"When will they be widely distributed?"
The government and the private sector are working together to ensure the availability of the AstraZeneca vaccine by May or June next year. This is light at the end of the tunnel, however long the tunnel is.
Still, there are unanswered questions about ending the coronavirus. Will the vaccine truly end the health crisis? It is said that the vaccine will first be provided to 60 million Filipinos. But how about the rest of the population? Whatever these questions are, prospects of the “new normal” just got clearer!
The government may make frontliners a priority in the distribution of vaccines, because they are the most exposed to the virus. Next are the military and police, then the poor and the sick because they are the most in need.
One good thing we are seeing is the willingness of the private sector to partner with the government.
But I hope our leaders continue warning us to stay cautious because the tide will not turn soon despite the vaccine. The pandemic has done much damage to our economy. People must also be warned against holding get-togethers this holiday season.
At the very least, we seem to be flattening the curve.
Let us not forget the following, now that Christmas is coming. First, that we can still observe it without going to parties. It is Jesus Christ, not anyone or anything else, who is the cause of our celebration. When I was a boy, just being able to eat dirty ice cream – “sorbetes” – was a luxury. My toys were made of tin cans. It’s a good thing my mother was a devout Catholic. She taught us the rudiments of catechism and instilled in us the habit of going to Church on Sundays and special days. She also reminded us constantly that Christmas was not about Christ. It was only when I attended kindergarten at the Philippine Normal School when I first saw imported toys, care of my American teacher.
Giving gifts at Christmas is a truly Christian tradition. Jesus Christ gave the best gift ever to us – himself. He died on the Cross for the redemption of mankind, and so we have an obligation to help the poor and the needy.
For this reason, our duty is to help those who have less in life.
President Duterte has the last say in the issue of face to face classes in the future.
I am not sure if DepEd Secretary Leonor Briones has studied the probabilities of resuming classes due to the still-raging coronavirus.
What should be looked for in rural areas are reports that students in faraway rural areas are still in the dark ages because there is no electricity. How can we expect students to have blended learning?
Another issue is the availability of sanitation and health facilities.
I have been told that my good friend, Ado Escudero, owner and founder of Villa Escudero, has just passed away. He was such fun to be with. I traveled with him to the Holy Land years ago.
Goodby Ado, my friend. May the peace of the Lord be with you.