See you in 2021!

    2027

    ‘Oftentimes, it’s the Filipino’s ability to laugh at himself that helps all of us survive. So let’s keep finding ways to laugh, because laughter is indeed the best medicine — especially if your health secretary keeps dropping the ball.’

    THIS is the last issue for Malaya for this year and so I will use this opportunity to wish anyone who comes across this piece a very Merry Christmas and an even more prosperous New Year.

    No one, I think, is sad to see 2020 go. Many would in fact have preferred that it ended even much earlier.

    The year that began with the explosion of Taal volcano that sent thousands into evacuation centers and forced Metro Manilans to scramble for N95 masks was, apparently, just warming up. To think that for those directly affected by the ashfall – and even for us in the Metro – it seemed that the worst that could happen was happening. I guess to match Pinatubo, all it needed was a typhoon. But the start of the year is too early for a typhoon so all we had to deal with was ashfall. How could things get worse than that?

    Now, almost a year from the moment doctors in Wuhan first detected something amiss, the world remains busy fighting off a second or third wave of viral infections while lining up to get shot. Not by the PNP thankfully, but by either Pfizer or Moderna, or soon Astra Zeneca and Sinovac. Yes, Sinovac the Chinese vaccine preferred by our leadership even if it still has to go into Phase Three clinical trials and is far more expensive than others. But no worries – because of our preference for the poor they get to be shot by the Chinese vaccine first.

    It seems, in effect, that our poor – they will be the Phase Three trials!

    I suspect that the Chinese vaccine will be as good as the Western ones. Heck, they’ve been making all sorts of medicines thousands of years before Jesus Christ was born in a manger!

    I just don’t know why given its price, the Philippines is betting heavily on it. Geopolitics perhaps? Surely, the insinuations by the naughty that there are other “factors” involved are just that – naughty insinuations. But yes – who wouldn’t ask questions if the price difference is quite large?

    Pfizer Moderna SinoVac, heck even Sputnik – all these tell me that by 2021 the world will be on its way to being inoculated against COVID. You and I may not get our shot in the next 365 days, but that’s not a bad thing. Because the more people get shot the less potential hosts the virus has and the lower the chances that you and I will get it.
    So let’s hope more and more people get shot in the Philippines in 2021.

    In the meantime, stay safe. Do everything in moderation, including eating and socializing. I suspect we are over the hump on this virus but far from seeing the light at the end of the tunnel; still a couple of twists and turns ahead for which we should be prepared. So continue to keep a good supply of masks and disinfectant close by, and have heaps of the natural Filipino sense of humor around, too. Oftentimes, it’s the Filipino’s ability to laugh at himself that helps all of us survive. So let’s keep finding ways to laugh, because laughter is indeed the best medicine — especially if your health secretary keeps dropping the ball.
    See you in 2021!