Burning Outside, Burning Inside



What do you do if houses around your own are burning and blazing and yours seems to be the only safe one?


First of all, that should scare you out of your wits. It should be just a matter of time before some of the structure catches fire. But then, for some reason, your hut seems to be relatively safe and sound, which blesses you with the opportunity to optimize the current conditions. Maybe, you could help in putting out the fire all around. But then, that’s too much of a monumental task since all domiciles north, northeast and south are all scorching. Maybe, you could reinforce a fence or a wall around your residence with some sort of protective and fire resistant material which prevents any flame from flickering around the perimeter of your area. That would demand some work.


Maybe, you could start packing and make your way out of the neighborhood, because after all, eventually, fire would catch up on the fringes of the fence. It would be better to escape the calamity before you get trapped and helpless.


Maybe you could clean up the house, do some home improvement, maybe put up some decoration here and there. Maybe, you could use the space to start a new business. Come on, would that make sense with the combustions surrounding your abode. How could you possibly even think of something like that? Besides, how could some sort of enterprise grow with the disaster on the neighborhood. Perhaps, you could sell fire extinguishers or asbestos suits.


Another option could be just ignoring the catastrophe. You could go on with life as usual. Anyway, your neighbors are probably figuring out something to solve the problem, and maybe when you wake up tomorrow, the fire would be out.


My mouth is wide open and speechless in reports of exponential upsurge of Covid-19 cases in Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong which for some people who are not familiar with geography (like some people who think Mayon Volcano is in Naga or California is a separate country from the United States), are countries which surround ours. I’m getting nauseous with daily cases that shoot up to the hundred thousands. Has not Singapore previously returned back to pre-pandemic situations? Have not most of these nations proven themselves to be adept and efficient in managing this sort of crisis?


Then, what do we do at the home front? DILG recently announced that they would be disallowing the sari-sari store, the consistent center of commerce of the common Filipino, from retailing over the counter medicine. These are the medicine for common headache, colds, cough, body pains and the like. So, a resident in the distant phase of a subdivision or a remote rural sitio would need to take a pedicab, passenger motorcycle, or tricycle to the población or downtown commercial business district to purchase maybe three to five tablets of Biogesic. This is quite some advancement in accessibility. According to the authorities, the logic of the law is to prevent the sale of fake medicine in the market. Apparently, sari-sari stores have the propensity to sell counterfeit medication, and the pharmacies and drug stores downtown could not possibly do something like that. So that’s how we solve problems with counterfeit articles. To prevent fake news, should the reporting of news be disallowed together? Why don’t we take the fake products out of the market rather than making the products inaccessible?


People with common ailments are further advised to stock up on medicine as a solution to this inaccessibility. Actually, that’s a good suggestion. It is quite beneficial if you have the medicine ready and you just take some when you feel bad. I did that. I bought some Biogesic, Neozep and Mefenamic Acid and have them handy in my backpack. By the time, I needed one of those, the tablets were already expired and I had to buy new ones at the sari-sari store across the street. So, I just wasted money which I could have used for some other important expenses; and I run the risk of taking expired drugs had I not been careful in considering the expiration date.


The timing is just excellent. At this time, maybe the virus strains could be losing some potency. People who have received the vaccine could be infected but manifest in mild colds, cough and/or body pain. We’re going to need those medicine conveniently, without prescription and from the nearest store.


Wait, I failed to mention that sari-sari stores could still sell Biogesic and the like if they apply for some license to sell. Yes. That’s very convenient.


“Why does my lord weep?” He answered, “Because I know the evil that you will do to the people…” - 2 Kings 8:12