God can test our faith

HINTS AND TRACES - Fr. Roy Cimagala - The Freeman

The country will soon receive a donation of bivalent vaccines from COVAX. Bivalent vaccines target both the original as well as the omicron variants. I assume the delta variant is also covered. No number has been disclosed as negotiations are still ongoing. According to DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire, the government is talking to both Pfizer and Moderna to purchase the new vaccine. I hope the administration helps in acquiring the vaccine sans the red tape that normally plagues acquisitions. No guidelines have been set as to who should receive the vaccine but those with complete shots and boosters will not need the new vaccine.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently said the COVID-19 pandemic remains an international emergency. The announcement was made amidst low numbers of infections and deaths in the past months. But with China easing restrictions, the number of infections and deaths has spiked. This only shows the coronavirus is not yet done with us. A check with ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations still shows a significant number of people all over the world who have yet to receive the first dose of the vaccine. These may be the anti-vax persons or those not easily accessible. For example, Africa shows only 34% of its population is vaccinated. Still, a long way to go. It also provides opportunities for the virus to mutate.

I was drawn into looking at the current situation regarding the coronavirus because of a new series at HBO, “The Last of Us”. The genre is not new as many post-apocalyptic movies caused by a global pandemic have already been produced. Movies like “Outbreak”, “Contagion”, and “I Am Legend” come to mind. All have dealt with a virus that spreads rapidly causing death or the ever-popular theme of flesh-eating zombies.

With the easing of restrictions worldwide, many forms of revenge have taken place. I’ve heard the terms revenge traveling, revenge parties, revenge concerts, and all the activities people were not able to do in the last two years or so. I only hope the coronavirus does not have a revenge agenda of its own. Many are already belittling COVID-19 infections as the common cold or the flu. Some no longer have themselves tested when they encounter symptoms, causing false readings in data gathering. Deaths from COVID-19 infections still occur, most likely from the immunocompromised or those who have no shots at all. There are still those who believe the pandemic is a hoax. Laughable and worrisome at the same time.

The danger of a virus mutating into something we have never encountered sending us scrambling for treatment is not only portrayed in the movies but in real life. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown just that. And while we may not see flesh-eating zombies taking over the planet, the fact that such a small organism can threaten us the way it did should keep us on our toes. As per the WHO, it is still an international emergency.


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