, June 07, 2023

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The Covid Diaries


  •   21 min reads
The Covid Diaries
Rappler
By Jing Montealegre

Some lost their lives, others their fortune, but most of us lost the ability to function; I regretted not having lived a fuller life - with fewer restraints - when the virus struck us down and we I couldn’t move.

17 March 2020

Almost got stranded in Boracay when Metro Manila went on lockdown. Two days ago, with planes grounded and no way for me to get back home, I boarded the last ship off the island heading for Batangas port on the mainland, then travelled by land to my old hometown where I thought I might kill time and wait for this thing to blow over. How long that’ll be, I don’t really know.

8 April 2020

Spent a sunny summer’s morning watching birds out in droves doing battle with the virus, also airborne or having landed around my place.

4:30 PM. Ventured out of the house to look around and get some stuff from the local mall. Walking past one barangay checkpoint after another, I went through a town which seemed morbidly quiet, with just a few people out in the streets.

10 April 2020

Good Friday, day 24 of Covid-19 community quarantine.

11 April 2020

This thing happens only once in every century - and once in every lifetime. So you can’t afford to be asleep at the wheel while it is raging. This scourge is happening late in my life, however, when infirmities and loss of prowess make me less able to fight it.

Easter, 12 April 2020

I’ll be damned. The U.S. racks up more than 2,000 deaths in one day.

13 April 2020

The night of the Passover. With the coronavirus knocking on our doors, this occurred to me: Would the blood of a lamb smeared on our doors ward off the virus and protect our homes the same way the Israelites in Egypt shielded their firstborns from the plague?

NIAID via Flickr

20 April 2020

Had rebooked my Manila flight for May 3. Looking forward to being home in Quezon City, now the ground zero for the country’s Covid outbreak. But home is home – and that’s where I’d like to be.

22 April 2020

Earth Day.

Earth gets a breather from man’s poisons - not because he intends to but because this virus restrains him: less cars on the road, less planes in the sky, less carbon emissions in the atmosphere, less pollution of rivers and seas, and less of us to contend with.

29 April 2020

The United States recorded her one millionth case due to the virus; her Covid deaths have now eclipsed American fatalities during the Vietnam War.

1 May 2020

Labor Day. First day of the GCQ, a shade lower than the ECQ imposed on the province last month. Local officials - and a majority of educated province mates - believe that we should revert to ECQ status. They’ve petitioned the national government for such a reversal. What the hell is wrong with us?

Rappler

The contrasting disposition of Western man and the Oriental amazes. Orientals in general accept governmental restrains on individual freedoms without much resistance. On TV, however, we see how Westerners clamor for these rights amid the pandemic – freedom to work, to do business, to go to the barber, to have a tattoo, to dine in cafes, to drink in bars, to walk in the park, to go to the beaches  – disregarding social distancing and putting their lives at risk. I’ll be damned but it’s the simple difference between the Occident and the Oriental.

7 May 2020

Local TV channels talk mostly of ayuda, SAP cash grants and relief goods; while CNN, BBC and Western media tell of jobs and unemployment, reopening plans - and getting out in the sun! Two different worlds; two different poisons. But the same hell on earth.

As my exile in the province nears its end, I fear that the change of setting might not provide the productivity that I desire. And might be just that – a change of address.

9 May 2020

Woke up feeling lousy: quarantine fatigue.

In lieu of work, quite a number now favor the regular handouts of relief goods and cash grants. The authorities have probably estimated that like a dog in a cage regular feeding will keep us happy and contented.

11 May 2020

The government’s delivery of its social amelioration program to the poor is cruel, selective, and corruption-ridden. Many of the truly needy are being left out in a disorganized, contagion-promoting distribution system. Scenes abound of pitiful homeless, PWDs and senior citizens lining up under the sun for hours, begging for a share of the cash grants. Not all of them will get it.

17 May 2020

My flight back to Manila is cancelled, of course. Rebooked it for June 3. I’m getting really pissed off with this virus.

Around the neighborhood people are cursing imaginary enemies to high heavens. Many are obviously distressed and miserable. When others are agitated, we ought to just keep our mouths shut.

Rappler

22 May 2020

A lovely day spent in a lovely provincial setting: Roosters croaking before daybreak, chickens with chicks roaming the yard, birds of all kind up in the trees – and everywhere, moths, bees, fireflies, lizards, frogs, even the irksome flies, gnats, mosquitoes and ants that crawl and bite you.

26 May 2020

This government is finally moving to get OFWs back home - after threats from the President himself, who’d warned provincial executives not to deny returnees entry into their precincts. It’s about time. I see them smiling now as they sit and wait for the bus to begin the trip back to their hometown - after being tossed around by the authorities and confined in hotels and onboard ships (for weeks or months) because of inadequate testing, delayed test results, and all-around government inefficiency.

30 May 2020

Got the notice on my mobile that my June 3 flight to Manila (and home) is cancelled.

1 June 2020

The first day of MECQ, with eased-up restrictions to get the economy moving. But in our town, the liquor ban stays. I’m cheerless.

Albert Einstein is great because he was an intellectual genius with the heart of a prep school teacher, someone had said. The failure of the UP professors to appreciate the human values which have been diminished and the individual rights that are daily being trampled on in the never-ending lockdowns do not make them “intellectual geniuses with the heart of a prep school teacher”. That kind of discernment or ‘feel’, if you like, is what separates a giant mind from a mediocre one.

3 June 2020

Coronavirus Updates (Live) by Worldometers.info, a website I regularly consult for worldwide Covid-19 updates, ranks the Philippines number 39 among 228 countries and territories infected by Covid.

Countries in worst positions, however, are ahead of us in easing restrictions and getting their people back to work. Italy, one of the worst hit, has begun to welcome tourists from selected EU nations. Other tourist-dependent countries like France and Portugal have opened borders as well.

Boracay, Bohol and Cebu are still off limits to tourists, foreign and domestic. And our planes, ships and busses remain grounded.

The free movement of people is frustrated by checkpoints and border controls, and commuters going to work have to slug it out for a ride. This government is just too slow in restoring our freedoms to get us back on track.

4 June 2020

An SWS poll showed more than 80% of Filipinos support the lockdowns and quarantine protocols instituted by the government. Surprised? With the Philippine debt hitting 9 trillion, and the prospect of economic devastation looming in the years ahead, it’s likely we’ll have a different take on these containment measures by then.

10 June 2020

We are assailed daily with scenes of uniformed personnel barking warnings (to strictly follow safety protocols!), government spokesmen scolding seniors and the youth to stay home, turf-paranoid local officials complaining about returning OFWs, and the police arresting and manhandling curfew violators. Great. We’re a people living in fear, unwelcoming of visitors, fearful that the ‘walking dead’ could walk into our towns and neighborhoods.

JIRE CARREON/RAPPLER

11 June 2020

The death of a stranded mother found at an EDSA footbridge got the attention of authorities to address the plight of thousands of stranded individuals in Metro Manila. The Transportation Department is taking too long to get various modes of transportation operational.

12 June 2020

Independence Day this year went without the usual fun fare. No parades, no fancy ceremonies, nothing. Nothing, with Covid-19 still around.

15 June 2020

The highhanded treatment of ordinary citizens by the police is once again brought to light in an incident where the police threatened to arrest mothers taking their children outdoors for exercise. The children were so traumatized by the threats to their moms, they’d be fearing the police (and hating them) the rest of their lives.

Rappler

18 June 2020

9:30 AM: Manila via PAL, finally. This week marks 100 days of the lockdown of Metro Manila and the island of Luzon.

24 June 2020

Health authorities insist our testing capacity keeps improving and is now more than 50,000 tests per day. The operative word, however, is capacity. According to Worldmeters, we’re testing less than 15,000 daily. Somebody is lying.

29 June 2020

Some jokers in Congress are moving to rename the NAIA (the Ninoy Aquino International Airport) to the Paliparan Pandaigdig ng Pilipinas. While they’re at it, let’s ask them to think up new names for the John F. Kennedy in New York, Charles de Gaulle in France, Indira Gandhi in India, Soekarno-Hatta in Indonesia,

Muhammad Ali in Kentucky, McCarran in Las Vegas, Abraham Gonzalez in Mexico, Adolfo Suarez in Madrid, Falcone e Borsellino in Italy, Eduardo Gomes in Brazil, Alexei Leonov in Russia, Ben Gurion in Israel, Daniel l. Inouye in Honolulu, Godofredo P. Ramos in Aklan, Francisco Bangoy in Davao City, and hundreds of other airports around the world.

30 June 2020

With fear gripping everyone, the government’s drive to perk up the economy is in trouble. One may as well close the stores, the restaurants, the hotels and malls and get us back to where we were three months ago – lock-downed and confined – afraid to venture out and enjoy ourselves. Without buoyant consumer spending and leisurely indulgences, an economy that has tanked will take forever to recover. Ask the economists.

2 July 2020

6 PM News: Same, same. No change in the quarantine status of Metro Manila and most of the country. Here and elsewhere, businesses are folding up, airline and travel firms are laying off employees, the HK Security Act is imposed by China, widespread job losses continue, and hungry, stranded migrants now populate the world.

17 July 2020

Dr. Fauci, America’s foremost Covid-19 expert, airs a plea to young Americans not to mingle in groups. Here, we don’t implore or make a plea. Authorities (the Police) bark and threaten arrest when the young misbehave. Those they don’t book they take to detention centers for an overnight lecture.

23 Jul 2020

UP professors give the government a failing grade in its response to the crisis. A distinguished lady doctor, however, defends the government’s response, saying it (the government) was totally unprepared when the virus first struck. The neglect by successive administrations to invest in scientific and medical research, laboratories, and infrastructure contributed largely to the sluggish response. “There was one testing laboratory that couldn’t even process results. We had to send tests to Australia for processing when this all happened. This neglect and lack of capability cost us dearly during the early stages of the pandemic. Now we’re just playing catch up and not doing a good job at it.”

29 July 2020

A provincial jurisdiction today refused returning residents entry for lack of test kits, demanding that the returnees buy a swab test from their port of origin before boarding for home. What the f--- are we to make of this shit?

Judgefloro, CC0, via Wikimedia Commons

2 August 2020

In the news today:

The opposition to the mandated use of a barrier between motorcycle rider and passenger grows. Engineers have weighed in on the subject stating that the contraptions are aerodynamically unsafe and put both rider and passenger at risk of accidents.

3 August 2020

The country tops 106,000 Covid cases, moving us up to 25thspot in Worldometer ranking.

4 August 2020

BBC: millions return to lockdown in the Philippines. Metro Manila and surrounding provinces return to MECQ up to August 18. With a record 6,000 plus new cases yesterday, what else is there to do but hunker down?

23 August 2020

Overacting (OA), a trait Filipinos have in abundance, rears its ugly head on the matter of face shields, now required inside all establishments from malls, restaurants, offices, factories, all.

The Hatid Tulong program of the national government is doing everything to get LSIs back home. But its effort to repatriate thousands of LSIs in Metro Manila is being held back by some provincial and League of Provinces officials who can’t seem to admit that it’s their responsibility to take care of their constituents - and not of Metro officials (nor of Angel Locsin) who for very human considerations are taking on the burden of feeding and housing these provincianos. For whatever reason or alibi, this is called passing the buck.

Jake Tapper of CNN, in reference to Donald Trump, describes leaders like him as lacking in decency and empathy, qualities that may very well apply to people in a position to act swiftly but lack the urgency to make things happen for their miserly constituents. But give them a local election and they’ll scramble to get their stranded constituents back home.

27 August 2020

A group of crazies are pushing for a revolutionary government to fast track charter change and switch to a federal form of government. They should be arrested and charged - not for inciting to sedition - but for indulging in fantasy games.

30 August 2020

The protests in Belarus reminds me of our People Power Revolution decades ago. The bullying and violence being perpetrated by Lukashenko on women and the youth are appalling. And so is the cruel suppression of democracy protesters in Hong Kong by a brutal regime in Beijing.

10-13 September 2020

Idiocy in the local news cycle: For days now it focused on the US marine Pemberton pardon and the dolomite dumping in Manila Bay. The case of millions of furloughed waiters, salesladies, teachers, vendors, office workers, factory workers, airline crew, drivers, hotel staff, seafarers and OFWs - all the jobless - remains under the radar of the TV newshounds. Why do we have reporters and anchors who ask the wrong questions and give us nothing but shit?

25 September 2020

Something must be wrong with our mitigation response now. We are on track to join the top twenty countries worst hit by the pandemic.

Covid-19 deaths worldwide have breached the one million mark today, with the U.S. flying high as ever.

7 October 2020

Finally the news channels are up to speed and not distracted by inane issues. Yesterday’s news showed starving Filipino children settling for a drink of water to stave off hunger before sleeping. Another good reason why the extended lockdown is ill-advised and inhuman.

The government has a penchant for moving forward with projects without so much thought for the consequences. Good examples of these are the motorcycle passenger barriers, the beep cards for bus riders, and the dumping of dolomite sand in Manila bay.

3 November 2020

All Saints and All Souls Day passed without much excitement. Prevented from visiting cemeteries, many Filipinos settled for lighting up candles before pictures of loved ones in their homes (inviting the dear departed to pay them a visit instead).

25 November 2020

First came two US vaccines in succession, Pfizer and Moderna; then AstraZeneca from the UK, Russia’s Sputnik and others in late stages of trial in China, India and various other places. Which in the coming months could see the Covid 19 virus in retreat. We hope. We could use all the good news there is.

30 November 2020

The IATF has done pretty well in controlling the virus over the last few months. The current team deserves to be congratulated. After all, we’d gone from being among the top twenty worst-performing countries in the world (from 18th spot) to our current ranking of 27. And our R naught (whatever) and positivity rate are equally down, way below the world’s average. Time to celebrate and throw all caution to the wind.

16 December 2020

The requirement to wear a face shield everywhere is one for the books. What the hell, it’s uniquely Philippine-made, so let’s do it. No country - I mean, not one in the world - requires it for the general population. Not one.

17 December 2020

Good news for LSIs still stranded in Metro Manila. The government is finally allowing provincial buses to ply their routes after almost a year of being grounded. But it’s too soon to celebrate for those thinking of spending Christmas with family in the province. A government official (an absolute asshole) has recommended that the routes be opened after the Christmas holidays - in January.

21 December 2020

Countries are rushing to get the vaccines for their Covid-ravaged populations.

28 December 2020

Discussions on the Covid vaccine are excruciatingly bad, perpetrated innocently by the fool media, which continue putting on air politicians, kibitzers, alarmists, and other uniformed sources instead of virologists and medical experts.

1 January 2021

2020 finally ends – “Not with a bang, but with a whimper”.

The noise makers, however, couldn’t be restrained, and the year ended with a bang just the same. The good news is our number crunchers missed their Covid projections, with less than 500,000 cases and 10,000 deaths by yearend.

1 AM: Wanted to sleep through the merrymaking but the noise got me, so I witnessed 2020 roll on just the same, with the durable Duque still DOH secretary and the PSG vaccination scandal carried over to the New Year.

7 January 2021

The news today showed a horde of Trump fanatics, incited by Trump himself, storming the U.S. Capitol - pushing through police and Senate and House security, vandalizing, killing, and taking selfies in Nancy Pilosi’s desk.

14 January 2021

Vocal senators and public officials expressing their opinion in media against the China-made vaccine, Sinovac, continue damaging this government’s campaign to get its population vaccinated, fueling the very low inclination of Filipinos to get themselves a jab. “I will not have myself vaccinated with that vaccine” proclaims one official. They should just shut up.

Karina Fuenzalida via Flickr

21 January 2021

Joe Biden is crowned, America gets a fresh start.

24 January 2021

Trump leaves a day before Biden is sworn in to avail himself of the perks of the presidency, including a 21-gun salute, a farewell speech at the airport, and a free ride on Air Force One.

Larry king also departs at 87. Another good man lost to Covid 19. Many of our TV reporters and program anchors could learn a thing or two from Larry King. Endowed with curiosity and interest in people, his formula for probing and getting great answers is to ask good, simple and short questions. Then listening. He puts his guest first, and not himself – unlike some local interviewers who seem to me as if they’d rather listen to themselves than their subject. Larry King’s questions seldom exceed ten words.

26 January 2021

Some good news for worried urbanites. The famous OCTA research group announced today the Covid surge expected in the Metro after the Translacion and the Christmas holidays has not happened. I’m beginning to like this OCTA group.

24 March 2021

Today Metro Manila and outlying areas are placed on a “bubble.” No one gets in or gets out until April 4. Border controls and mobility restrictions are on once again, so everyone stays put for the Holy Week holidays.

The Grammy Awards some days ago was a welcome respite from Covid news. The show’s tribute to artists who have gone ahead, some from the Covid disease, was poignant. They included artists of past decades like Kenny Rogers, Jimmy Rodgers, Trini Lopez, Chuck Corea, John Prine, Little Richard and Charley Pride.

26 March 2021

10,000 new cases recorded yesterday. The fear this generates among Metro Manilans is palpable as the government appears to be helpless.

31 March 2021

Our avid champions of ECU extension after April 4 see our problem with one eye. To them the issue is simply life versus livelihood. That’s why they’re so quick to throw wage earners, employees and employers under the bus.

1 April 2021

After five months of relatively controlled Covid presence, the axe suddenly fell last month.

A respected doctor, Dr. Tony Dans, has urged the authorities to stop blaming the public. He has decried policies that are counter-intuitive, which tended to force people to congregate in crowded public markets, offices and transport vehicles. Constricting productive hours through curfew and by limiting business hours have had the opposite effect of putting people at risk as these forced them to congregate in public markets, government offices and workplaces such as banks, groceries factories, and even in ayuda lines.

Worldmeter reports we are testing only 91,000 per million Filipinos, putting us among the worst performers in testing.

IMF Photo/Lisa Marie David via Flickr

2 April 2021

Good Friday meets you with an eerie quietude when you awake. Birds don’t chirp or sing; dogs don’t bark as much; humans are silent and hardly stirring. Roosters crow timidly but in time get on with their ear-piercing wake up calls. They’re no respecter of Good Fridays.

3 April 2021

More than 15,000 new cases yesterday, a record high. Makes the extension of the ECQ most likely.

5 April 2021

A new term has been added to the local jargon: PDITR. Whatever this new initiative stands for, I’m pretty sure it’s late in the coming - and should have been launched months before the surge. The government is now offering PDITR to counter the surge. Well, better late than never.

18 April 2021

The world surpasses 3M deaths from Covid. A worldwide surge is happening, and most countries, including ours, is back to restrictive lockdowns.

19 April 2021

Woke up thinking of the tragic history of the country - colonized many times over by foreign powers: enslaved by the Spaniards for centuries, its revolution high-jacked by the Americans, invaded and occupied by the Japanese, bombed and reclaimed by the Americans, and finally bullied and played for a fool by the Chinese.

27 April 2021

The phenomenon of the Community Pantry, which started on one street in Quezon City by one resourceful woman, is godsend to the country, notwithstanding the nasty comments by a General who sees red everywhere.

28 April 2021

One million cases and running, that’s our miserable lot.

19 May 2021

Jab day. My only apprehension was waiting in long lines that usually come with events such as this.

16 July 2021

Eighteen months and over 4 million deaths and we’re still stuck with the goddamn Covid. When the world had thought it had got the virus licked, it bounced back with a vengeance with its deadly Delta variant. It’s now ravaging the world from one hemisphere to another: India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Japan, the USA, the UK and other parts of Europe, Africa and America, and here in Metro Manila. Can we still manage to bring down the surge, or are we just too tired to care?

 Marco Verch under Creative Commons 2.0

4 August 2021

In two days’ time the Metro will be placed under the strictest quarantine classification (ECQ). Travel to and from the Metro will stop, oldies will shelter in place, workers except “essentials” will be grounded, and business will be on standstill once more. The hard lockdown will last up to August 20. That is, if all goes well.

14 August 2021

Covid cases hit a high of more than 14,000 yesterday, nearly equaling the peak in April this year. What’s the end game here?

17 August 2021

Images of chaos and panic hit the airwaves as the Taliban overwhelms Kabul in Afghanistan. These images and the 7.3 magnitude earthquake in Haiti have eclipsed the usual Covid news. But the bizarre wrangling over mask mandates in Texas, Florida, Louisiana, and other states still get airplay.

25 August 2021

Medical front-liners are threatening to disengage because the government has not delivered on promised benefits and protection; in the USA, health workers are protesting because the government has mandated mask wearing.

29 August 2021

The Metro will remain under MECQ until September 7. Damn if we let this get us down. We should instead heed the advice of a wise man: “Learn to live with this virus for it will be with us for a long, long time.”

The ISIL philosophy and passion for carnage rival the savagery of Stalin’s purges, Pol Pot’s killing fields, Saddam’s gassing of the Kurds, and Hitler’s final solution. The perpetrator in the Kabul bombing - who is now in heaven surrounded by a thousand willing virgins - is the new scourge of mankind. Hoffer has always been right: the True Believer exists among us, to kill as many of us.

21 September 2021

A week into the new quarantine protocol (alert level 4 for the Metro) and we’re seeing the number of cases to have peaked, falling below 20,000. OCTA is optimistic; the DOH is neither here nor there, playing it safe after so many missteps. I am hopeful.

30 September 2021

Isangbayan is ingenuous in urging Leni to run in next year’s election, thereby putting another opposition candidate in the mix (with Ping, Isko and Pacquiao already in), and virtually assuring the admin’s Duterte-Marcos camp of victory in next year’s election. They don’t read the polls, and if they do, don’t believe in them. They think that SWS and Pulse Asia are dreamers like them. If we depend on Isangbayan, the Liberal Party and the ‘Dilawans’ to steer the country to victory, we’re tragically mistaken. Another Otso-Deretso fiasco in the making.

7 November 2021

Worldwide deaths from Covid-19 now exceed 5 million, with Europe the new epicenter of the virus. The NCR is now classified as low risk and has recovered from the Delta variant attack of the last two months.

1 December 2021

Just as the pandemic is winding down and everybody is looking for a happy ending, a new variant, the Omicron, threatens to stall normalization. A killjoy variant indeed - putting happy plans and activities on hold.

15 December 2021

With new cases down to around 200, the Philippine Covid situation is as good as it can be.

22 December 2021

The latest Pulse Asia survey shows BBM leading all presidential candidates by a wide margin. His voter preference is more than 50 percent. Not all the pinky t-shirts, parols and what-have-you had had any effect on the brainwashed minds of Filipinos worked systematically for years by the Marcos revisionists. Now the whole nation will pay the price. Welcome to the second coming of Marcos, Gloria, et al.

31 December 2021

The spike of Covid cases in America and Europe is mindboggling: 400,000 cases a day in the U.S., more than 100,000 daily in countries such as UK, France, Germany, and Spain.

Last day of the year and we’re back to square one with Covid. The Christmas holidays may have triggered a spike, with more than 1,500 new cases recorded yesterday (from only around 200 daily in early December). OCTA projects 2,500 new cases today.

Everyone is back to worrying about reduced mobility and other restrictions - and getting hit by the virus itself. So what made us think we’re better than the Americans and Europeans now being ravaged by Omicron?

Image by Mahendra Singh from Pixabay

8 January 2022

This is hell on earth once again.

Saw in the news this morning that the United States is doing a million new cases a day now.  I think they’re giving up controlling the virus through restrictions and are looking at getting everyone infected to achieve herd immunity.

14 January 2022

Spending my birthday in bed with a cough and a cold and a nagging fear of Covid. With the entire household bed bound, I scrapped all plans for a “grand” celebration.

I’ve seen friends and kin succumb to the virus. After close to two years of living with the virus around, this is the closest I’ve been to feel quite threatened by it.

24 February 2022

We’re down to some 1000 new cases a day. And putting the Metro down to alert level 1 next month is almost certain.

26 February 2022

Woke up the other day to the invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops. Putin will not stop his beastly ways if the free world continues to appease him. Have we not done the same with Hitler before he invaded Poland to start World War II? Same beast, different time.

The world could be a better place today if a number of world leaders are put down: Putin, Kim Jon-Un, Lukashenko of Belarus, Bashar al-Assad of Syria, Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, the Ayatollahs of Iran and the Taliban chiefs of Afghanistan.

7 March 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic is winding down worldwide. I believe the Omicron variant did it, overwhelming previous deadlier strain.

11 March 2022

Covid cases nationwide are down to 500 daily; and most provinces are on alert level 1. People are once again moving about freely, but many still feel threatened by the virus.

14 March 2022

10:00 AM. I watched the political situation with growing apprehension. Given our past experience, the Marcos boy should not even be in contention. Yet he dominates the surveys. And the other presidential wannabes are merely fighting for second place. “There is no silver medal in a presidential race,” a friend had commented sarcastically.

29 March 2022

The Philippines, with 300 cases a day, is down to 29 among the hard-hit countries by Worldmeters. The country is now categorized by the DOH as low, low risk. Everyone is keeping his fingers crossed that it stays that way, what with the campaign season in full swing.

Comelec / Facebook

11 May 2022

Two days ago, 55 million Filipinos trooped to the polls. More than 30 million of us chose Marcos Junior to lead the country as President over the honest, dedicated and more qualified Leni Robredo. It was a landslide victory for Junior.

Our generation was lucky to have missed World War II and the Japanese occupation. Just barely. But in our lifetime, we’ve lived through 14 years of impunity under the martial rule of the dictator Marcos, survived under the onslaught of Ondoy, Reming, Yolanda, Rolly and the coronavirus attacks for over two years. This week, we’ve finally seen the return of the dictator’s son as President of the Republic. We’re pretty much inured to the catastrophes that might befall us in years to come.

19 May 2022

The country has recorded 3.6 million cases and more than sixty thousand deaths. We’re down to around 100 new cases daily, with a little over 2,000 active cases; and the expected surge after the election has not happened. We’ve settled to a low 32 ranking (our lowest since the start of the pandemic) among countries with the highest Covid cases.

Worldwide, Covid 19 has affected more than half a billion and killed over 6 million. What a time.


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