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HONORING MY MOTHER | Are we there yet?

ON the morning of last Sunday, my son and I traveled from our residence south of the city, to my father’s house in Bajada about 21 kilometers away. It has been three weeks since we last visited the old man and we’ve come bearing gifts. 

The view outside from the safety of the car really makes one wonder, is the pandemic finally on its final leg? Must be, the presence of more people on the streets creates the impression that it must indeed be so. Oh sure, their face masks were still in place, along with their accompanying face shields, though conveniently propped over the wearers’ head like a headband or a sunroof. Last year, when travel within the city was allowed, our visits to my father had always been dotted with scenes of almost empty streets and too few pedestrians and vehicles. Now, the scenes outside the shopping malls along the way exude a pre-Covid, typical Sunday morning ambience, with people lining up at the entrance waiting for their turn, while some lazily while away the time chatting by the sides. Come to think of it, it’s also near Christmas, and with the last hurdle of All-Saints’ and All-Souls’ almost over, there was no stopping the yuletide season. Not even covid it seems.

If one happened to watch or read the online news, the section on covid updates have, after a while, reported a more positive outlook, partly because of lesser critical areas than during the past months. (At last, the usage of “positive” here marks a welcome return to mean “a beneficial outcome”, compared to last time, when it used to always refer to the scary affirmative presence of covid.

Yet one may ask, are we really there now, on that much-anticipated homestretch run to winning through?

One news item I read recently reported a close to 66 percent of the city population having been vaccinated. At face value, that may appear to be a welcome development. From personal experience, and I know it may not account too much when put alongside official statistics, I have heard of several covid deaths within the circle of friends and acquaintances who by far, still do not believe in vaccinations. This “closer-to-home” knowledge continually tugs at my inner strings, in the key of F, as in fear. If indeed, we look at numbers and predict that covid is finally going, its nearly-defeated frame must just be around my vicinity then, hiding and prepping up for one final assault!

Finally, as I go back to one case where a friend’s kin has lost her life to covid, I recall a passage I can’t quote verbatim. Yet it hints that the greatest regret is knowing that one could have done something but had refused to do so because of unbridled pride and stubbornness.


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