Making the most of it
THAT DOES IT - Korina Sanchez (The Freeman) - September 21, 2020 - 12:00am

We have entered the "Ber Months". I am already hearing Jose Mari Chan's timeless yuletide song which will surely end up as the last song syndrome to many. I see a few lanterns already hanging from the rafters. But I still don't see the lantern sellers along Granada Avenue. Some have also put up their lights. It might be too early for a tree but who knows? I have friends who want to put up their trees to make the mood festive, something we all need during these trying times.

Surely this year's holiday celebration is unique, if not subdued. COVID-19 is still with us, and will not go away by the end of the year. I'm not sure if the government will allow malls to accept a lot of people to do their shopping like in previous years. Many will shift to buying their gifts online if they have money to buy them. The economy is far from normal and will not be for some time. Many will find it difficult to enjoy the holidays because of financial issues and uncertainties that cannot be addressed.

Allowing families to gather on Christmas Eve is still up in the air. It is still forbidden for 10 people or more to gather. Those who tried to ended up getting reported on and arrested. Local governments decided to close their respective cemeteries for days leading to and after the traditional undas. These measures are still in place to prevent the spread of the virus, especially by those asymptomatic and have no idea they are already carrying the virus.

According to the Palace spokesman, the worst is over. I don’t know where he came up with that assumption with thousands still being infected daily and 38 medical facilities warning a surge in cases will overwhelm them. A viable vaccine is still unavailable. A well-known pharmaceutical company has stopped its clinical trial when neurologic symptoms appeared in a vaccinated person. It is not easy to create a vaccine for a new disease, taking years to be developed and tested. Russia and China both claim to have one and are ready to provide it to the country for clinical trials. Is anyone willing to be one of the first to try it out?

The country's COVID-19 count is at 283,460 with 4,930 deaths. Another 209,885 have recovered. The number of daily positive cases should be in the hundreds for the worst to be over. The number must be that low to prevent hospitals and frontliners from being overwhelmed. The worst is far from over, but with the holidays slowly creeping in, maybe we can make the most of it.

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