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Should we be building arks, too?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Was that all? I am referring to the lone gold medal that our country has gleaned from the ongoing Olympic games in Tokyo, Japan. What if we did not have a Hidilyn Diaz, the petite girl with the muscles that could hoist a 347 weight, and even making the feat look so easy? How lucky and blessed we are for sparing Hidilyn from a positive COVID test, like many of the other participating athletes. How heartbreaking it must have been for those contestants who prepared so long and so arduously to earn a gold for their country. At least we had Hidilyn, who did it by lifting 347 pounds to grab that gold!

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But I have not been up-to-date in following the games and the results, so there may have been or will be other Filipino winners like Hidilyn. To think that a mere slip of a girl was the first to give her country a gold in the international competition! And, gosh, she did not get it by running, or through any other sports, but by hoisting 347 pounds! Whatta girl! And now she is being lionized, not only by sports officials but by so many other Filipinos, who cannot do enough to let her know how proud they are of her. Let us hope and pray for more of Hidilyn’s type to come up in the future Olympics.

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I guess it is only sports that is distracting us from all the calamities being recorded in so many parts of the world. The fact that Japan, with its capital, Tokyo, hosting the games this time, must be rejoicing over their superior performance only shows that they have prepared heart and soul for it. So it could not be fair to call them “hometown decisions”, would it? By the way, how has the ongoing COVID pandemic been affecting that country? Have the athletes participating all been successfully vaccinated against it?

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It seems strange that various countries also have various approaches to this pandemic. In Afghanistan, a different problem is causing its people to plead for evacuation to the United States, and among them are those who served as translators for American troops. What they are fleeing from are not natural calamities, but the possibility that they may be overwhelmed by the Talibans who have long been eyeing their country. Most of those to be given priority, I understand, are those who had served as translators for the Americans, and would, most likely be considered “traitors” by the ferocious Talibans.

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This does not sound like good news, but a report yesterday said that vaccines against this COVID have a “waning” effect, which means that, like some medicines, it also has an expiry date! So how do we know when we need to get another shot to remain protected against it? Of course thousands in our city and province have already undergone vaccination, but how do they know when their effects have worn off? That is another problem for the medical community to resolve. It also means that because one has been vaccinated, or has been “shot”, one is totally immune already!

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In Europe, vaccinated people are issued what they call “Green Passes” that they should bring along with them to show others that they are “safe”, and not transmitters. In the United States workers have reportedly been ordered to get vaccinated, and refusal or failure to comply could lose them their jobs. At least that has not happened in our country. For me, that is rather drastic, but perhaps, like a parent punishing a child, their bosses could tell them, “This is for your own good”.

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It was rather shocking to hear that there has been a new outbreak of the COVID in China. New? Was it not there where this all came from? Or does this mean that they thought they had totally vanquished it, only to find its virus creeping back? One would think they had already found the best cure for it, since it actually broke out in their country from where it quickly spread worldwide. I did not notice what variant the new outbreak has brought, but whatever it is, surely there is something to counter it?

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But it seems that the greatest problem of our country are floods. It is so difficult to imagine that even Baguio, as highly located as it is, could also be hit by floods.  Even its winding roads are watery, and commuters must be having a hard time negotiating them. There were even some houses in Lubang – that’s in Pampanga, isn’t it – where the flood waters reach their rooftops! It does seem that Biblical events are threatening to show up in our times. Will the time come when every household will have to be prepared with a banca or a canoe, just as Noah had to build an ark? But Noah  was said to be a good man, which was why he was instructed by God on how to save himself and his family. Do we all deserve to be given such warnings and instructions, too?*

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