Pandemia, 2019

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It is almost upon us. Nearly two years of unbelievable worldwide chaos, suffering, and death without even a sign of things slowing down. My head aches every time I see and hear the nightly summary of COVID-19 cases on TV and on the radio. My heart beats in perpetual pain for families, who have loved ones who are intubated and in hospitals, suffering in isolation at homes, or have succumbed from the virus.

When I wrote “It’s a Schmutz” in one of my earlier columns, I felt hopeful then that we would see the end to our suffering at least by the end of this year. But now, with the Delta and other COVID variants in our midst, nothing could be farther from reality. Will we ever go back to our carefree lives before the pandemic struck?

I miss being with my family, going out with my friends, enjoying events and parties, grocery shopping, or scoping out the malls without so much as a restriction or without having to observe safety protocols. When can we expect a return to normalcy? Or is this already the new normal from now on?

Just recently, it saddened me to learn that a 90-day investigation undertaken by the US Intelligence community under pressure from President Biden, yielded inconclusive results other than the usual unsubstantiated theories that are already far too familiar to us. This investigation was meant to find out exactly where the COVID-19 virus originated. I would like to think that the Biden administration was not finger-pointing the blame to anyone, be it an institution or state.

Rather, by knowing the truth behind the creation of COVID-19, Biden wanted to ensure that all precautionary measures will be taken so that such a despicable thing will never be allowed to happen again – not now, not ever.

In that report, investigators all agreed that the virus first started in China because they noted that in November 2019, several researchers from the Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill and were hospitalized. Mayhem shortly followed and spiraled uncontrollably in nearby cities, states, and countries.

Whether it was from a botched lab incident involving an accidental mishandling of experiments using animals or, if it was a natural transfer from animals to humans – will never be proven (at least, for now) because of the alleged zealous cover-up and non-cooperation of China. The report also negated the common belief that the virus was transmitted from Wuhan’s wet market.

In the US, the first recorded infection came from a traveler returning from China in January 2020. The Philippines confirmed its first two COVID-19 cases also in January 2020. These were previously healthy Chinese nationals traveling to the Philippines on a holiday. Common denominator? Travel.

But I think the report is one-sided and there is still a ton of information not being shared to the public. Lacking definitive explanation regarding the origin of the virus, what can possibly happen now to a fearful world, afraid of losing their lives to a super aggressive virus and its variants?

I believe the only answer to that question right now is to have everyone immunized with anti-COVID vaccines and – you know the drill. If you know of a neighbor or friend who has not yet been, or refuse to be vaccinated, it is your moral obligation to explain and convince these lost souls to at least take the shots in order to stop the spread of the virus to those who are immunocompromised, or to those who are apt to be easily infected, like the elderly and the very young. As one netizen has said, “Nobody wants to be told what to do with their body but, in the end, when you’re sick and dying, your choice is gone.”

The vaccines may not totally stop the virus from invading the body of an already vaccinated person but it has been shown to minimize the effects and save that person from eventual death.

If all of us can commit to voluntary vaccinations then we will be able to attain herd immunity and hopefully in time, the virus’ ferociousness will fade into just another common virus we deal with every year. I’m just guessing here, but wouldn’t that be something? God willing, we will prevail.

In the meantime, we all have to do our share, for in togetherness, sweet victory can be achieved. – NWI