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What’s between COVID and sports?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Have you noticed that there is one area where the COVID fears do not have some effects? I am referring to basketball, volleyball and golf where the players seem  impervious to the international phobia against this virus. Maybe athletes do have strong resistance to ailments. So parents should not discourage their kids who are talented in sports, unless, of course, there are threats of infection that have been noted. I note that TV continues to cover sports activities, though some of them may be “repeats”.

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Remember the old saying that Physical Education teachers  used to drum into their students? “A sound mind in a sound body”, they would say when some of us girls seem to be malingering on “those days”. Indeed, our starring athletes – we were in an all-girls school – had sturdy bodies, but, some of them were not very bright in class. So, when we were in senior high school, and a student would fumble during recitation, one of our teachers would say, “Just take up P.E. as major”. Which maddened our P.E. teacher who was not only good-looking, but quite bright, too.

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Meanwhile, how can we stop thinking or writing about the COVID pandemic that has still to be conquered and vanquished totally?  Reports continue to tell about growing  numbers of victims, as well as different  kinds of vaccines, but it doesn’t seem to respond as expected. Has vaccination already started in the Philippines? Last I heard, it may be until the third quarter of February when we will be able to get a supply. And whether it will be Astrazeneca or the Pfizer version  that we are procuring, we also do not know yet. Let us just hope that our Health officials know what they are doing, rather, choosing.

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I cannot  help smiling behind  their backs when I hear people talking about how scarce tourists  are nowadays. I guess they are people who belong to the hotel or restaurant business. But hotels, and inns seem to be doing well – as quarantine centers! And they are not being expropriated, the government pays for those who cannot afford,  and those who can, pay for themselves because they won’t stay at third or second  class accommodations. I heard that some well-to-do patients pick the cheaper ones, but bring their own beddings and other needs, including food.

***

Sometimes it is strange to think of the United Kingdom also being hit severely by this pandemic. Well, that is one country I have not yet gone to, but I imagine  it to be very clean and green, with its people very fastidious and careful about their surroundings. So Mr. COVID is no respecter even of monarchies. When I heard that report, I wondered  immediately whether Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip had been vaccinated already. For that matter, has the new U.S. President Joseph “Joe” Biden, also had his shots already?

***

Meanwhile, I was pleased to hear that the Negros Press Club has again elected a female for president. Show ‘em, girls! Having a female get the post always excites me because, bragging aside, I was the first female to head that club and, would you believe, the boys even boasted to other press clubs whenever we had gatherings in the National Press Clubin Manila, that ours was “the first press club in the world”, kuno, to pick a female president. There were only three of us girls in the club then – Nena Villanueva, Eduviges “Ed” Gasataya, and me.

***

For guest speaker during our induction program, I invited the popular Manila Times columnist Jose L. Guevara, a well known punster, who started his speech by saying “I could not resist the invitation to come, because I wanted to see what it is like after all the male members of the Negros Press Club decided to put themselves Under the saya and elected a woman to lead them”. I could have conked his head, but he was good enough to come to Bacolod – but he had to be accompanied by the president of the National Press Club, then NereoAndolong, because he later found out that Joe had a great fear of flying. They had to borrow the private plane of some millionaire media owner to fly them over. But it was worth it, because almost all of Bacolod’s bigshots came to our  program to listen to him!

***

Those were the thoughts the NPC elections, which I could not attend, brought back. I’m sorry to miss the voting, but I wish all those elected the best, who will strive to maintain the record of the club in the community. If I may suggest, my two terms – with intervals – always included seminars on journalism, since I knew that very few of the members then had undergone formal training. But we made them seminar-excursions sponsored by companies and individuals who were interested in media coverage improvement as well.*

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