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ROUGH CUTS | CoViD makes the meaning literal


Vic N. Sumalinog

BANNER headline of this paper last Wednesday: Silent Christmas.
Sub-head: Singing carols prohibited to avoid CoViD 19 transmission.
Now remember these lyrics in one of the most popular and meaningful songs about Christmas? “Silent night. Holy night. All is calm, all is bright.”
Who would have believed that a kind of virus which turned out to be extremely deadly that during the Christmas season last year started infecting the population of Wuhan, China will make the literal meaning of the song lines real?
That is, that the nights of this year’s Christmas season would be silent, holy. Silent because there will be no more singing of carols allowed. There will be no more big gatherings to celebrate the occasion; even family bonding activities are discouraged.
Holy will be the nights as we can be certain that people all over the world are devoting a good lot of their time praying to the Almighty that the CoViD 19 pandemic be stopped on its track. Or, they may be imploring the aid of the divine providence that the vaccines now reported to be in its final trials may be administered the soonest possible time so that the infection would be deterred.
Calm? Well, without the usual celebratory mode there can be relative calm all over. But the calm could actually be borne by fear that would result to uneasiness. And yes, this Christmas season’s nights may be bright. But we wonder if such brightness can be seen or perceived by the eyes who have been forcibly closed for the last nine or ten months in deep prayers to be saved from the killer virus.
Silent indeed will this Christmas 2020 be. Our only consolation is that we are Filipinos. We are resilient and we can afford to enjoy whatever little graces we have with us even in the most trying of times.
Let the literal meaning of a silent Christmas be drowned with our faith in the divine wisdom. It surely will see us through.
Yesterday we wrote about the “insensitivity” of the management of a well-known bank branch to its customers crowding its immediate vicinity before being allowed inside. The observation was not just ours but a consensus of those who were around and were suffering from the mist created by an earlier drizzle and subsequently by the blistering heat of the sun. Yes, they, including us, who came at around 10 in the morning last Monday. At that time those who arrived earlier were already crowding the little available space covered by the shade of the canopy of the bank’s branch office.
There were no seats provided nor was there a single tent to protect the clients who could not wiggle themselves in the canopy-shaded area without violating the social distancing protocol.
But in fairness to the bank, the situation inside was far different from the outside. The bank tellers and other personnel were very accommodating and the social distancing was strictly followed. When we went to the bank again last Wednesday, we noted the same situation outside. The only difference is that there were not so many clients waiting entry. But since the shaded area is small social distancing was still not observed outside. And the guards seemed to have no concern at all. But of course they could have called the attention of the clients if they were given the proper instruction by the management. And for certain, the clients would have been willing to observe if a more shaded place is made available.
But again, the inside situation is a totally different story. It gives meaning to the corporate phrase, “Customer friendly.” We can only hope that such a gesture can apply in the bank’s treatment of their clients still waiting to get inside.
Barangay Buhangin is placed under the so-called “granular lockdown.”
According to television reports yesterday, the city government has to resort to such measure because health authorities have observed that in the last few days, new cases of CoViD infection came mostly from the different areas within the barangay.
We believe the situation is understandable. Buhangin is one of the fastest developing peripheral areas of the city. As a consequence, people and businesses are already starting to gravitate in the area. Malls and related establishments have risen in the Buhangin center resulting in the convergence of the bulk of the barangay and neighboring areas’ population there.
So, people mixing with each other could not really be prevented despite best efforts made by the local government.
This time, the granular lockdown will make it much stricter for people to get outside their residences or from their sitios to another. The measure may be harsh. But perhaps it is already necessary if residents of Buhangin be spared from further threat of massive CoViD infection.
Indeed this is one time in our lives that makes personal sacrifices part of our daily existence.

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