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HONORING MY MOTHER | Re-enter the dragon

THE latest variant out of the covid farm might as well be dubbed as the bummer variant instead of Omicron, which sounds more like a Decepticon outcast. I say bummer because it may have veritably doused cold water on whatever festivities anyone might have had planned for this coming yuletide season. Imagine, being cooped up for most of year 2020, then allowed, a little at a time because of relaxed quarantine restrictions, to get a whiff of the outdoor air, lulled into an “perhaps-it’s-all-over” feeling, then being led to believe that we’re finally looking forward to an unrestricted and “normal” Christmas. Oh, what fun! I was even thinking that me and my high school batch may even have that face-to-face golden anniversary reunion and Christmas party after all!

Just a while ago, I was just chatting with an Oz matey about little tykes and the outdoors and it reminded me of us, those once cooped-up kids who, after a siesta, have finally been let loose for good behavior. For all we know, that condition still applies. Medical experts and knowledgeable professionals have repeatedly warned us about keeping our guard down. With the onset of this new Covid variant, some of them might now be saying DSITYS, or don’t-say-I-told-you-so.

Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization’s lead in Covid-19, with a background in high-threat pathogens, had said in a video report “…when you lift public health and social measures, when you lift the rules around masking, distancing and improving ventilation, avoiding crowds in the context of variants, in the context of increasing social mixing, in the context of limited vaccination, you’re going to see the virus thrive. And that’s exactly what’s happening right now…”

In addition, she in the same report had said that while the deaths happening right now are absolutely tragic, the sad fact is that they may have been prevented. The old strategy of a total closing down of borders and stay-at-home quarantine, as employed during the first year of Covid, may have been too restrictive for economic reasons. A more realistic approach had been put in place halfway through 2020, as fine-tuning set in. This year, with the increase in the rate of vaccinations and the eventual slowing down in the number of Covid transmissions, these measures had further been improved to facilitate more movement for people to earn a living and at the same time, boost the economy. Wearing of masks, social distancing and disinfecting have however, all remained.

The local mayor had warned at the start of easing down in quarantine restrictions: don’t be complacent. Had that been related to a liquor ad, it would’ve been drink in moderation. But, if one were to go back to that not-so-distant experience of being cooped up for most of 2020 and being let out for the first time, the concept of restraint might overly seem foreign, especially with Christmas just around the corner. It’s really like finally seeing light at the end of a long dark tunnel. Only to realize that it’s the light of a coming train.

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