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[BUKIDNON VIEWS] FIRST PERSON: The Emerging Threat of The Doomsday Variant

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By Fr. Virgilio Delfin  

MALAYBALAY CITY (BukidnonNews.Net/11 September 2021) “Ephphatha” – that is “Be opened!” (Mark 7:34).

We are in panic! Difficulty in breathing of love ones, looking for high-flow oxygen, costly yet limited availability of Remdesiver and other Covid medicines, uncertain supply of oxygen, instantaneous deaths of Covid infected patients, more so of those staying at home because of lack of vacant slots in hospitals.

Where to get the funds to shoulder the high costs of hospitalization, burial of Covid-infected cadavers, extended isolations and quarantine days that make it difficult to look for the daily sustenance, closing businesses and institutions because of lack of income and many others.

Many undergo psychological distress because of the inability to grieve properly on the passing of their love ones. Many are suffering, confused, and depressed. The fear of the Delta variant which, according to health experts infects a healthy individual from a contaminated person within two seconds of contact is very real.

A number of whole families are infected including their children. Many are also in the dilemma whether to submit to vaccination or not. Many are afraid to die, afraid to become zombies, many do not trust some brands of vaccines and many are afraid even of the needle to be used in vaccinations.

According to the latest report and analysis of the City of Valencia published in Facebook, out of the 102 Covid deaths the city had from August 16 to September 1, 2021, eight were vaccinated and 94 were not. This means that 92% or nine out of 10 of those who died because of COVID in that city were not vaccinated.

This gives us a real and strong message concerning vaccinations. The threat of the Delta variant is very real. It affects families and institutions. Those who are infected in their homes or in the hospitals and those who died are not just statistics. They are persons, beloved by their families, friends and acquaintances. They cannot and should not be shrugged only as few compared to the deaths in other countries. The reality is that according to the World Health Organization as of August 31, 2021, out of 28 countries in the Western Pacific Region, the Philippines ranks number 1 in daily confirmed infections, total number of infected persons and total number of deaths.

Sad to say, while Filipinos are dying, our leaders especially those at the top are busy defending themselves on the backlash of the seemingly real situation of blatant corruption with government transactions on the procurement of Covid-19 paraphernalia.

This means that while Filipinos are suffering and dying every day, there are those in the high positions who are busy counting their monetary shares and concealing their corruption trails. They will answer all of these in front of the judgment seat of God.

On August 24, 2021, Cedars-Sinai.org (an internet news portal) discussed an article that was published by Newsweek Magazine by Dr. Eric Vail, Director of Molecular Pathology in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, discussing the potential future variants of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The article says, “Vail believes a new variant could materialize that is even more transmissible, even though the Delta variant already is five times more contagious than the original version of SARS-CoV-2.” On August 31, 2021, another news platform, news.com.au published an article by @samanthamaiden entitled “’Doomsday’ Covid variant detected in South Africa even worse than Delta strain”. The article says, “A new “doomsday” Covid variant has been discovered, with health experts fearing it moves nearly “twice as fast” as the deadly Delta strain.

The new variant, known as C.1.2, first emerged in South Africa but has also been detected in England, China, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mauritius, New Zealand, Portugal and Switzerland.”

Out of these data, information and projections, something more must be done by us, as individuals, as families and as communities. The name of the variant “doomsday” alone conveys a great message.

Before this variant reaches our country, communities, institutions and families, our preparations must be organized, synchronized and systematic. If we desire to survive, let us deal this with great caution, courage, precision and faithfulness.

First, the spiritual. Jesus prayed with the deaf man, “Ephphatha” that is “Be opened!” Everybody must be open to the grace of the Lord not only in this changing and temporary world but of the grace of heaven. Let us not be afraid to die. Let us be confident that even if we die, there is eternal life for us. We pray for more strength in faith and fidelity to our God.

Second, the psychological. Let us establish and strengthen those that have already been established, the network of communications and prayer for our mental, emotional and decisional support system that will encourage us if the time of great upheaval comes. This is a necessity because we cannot gather in big groups except that of our families.

Third, the physical. At this time, identify the herbal medicines around our homes. Let us plant more of them. They are the only available medicines when doomsday comes. Let us enrich our immune systems with medicines coming from nature.

Lastly, let us not be afraid. The Lord Jesus is greater than even the projected doomsday variant. His greatness is beyond our comprehension and our greatest response should be full faith in him. If we believe in Jesus, we should be one with and side with him.

Pope Francis said, “To be vaccinated is an act of love!” Can we take heed even of it? Be opened by Jesus and be open to him and his directions whatever comes our way. After all our survival is beyond this changing and passing world. Our dwelling places in heaven are already secured by Jesus. Amen.

(Fr. Virgilio Delfin is a priest of the Diocese of Malaybalay and president of San Isidro College. This is his reflections on the Twenty Third Sunday in Ordinary Time, September 5, 2021.Fr. Delfin gave permission to re-publish this piece. FIRST PERSON is a section in the BukidnonNews.Net website dedicated to select statements, speeches, comments and other views on public matters. If you want to contribute to FIRST PERSON, email your piece, contact details and bio profile to editor.bukidnonnews@gmail.com.)   

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