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Bacolod City, Philippines Monday, August 17, 2020
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Some good things about curfew

Ninfa Leonardia

The old folks used to say that nothing happens that does not bring some good. In our generation, I would say that, as wicked as this Coronavirus has been – to the entire world ― the one good thing it has brought is that it has made people more mindful and obedient to rules. Would you have thought how, in pre-COVID days, you could make crowds disperse, or observe distancing, or even wear masks all day long, had it not been for this pandemic? It is true that in some local government units, especially Bacolod, non-wearing of the protective device is considered an infraction, but everybody agrees that it is for their own good.

***

Well, on Saturday, I decided to accept my nephew Glenn’s invitation to join them for dinner, probably taking pity on me since he knows how “limited” I have been for so long. I was both impressed and annoyed at the strictness of the guards at the entrance to their subdivision, but, as I said, COVID has educated us in a way, making us more compliant with requirements “for our own good”. Although it was an impromptu invitation, we were later joined by other family members, and it was a joyful reunion, as usual, with the young ones in their own corner and the seniors and not-yet-seniors in another group.

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We were so absorbed in the antics of the babies that before we realized it, the new curfew time had passed and we still had to drive home from Santa Clara, drop at Eroreco, before proceeding to Rosario. All the time , we crossed our fingers and discussed what alibis we would give in case curfew guards stopped us. Luckily, we reached home without incident, but along the way, I noticed a few vehicles also on the road. So, perhaps they are more strict with those walking on the streets, because we did not see a single soul walking along.

***

Ironically, there are a lot of good things such regulations as curfew imposition can bring. Young people can no longer be seen roaming around past midnight, nor are roadside bars seen operating with their customers creating a lot of noise, and even getting into brawls. Even stores and shops that used to be open 24 hours, are closed, and no sidewalk vendors can be seen anywhere. I have not confirmed this with the police, but I bet they have less crimes to cope with, especially house-break-ins, and drunken fights. So if you want to give a little due to the Coronavirus, call it a peacemaker.

***

What a strange, but probably appropriate name the ones working on a vaccine against COVID have given their product. Well, maybe it is because the Russians were the ones who have claim to it, so they also have the right to name it. I learned that they call it the Sputnik Vaccine. Now, if I recall right, sputnik was the name of that space ship that had landed on the moon – or was that a different planet? Well, whatever it is called, if it works, the whole world will be grateful to whoever is responsible for it. But they better hurry and make it available worldwide to stop the decimation of the human race.

***

By the way, there is another characteristic of the COVID that has made it different from another epidemics that have hit the world before. This one is said to have a tendency to occur again in the same person. Unlike some childhood diseases that you get once and never again, there are cases reported of COVID victims who recovered, and got it again. Could that be called a relapse? I hope that does not mean that you don’t get it again because it has vanquished you!

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Isn’t it a great shame that, of all agencies, the Health Department is now the one under fire for alleged anomalies involving its officials? A news item I saw said some P95 BILLION of government funds have gone to the wrong pockets and not to ailing Filipinos, or hospitals and Health Centers in the country! Now that a probe has been initiated, some of its top guns are said to be malingering, i.e., claiming to be sick so they could not attend the hearings. I will not blame anybody who will say such officials should be penalized by keeping them in the same hospital room with dying COVID patients.

***

The Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines has initiated a “Prayer Brigade” for people who want to join prayer sessions imploring the Lord to protect the people from this newly discovered virus and for the healing of those affected. I am sure many will join such a movement but we do not know yet who are the local organizers. The DAILY STAR will be very willing to promote and inform the people about it as to whom they will contact, and when it will start. Again, I refer St. Augustine on the quotation “More things are wrought by prayer that this world dreams of”.*

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