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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, June 23, 2020
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with Ninfa Leonardia
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No joking, please!

Ninfa Leonardia

Oh no! This is no time at all for Mount Kanlaon to be acting up. But reports yesterday said tremors have been monitored in its vicinity and could mean that she is reminding us that she is still alive and kicking! But this is not the first time she has done that, so she is still just there. But let us pray that nothing serious is going to take place and that she will continue to be a showcase and protector of our island as she has always been.

***

Our main concern, until now, though, is the vicious COVID-19 that has still not showed signs of going away, and with no cure or vaccine for it still perfected. Even if it is the entire world that is working on that, it looks as if it may not be conquered in this generation. Is it true, as shown on TV, that 13 new cases have been identified in our province? That is worrisome, and all the more reason that we should not let down our guard in avoiding it.

***

I know some people think it is overacting on the part of local government to require everybody to wear masks, and some areas actually arresting those who fail to do so when outside of their homes, but, as reports and statistics have shown, masks are still the most effective protection we have from this sneaky virus. So what’s a little inconvenience? In fact, I am glad to see that our inventive and artistic kababayans have made a fashion accent of masks, and now wear them in all shapes and designs, too. As for the ladies, aren’t you glad that the masks reduce your expense and time for making up your face?

***

But let us sympathize with our neighbor, Cebu, that reportedly has quite a number of cases. The latest report I heard was that several of its policemen have been infected, and the rest are being carefully checked, too. Could the infection have been brought by returning overseas foreign workers, or stranded individuals who could not return to their own towns and cities yet? An amusing story was that about a retired general who was apprehended while playing in a cockpit. Me, I think they should have left him alone. Let the old man enjoy his diversion.

***

Beware! There are “eyes” everywhere. The suspects in a hold-up gang were identified and immediately arrested in Davao because their antic was fully recorded on a CCTV, or close circuit television. These gimmicks are now posted anywhere, in stores, in private homes, in offices and even on streets, so there is no escaping them, unless the criminals are experts in detecting and turning them off. For families with errant members, it can also be both protection and spy, because those sneaking home after regular hours can be caught. But they could be very useful, too.

***

I wonder if this system has also been imposed on local jeepneys? I heard that in Metro Manila, they are required to rearrange their seats so that, like in buses, passengers face forward, and not facing each other where a single COVID-19 positive person can share his virus with all those in front of him! It is very true indeed, that this virus has greatly changed lives all over the world! But let us adapt to these for our own protection.

***

We Filipinos should be thankful we do not have a President like what the United States has during these times. Just imagine the chagrin of doctors and medical experts when their President declared that the virus was already “slowing down” just before he was to hold his grand rally. Confronted about it, he reportedly replied that it was a “joke only”, although he said it to several hundreds of people! This, while the White House was announcing that it was preparing for the second wave of the virus, even when the first wave was not over yet!

***

Meanwhile, it seems some Americans are so impatient for things to return to “business as usual” that they have started to open shops, offices, and all kinds of business enterprises even when experts from John Hopkins University are crying out that cases are still rising in 23 states. However, what is no joke is the report from CNN that Brazil, the United States and India are the top three in number of cases, with Beijing and Seoul seeing a resurgence. What a time for racial discrimination cases also to rear their ugly heads!*

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