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They are really for our own good!

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

How are the athletes faring?  I am referring to the ongoing Olympic Games in Tokyo, the site of the ongoing games. As I write  this, the TV is reporting 4,166 new COVID cases, even as the international sports competition known as the “Olympics” continue. But even as I  contemplate  the ongoing reports on TV about the ballooning of records on COVID infections, some irrelevant thoughts still get to my mind. Is that what people call “escapism”?

***

Well, there are also things we could focus on, like, for instance, the accomplishments of our local police in the war against the horror called “drugs”, which, to me is a big misnomer, because, when I was a child “drugs” only meant medicines, or stuff your parents coax you to swallow “for your own good”. Now it has become a dangerous word that has led to the commission of very grievous crimes, and even to the break-up of families. Indeed, it is true, that language, especially English, grows, just like plants and people.

***

But the reports we see on TV often focus on calamities, especially floods and wildfires. There was even a report that the ice in the seas of Greenland have been melting, and causing floods that used to be unknown in the region! With such scary events happening in so many places, one wonders if it will not be time to prepare  for a future somewhere else. Could it be the moon? Some adventurers have already tried their luck there, and if they can assure people that it is habitable, will we see a rush of transferees there?

***

 I do try to take my mind off the calamities involving floods and fires, some of them “wild” ones, the origins of which are not known. This is indeed a strange generation we belong to. It has succeeded in producing so many novelties invented by our geniuses, but also so many calamities whose origins we cannot blame on anyone. But one thing we Asians, especially in the Philippines, would always be grateful for, is that we have a climate that other countries must envy. Let us appreciate the fact that, unlike others, we never get too hot or too cold any time of the year, and if you have never noticed that, it’s about time you did.

***

One of my favorite subject in school was literature, which was why I majored in it when I got to college. And I was very lucky to have teachers who also appreciated their subjects and made us, their students, also begin to appreciate and love poetry. And with the kind of climate the world is experiencing now, but of which we have been spared, one of those poems that come to my mind is one titled “Fire and Ice”, which seems to be very relevant now.

***

I can still memorize it, and quoting it to our readers, hoping it can take their minds off the problems of our generation. Here’s what it says: “Some say the world will end in fire / Some say in ice/ From what I’ve tasted of desire/ I hold with those who favor fire/ And yet I know enough of hate/ To know that for destruction, ice/ Is also great/ And would suffice!” By the strangest coincidence, I saw in a shop a lipstick from the Revlon company, with the shade of “Fire and Ice”!

***

Oh, I splurged my whole week’s allowance  on it and used that shade for several years. And a lot of my friends, even in Makati where I had worked at the head office of the Development Bank of the Philippines, also liked it, and soon our “gang”  went around with similar colored lips! But alas! A few years later, the “pale-look”  got into fashion, and, naturally, you would look like a “promdi” if your mouth still looks as if it were bleeding. Ah, fashion! And Ah, women! Do the men also get into fashion problems like we do?

***

Let’s cross our fingers when we talk about this, but I think Bacolod and Negros Occidental people should be giving prayerful thanks that even if the COVID has not exactly avoided our areas, we have not recorded as many casualties as other places in the country, and even abroad. I think we can credit that to the cooperation of our people and the efforts of our officials to stave off the viciousness of this pandemic that it has exhibited in other countries. But let us not let our guards down, never belittle the efforts of our officials in introducing “protocols” even if they do not force them down our throats by saying “This for your own good”.*

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