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Warm hearts, warm seats

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

As I write this, the chances of the biggest and most popular sports competition in the world being held this year appears to be getting dimmer and dimmer. Now even the media in Japan seem to be calling for its cancellation, and they are being led by the country’s most widely circulated newspaper, the Asahi Shimbun. Any day, or even any moment from now, we may get news about its fate, but who can we blame? I am sure Japan itself had been looking forward to host this event, and it is really their turn now.

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But who can argue with those working or crying for its cancellation until better times? Even if Tokyo itself is willing and even ready to host it, which countries are willing to send delegations to take part in the competitions? And who can blame those who back out? The hindrance now is not merely political, or even financial. It is the health, well-being, and even the lives of both the organizers, the officials, and, most of all, the athletes, who will be coming from countries all over the world.

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It could be argued that there is still vaccination to insure that neither athletes nor officials will be carriers nor victims. But what if some participants get  stricken by this dreadful virus that mankind has yet to fully annihilate? We don’t even know yet if Tokyo is still willing to play host despite the raging pandemic, the most important aspect is, will there be enough participating teams from all over the world as in previous holdings of this much-anticipated sports event?

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And as if to confirm the worst fears of both host and participants, the latest reports say that Japan is now going through a surge of the COVID ailment in various parts of the world. So let us not be shocked if news comes out soon about the Olympic event being cancelled, or just “postponed”. No one can blame those in charge for deciding on that, this is not only figuratively, but literally, a matter of life and death. We can enjoy sports activities  and competitions later, when all we need worry about are the preparation and training, as well as the financing of our participants, and not the chances that some of them may catch the virus from other players or officials, and make this Olympic even more historic for  having mortalities!

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Let us relax a bit and think of lighthearted matters to drive the COVID fears away. Have you noticed that the name of the United States Secretary of State is Antony Blinken? Whenever I come across his name in the news, I always think of the kindergarten rhyme “Winken, Blinken and Nod”. He must have gotten a lot of teasing from his schoolmates for his name. For that matter, even in our country, we have people with surnames that must have caused them a lot of irritation from mischievous schoolmates. I had a classmate once with a funny name, and whenever she got teased for it, would snap back, “But I had no choice in the matter, I was born with it!”

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Which was probably what inspired William Shakespeare to ask “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, by any name would smell as sweet”. So if you have a name that evokes jokes and silly comments, just remember to quote Mr. Shakespeare. I think he also had gotten some jokes about his name as a kid. And also, we didn’t have any choice in the matter, did we? We could not even talk, much less protest, when our names were given to us! If you have the misfortune of having a name that others mock, refer them to William Shakespeare.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the experts among  those who had first focused on the coronavirus, has come out saying that there should be more investigations on the sources of this deadly virus that does not seem to have plans to be conquered by today’s scientific workers. But why has he said that only now? Wasn’t he at the forefront of this battle with the coronavirus from the start? Anyway, I hope other scientists can take a cue from that and start deeper studies on this new enemy of humankind. Science had vanquished  other epidemics before, and medicine is more advanced today than in the days of such killers as smallpox, tuberculosis, and others.

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When I first heard Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar speak on TV, my impression was that he was a guy who is going places. He is articulate, intelligent and seemed to have all the answers ready. I remembered thinking, this guy is going places. Then recently, news  came out  that he had been appointed chief of the Philippine National Police. I wish him luck, and I hope his recent actions will be the hallmark of his stint. We have been so disappointed in some who, at first, had “mainitnapuso” and later “mainitnapuwit”. Need I translate?*

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