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The life you save

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Has COVID not reached them? How come Israel and Palestine still have time to focus their attention on warfare? Haven’t they heard of Pakistan  where a toll of almost 200 was recorded in one week? Despite this, it sounds as if rockets are raining down on those places. It is also shocking to hear that Taiwan, a very peaceful place, is among the worst hit with very daily records. And I thought that this pandemic was slowing down, with vaccines being available already.

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But it looks as if the vaccines produced by several countries still cannot catch up at the rate the virus is also spreading. But it is with great hope that we are welcoming the shipments of vaccines to our city, with several communities already receiving them. Let us just hope  and pray that we do not run out of them until this new virus has been conquered. Incidentally, I did not realize at first that two doses are needed to assure immunity. I was already feeling exultant with my first, now I need to wait for the next, still wondering how much protection that first shot had given.

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But it was shocking to hear the news that a shipment of Sinovac to Cotabato had been wasted and could no longer be administered to people. The report did not specify the reason, but I surmised that they may not have complied with the requirement of storing it in very, very cold temperatures, otherwise they would lose their efficacy. What a pity, if true, because not all town, cities and provinces have already been supplied with the life saving shots. Perhaps the Health Department should send one of its staff to see to it that the recipient city or province complies with the temperature requirement, lest they go to waste.

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As I write this, news came out on TV that the chief of the Olympic games is determined to go on with the competition. Hurrah for him! Yes, there is still time to vaccinate the athletes, referees and officials of the games. As for those who want to watch, there is always television, and if they are all fully vaccinated, there will be no problem in filling the stands. Holding the games could be a very good incentive for those who seem to despair over the state of the world with this pandemic still raging. Let’s not give up hope!

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Despite the escalating conflict between Israel and Palestine, Filipinos working, or are actually citizens there, especially of Israel, are not thinking or planning to come home. I guess they feel safe enough there, where they can hide in shelters to avoid being hit by air strikes, than coming home and getting infected with COVID! I don’t know, however, if either Israel or Palestine has also been hit by the coronavirus pandemic. They must enjoy their lives there, and cannot be sure if they will thrive as well in their native land.

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I heard that U.S. President Biden has been asked to broker peace between Israel and Palestine. Poor Biden! He has barely warmed his seat at the Capitol, now they want him to solve an international conflict. Well, it is a challenge, and the world is waiting to see how he will respond to it. I hope it will not mean sending U.S. troops to one of the protagonists, sending U.S. dollars or arms, because whichever one he helps, the other will be antagonistic, not only to him, but his country as well.

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Meanwhile, how is the vaccination drive of our government going on? Is our Health Department focusing on the job of vaccinating, not only residents of major towns, cities and provinces, but also distant barangays and sitios? Let us not just make a show of vaccinating officials and important personages in our communities, let this privilege be available to everyone even in the remotest areas of the country. Let us take a cue from Scotland, where even the most remote and farthest islands have now been fully vaccinated. Has anybody taken a check on, say, Tawi-Tawi?

***

There is now an ongoing confusion over the wearing of masks, which I think will need a decision from the World Health Organization. Seems people who have been vaccinated are insisting that they need not wear masks anymore, but some medical authorities still maintain that they are necessary, until this virus is finally and completely driven away. I guess it will be up the person  or family. If they believe they are completely immune let them be. But if it is true that there are fake vaccines in the market, then you can take your own risk. Mask wearing  is a small inconvenience, and as the saying goes, “The life you save may be your own”.*

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