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Will the schools open?

Twinkling with Ninfa R. Leonardia

September 13, which is less than 20 days away, is when schools are supposed to open and for classes for this year to begin. Will this happen? Will the COVID invader concede and allow the education of our children to go on and start as scheduled? Oh, what havoc this virus has been causing throughout the world!  So far, I have not heard, or did I just miss them, any announcements locally about the start of classes in our city, and province, and, for that matter, in our entire country.

***

Will parents be in the proper mindset to enroll their children of school age, and even those who have already gone midway, or almost finishing their studies? That is still not very clear to us, but I certainly hope that this virus  will have been brought to its knees by  September 13 (isn’t that the date supposedly set for the opening of classes?), the superstitious among us may question the date, but educators and the educated will just laugh that off. But I do hope that the situation will have changed  when that date  comes.

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I wonder, though, if parents will be inclined to enroll their children these days. And we cannot blame them for being cautious, because there is no assurance yet that this new virus with the exotic name of “corona”, or crown, will have been vanquished by  science and medicine by then. If not, will there be enough enrolees to merit the opening of classes, and will there be sufficient teachers and school staff willing to risk getting infected?

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I am sure this is probably the biggest headache our school officials have ever faced. And more than the local officials, this is also a big one for members of Congress who would be facing situations that punsters used to describe as “Damned if you do, and damned if you don’t”. Still, let us count our blessings despite our fears and concerns, because we can still undergo vaccinations that, as I have heard from some victims, cannot  entirely  protect one from infection, but have proven to reduce the severity in case does he or she gets infected. For that let us offer prayers in thanksgiving!

***

“Necessity is the mother of invention” is another quotation from my schooldays that has always stuck to my mind. In fact, in our very challenging times while making sure that the Visayan DAILY STAR continues to survive, our staff had adopted so many unusual steps to sustain it, led, of course by earnest prayers and pleas to the Lord for inspiration and assistance. For that, we credit our now almost 40 years of existence, for  which  we praise and thank our Good Lord, and also our faithful readers, advertisers, and  supporters who enabled us to come this far!

***

I wish I could avoid the subject of this pandemic, but who is the editor, reporter, or any journalist at all, who has been able to ignore this subject? But let us express our admiration for the Taiwanese people for their approach to this problem. Yesterday, I heard news that Taiwan has invented, or shall we say, “concocted”, its own version of a vaccine against this COVID that it is starting to adopt. So far, I haven’t gotten reports of its efficacy, but if it proves successful, I am sure they will be willing to share it with other countries like ours – unless we can develop our own, too.

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But COVID or no COVID, and not even pandemics, can stop politics from topping the  agenda of our politicians and officials, and now prominent in the news are the possible candidates for national positions. Oh, local ones have also been making  themselves visible and audible, and we can only sympathize  with the incumbent ones who are still embroiled in their approaches to the pandemic, and cannot roam around doing “pa-charming” because they still have the obligation or duty to address problems like that.

***

In the meantime, let us be thankful that we are not in the situation of the people  of Afghanistan, who are now fleeing their country because of the threat, a very  strong one, from its neighbor, the Taliban. Fortunately for them, American  airlines have been picking up thousands of its residents and flying them to the United States, whose problem now is how to deal with those  foreign residents for whom, not only food and shelter must be provided – in addition to transportation from their native country – but also means of income until they can provide for themselves. At least they did not think of sending some to our own country, where many of our people barely survive on their own.*

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