Pain and panic

Published July 20, 2021, 12:11 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza

Medium Rare 

Jullie Y. Daza

Scramble the letters in “pandemic” and what do you get? Pain, panic. Who’s panicking?

COVID-19 variants are coming at us faster and packing a deadlier punch with each mutation. Fear of the unknown can be a pain, but like the good doctor says, no need to panic. Not yet. Only the kids who’ve been let out of their cells for the last 16 months will raise a howl should another lockdown be declared, a pain in the butt.

Unlike Pacman, who’s in boot camp training for what could be his last bout – a big pain to the body, that sort of physical punishment — and who’s just lost his party’s presidency – an emotional drain, no doubt – the mantra is no pain, no gain. According to a fan, whether the champ loses or wins in Las Vegas, he’ll be a homecoming hero. If he defeats Spence, he’ll return  in glory and the poll surveys will hit the roof. If he loses, he will earn the nation’s sympathy and turn an embarrassing defeat to fullblown victory on election day.

In Tokyo, Olympic athletes and team officials have been hit by COVID-19. No matter what great shape a body is in, the virus doesn’t give a damn; it’s just waiting, sitting idly by. If anyone’s panicking, it should be the Japanese. Are they? In Ormoc, Leyte, Mayor Richard Gomez, an all-around sportsman (chef and gardener, too) is recovering handsomely from the illness.

In the US, an infomercial is reaping condemnation and praise for showing a patient gasping for breath as she lies in her hospital bed. For several seconds, the model’s extremely labored breathing is part of the act, though the tubes attached to her look real enough. Obviously the lesson being demonstrated is that in real life patients go through indescribable pain and distress.

An unwritten rule in the communications industry, print and broadcast, disallows the publication and broadcast of images of pain and suffering by any individual, be they celebrities or your everyday anonymous John or Jane Doe, even animals. However, if the purpose of the TV ad is to warn audiences against letting down their guard, it’s also telling them that it’s safer to be scared to death than to tempt the fates.