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Who can watch the Olympics?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

Don’t un-cross your fingers yet, there doesn’t seem to be a strong assurance yet that Olympic Games will proceed as scheduled next Friday, July 23. And if ever it does take place, what kind of activity will it be when no spectators will be allowed to watch in person? I guess that will do for sports fans worldwide who can watch the activities on TV, but what about the athletes, the performers themselves? What incentive will they have to do their best?

***

Imagine yourself watching, say a thrilling basketball game where you cannot clap or cheer or even stamp your feet as you react to the performances. Will they allow those who insist, and even agree to sign documents declaring they know the risks they are taking? And if you were one of the athletes, can you say that the audience reactions, whether rooting for your team or slamming it, will not affect you? At  the outset, who would have thought  that this COVID, that everyone initially thought was just a health problem would also affect so many other aspects of life?

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But that is where we are now, in the midst of a strange new disease that has so speedily spread around the world and claimed so many victims, that it seems to have petrified activities, among them entertainment and sports. That is to say nothing about other, even more important activities like classes and traveling, that have to be suspended because of the potential of infections while in contact, or in the company of other people, especially those who may not even know yet that they have already contracted it!

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Everyday, I, for one, give thanks for the inventors of such items as radio and television, that can be, at least, substitutes for actual person to person contacts. And I guess we  also have to appreciate, first, Mr. Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone and other geniuses who improved on it and even invented more devices, not only for entertainment, but also for communication. Everytime I hear  the injunction “Stay Home”, I think of the old song “Home on the Range” that an uncle of ours taught me and my late sister Perla when we were children. Oh, how I miss both of them now!

***

Is it on or off? I am thinking again of the Olympic Games that are supposed to begin next week. Seems even that internationally awaited event is also being affected by this ongoing scourge called COVID, but of course, not only because of it. For one, reports have informed us that one of the world’s popular and admired players, Roger Federer, is now out of commission, you might say, after suffering a knee injury. But, so far, I have not heard or seen any report on the games being cancelled, only that games may be played, but no spectators will be allowed!

***

For me, the latter report will have no effect since, anyway, I don’t entertain any ideas of being able to watch the classic encounters in person. But I do hope and pray that there will still be Olympic games this year, and I am sure its organizers, officials and players are all praying for the same. What a diversion it will be from all the concentration on COVID that the news is giving these days. And speaking of COVID, I hope our people, both in our city and province, continue to pray for deliverance from it because, so far, we seem to have been more blessed than other areas and regions.

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And, come to think of it, we still have much to be grateful to the Lord for in our country, especially, when we hear or see reports of happening in other parts of the world. Lebanon, for one, is reported  to be suffering from lack of both food and fuel supply. Beirut was hit by a mysterious explosion that claimed more than 700 victims. COVID infections in Indonesia have risen to new highs, Tokyo is under emergency status, Haiti is racked by street violence supposedly caused by the people’s anger against their own government for its response, or lack of it, to the  COVID pandemic.

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Let us also pray for the people of South Korea where the vicious COVID virus seems to have wrought its worst lately, claiming 1,600 cases in one day alone, that is, last Thursday, July 9, with 2,048 deaths, so far!  The same report said their president, Moon Jan En, is apologizing to his people! Poor guy. Does he think they are blaming him for it? When we think of all those statistics from other countries due  to this pandemic, I think we all need to pray more and implore Our Lord and His Heavenly Father for their protection and beg them to remove this virus from this planet that they have created for us.*

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