They won’t budge

Published July 5, 2022, 12:05 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza


Jullie Y. Daza

Until the day he left Malacañang, President Duterte never made good his promise to vaccinate, by force or by good intentions, the stubborn, pigheaded senior citizens who see no value in being protected by science from the deadly coronavirus disease.

Which was more successful? The drug war or the vaccination drive? Up to this day, the experts and generals haven’t found a way to convince more seniors, a highly vulnerable sector, to surrender their arm to a jab, or two, or three. They can only guess why the resistance persists: disinformation, misinformation, gossip of the Marites kind.

When this senior citizen had her second booster shot, there were only three people ahead of me and two following. The tables were manned by a dentist and two young doctors, and the dentist advised me to choose Pfizer (my first two shots were courtesy of Sinovac). I offered my left arm, meek as a lamb.
Days later, a public health specialist said on TV that two primary shots and one booster were sufficient for oldies. My fourth dose was not necessary, after all?

Then came Lety’s phone call. She had just had her second booster and look what it did to her. Her arms – a good thing not her face – were covered in rashes, most likely an effect of the second booster one week after the first. Two shots in eight days? As Paul Lau would’ve said, “How can?”
And that’s how stories grow, turn into monsters or rashes.

Every senior citizen should be like Bobby Lim Joseph, who didn’t let age or living on borrowed time stop him from living a full life after a series of complicated surgical procedures decades ago. When Bobby’s close friends Dee and Pete D. broke the news of Bobby’s demise, my reaction was to say that he was rightfully on his way to heaven, for helping so many people in so many ways during his 72 years on earth.
As a Rotarian whose focus was tourism and environmentalism, including keeping Manila Bay free of garbage, Bobby also maintained a scholarship program for out-of-town youths under DualTech. He is survived by his widow Ida, children Rea, Robi, Richard (deceased), Risa, River, and grandchildren, and brothers Ralph, Ronnie, Raymond.