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YESTERDAY morning, just as I was about to enter our savings bank, the security guard whom I reckoned already knew me as a regular signaled from inside the glass door, what was my business? Before I could reply, he peeped and pointed in the direction of a line of stores across the street and said, “Buy a face shield first.”

Missed again. After all my step-by-step preparations and mentally going through my checklist before heading out, I had thought everything had already been covered as I finally wore my mask at the door. Good thing, the blue security had been very polite, unlike those gruff and scruffy ones you only hear about in the usual online whine-and-moans.

Surely I imagine, maintaining a certain consistency at giving courteous service is a big challenge, because people from all walks of life enter the bank doors daily and them guards have to, at all times check each customer for temperature, ID, QR code, FM pass or other abbreviated what-nots.

It’s even quite admirable that despite all that we have been through in the past year, a system has finally come out from those early days of lockdown, when a sense of panic and confusion lorded it over when we tried once-ordinary transactions. It had been during those times when I always dreaded going out, much less doing bank transactions.

Even then, I just wish that all would be like this cowardly dog who still maintains a guarded stance when around people when in a public space, even as everyone appear to be more relaxed or lax these days. While I wrote this, I was watching a live stream of what seemed to be a police incident in a suburb in the city. Judging from the crush of onlookers numbering in hundreds along the street and all around the mobile cruisers, one would think that covid had already come and gone. And we still wonder why we cannot seem to break the back of this virus.

Meanwhile, frontliners and service people, bless them, go through the thankless chore of making this world of ours spin. While I even relayed to a friend my experience with the courteous security guard, he had flatly said, that was part of the guard’s job, so what’s the fuss? That might perhaps be true in a sense, but the point of the whole thing seems lost already. If one really considers what another goes through, in this pandemic atmosphere, whether professionally, personally and maybe even mentally, and then, still have that rare ability to be cool, courteous and kind to others, that’s my kind of person.

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