On pins and needles

Published December 30, 2020, 11:00 PM

by Jullie Y. Daza


Jullie Y. Daza

What a year it has been – sorry, guys, no firecrackers tonight to send 2020 off to the wild blue yonder!

It has been a wild ride, a year when we lost so many friends, acquaintances, and strangers, not all of them to the pandemic. While the virus has killed thousands of Filipinos, other illnesses  claimed more than their fair share of victims. I would look at the COVID-19 crisis from this perspective and try to be less fearful. The locked-down way of life has taken hold of our routine these many months; it is time to be no longer afraid, or to be less afraid, or not to show it.

The way we’re making such a mountain out of a molehill by questioning the legality or propriety of PSG soldiers and other men in uniform accepting the COVID vaccine, we’re behaving as if vaccination were a state secret. Did their Commander in Chief speak out of turn with his great reveal? In reality, the more we know about vaccines and vaccinations, the more we will appreciate the urgent need for them.

With the shadow of that other vaccine, Dengvaxia, refusing to leave the public consciousness and people expressing their doubts about vaccines in general, it was a populist touch to inject PSG into the picture. If those closest to the President are vaccinated for his and their own good, it should be good for the rest of us.

We’ve heard jokes exchanged between commentators eager to promote a vaccination tournament between challengers as seriously as we’ve canvassed vaccine manufacturers for  prices, efficacy rates, and logistical requirements. We’ve seen lawmakers and professional groups demanding action now, now, to procure the best vaccines available. We’re sitting on pins and syringes. It’s the not knowing that gnaws.

A Filipino nurse working in England was interviewed on DZRH. He said the coronavirus vaccine  he was given was perfectly all right and produced no side-effects, but days before that, he had an anti-flu vaccine. That flu shot, he said, was important because, if you have no adverse reaction to a flu vaccine, it’s likely a COVID vaccine will not produce bad results. We want to hear more stories like this.

For now, let’s hope for a kinder year!