TV that schools in the country will open in September. Imagine how happy students, especially those in the lower grades will be to hear that. Several weeks more of freedom! That is, freedom from school work, assignments, projects, examinations, etcetera, and all the workload from school, after so many weeks of liberty! Liberty from so many other things, like going on vacations, having parties and outings, things like that, because of the restrictions Mr. COVID had imposed on us all!

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This will also mean that school and studies will deprive them of the usual happy days of summer, because it will mean that classes may go on through the months students and even teachers and school officials had always look forward to for months of reprieve from all the obligations imposed on them as teachers and administrators. The question is, will the schedule be adopted by our Education Department from hereon? I know that in other countries, like the United States, September has always been school opening time, but it has never been so in our country.

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I guess there is nothing much parents, as well as students, can do about it, except comply, if they want the education of their children uninterrupted. See how much this COVID has affected, not only our lifestyles, but also all phases of our lives. Still, we should not resent it, because, what if classes had opened even at the height of the pandemic? I am sure the number of victims would have doubled or trebled, because how can both parents and teachers avoid, or prevent contacts with their peers who could be carrying the vicious COVID virus on their persons?

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I hear, though, that in New York City, schools have really opened and officials say that they expected 100 percent of students back. Does that mean that all of those involved – students, teachers, officials, even staff, as well as their school bus personnel, have all been declared COVID-free? Maybe, also, it is because their President had ordered the mandatory vaccination of all students and teachers, and, I believe, also government workers? What about our President, what has he got to say about the opening of classes by the end of this month? Just between us girls, I don’t think I have heard any pronouncements from our leader, regarding this pandemic. Maybe his spokesman may have said something, but it would be very different if we were to hear it, figuratively, “from the horse’s mouth”.

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As if the COVID pandemic were not enough to remind us about the power of the elements over us, here comes Typhoon “Chantu” that has caused floods in parts of China and Japan. Chantu reportedly brought very strong winds and floods with a force of 150 miles per hour (MPH)! The strongest typhoon I had ever gone through was Typhoon Yoling when I was still working at the DBP in Makati, and we were all advised to go home even if it was in the middle of the day. I was scared to drive home, because I could see from our 6th floor office that the vehicles in the parking area were being blown across the lane separating the vehicles.

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And it was reported at only 125 kilometers per hour! Now this Chantu is said to be capable of 150 KPH! How strong could that be? I think we should all pray that it skips our country where we have many fragile houses that could be swept away like sawdust! But I believe that if we all pray with all our hearts and minds for us to be spared its wrath, our Heavenly Father will listen to us, and divert Chantu away, far into the distant seas and skip our country. Remember, “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of,” as I love to quote at every threat of danger.

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I had not been very good in geography while in school and hardly remember features of other countries we studied. It was only a few days ago when I saw an item on TV stating that Canada is one country that has 80 percent of its area unpopulated. Could that be a fact? I could hardly believe that, but have to admit that I have only gone to a few cities there where I had relatives who lionized me and my sister Perla. And we were able to stay in the most unusual, but beautiful and welcoming homes, among them a hospital where a relative was a supervisor of nurses.

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Now I wonder. Why did they not think of transporting the fleeing citizens of Afghanistan there? In the United States, they might experience some resentment from the natives who already seem to be feeling “outnumbered” by immigrants. While Canada, beautiful, green, clean, and of which my impression was of a “relaxing” country, is there with lots of space, and opportunities. Ah, no, I have no interest in moving there myself. Good old Filipinas is still the best for me, I admit, that I still hope to go back there – for a leisure trip only, someday!*

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