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HONORING MY MOTHER | Sunny with a chance of COVID

By Icoy San Pedro

I REMEMBER my Auntie Pilar (bless here soul) saying a long time ago, ‘do not laugh so heartily because after that, you will end up crying’. Although I’ve a vague idea what she meant at the time, I thought, only a killjoy could come up with such old-school line of thinking. To complicate it more, the expression was meant to be taken literally, and not in the figurative sense; which was much easier to understand. Imagine, being in the midst of boisterously enjoying the evening with your group of friends and then suddenly feeling mentally restrained by a sudden notion that enjoying too much will be followed by a melancholic situation later! Talk about bursting one’s balloon or raining on one’s parade. Bummer. Of course, at this, we boomers can relate, the landscape we grew in was much like Singapore, that “fine” city where every misdeed merits a corresponding penalty.

However, once we consider our abject reality these days, circumstances seem to once again, point back to my aunt’s and her generation’s ancient saying. I can actually picture her silently whispering “nagdilang anghel” (roughly translated as angel tongue; when one’s wild guess becomes true unexpectedly). For us all, this is where it gets very real, if not scary. At our present Covid situation, which is level one, it seems we now have too much to enjoy. The city life’s heartbeat may have returned to normal. Beach as well as other resorts are finally re-opening drawing large crowd. In turn, this expressed relief and air of deliverance have led us to brush the pandemic threat aside, despite the fact that Covid is still very much around. Everywhere one looks, people appear hell-bent on making up for the lost time which was taken from them when the pandemic suddenly turned off all the lights two years ago.

Just because we do all these now doesn’t necessarily follow we forget the threat is over. In the US for example, the CDC has just announced this week that because of the rising cases of coronavirus again, all its senior citizens have been advised to get a second booster shot. The same is being done here. But for our country being less advanced than others, the need to revive the economy may be the first priority. For the ordinary people, the more important thing to do is reclaiming what we have lost (be it savings, time with loved ones or sanity even).

A business man-friend whom I chanced to meet during the weekend narrated how the family lost millions during the two years of covid. However, he added the effect of being cooped up at home on their 8-year-old has had more impact on them. That is why they’ve now made it a point to bring her along wherever their business takes them despite covid. This may not justify other people’s reason to make hay while the sun shines. At all these, just following is still the norm. Just remember, it’s not about you. It’s about infecting those you love.

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