THIS column was supposed to be Part III of my series on the assumption of command by Gen. Guillermo Eleazar as Chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), the former Chiefs and Director Generals of the PNP, as well as the Chiefs of the Philippine Constabulary (PC) since 1901.
However, I have been trying since two to three weeks ago to research a list of all the Chiefs of the PC but this senior as well as his more ‘techie’ son could not unearth the said list.
In the meanwhile, I will take a break on that topic and hope that Gen. Eleazar’s aide, Lt. Tess Umali, can catch up with my next deadline.
Since my wife, Baby, and I are seventy – two years old seniors, we depend a lot on the assistance of our four children.
My eldest and youngest sons, Pip and Lucky, have their own households and homes.
Our only daughter, Cuchie, and our middle son, Mikko, still live with us. Aside from assisting us in our physical activities, they also help us in our electronic and/or virtual needs.
The past sixteen months of COVID-19 and the fourteen months of quarantines, have forced us to stay at and work from home.
As far as the cellphone is concerned, I only knew how to call and text. However, I preferred just to text and preferred ‘eyeballs’ or face to face meetings and talks.
Abruptly, on Tuesday, March 17, I stopped my early (7:00 to 8:30 a. m.) daily morning routine of bringing my daughter to work in Makati and proceeding after that to a Kapihan and/or Media Forum.
Immediately, I learned to use FB Messenger, Viber and Zoom. However, somehow, the lack of coffee and breakfast and real people made me lazy.
My wife and I also became absentees at our bimonthly Couples for Christ (CFC) household prayer meetings. It was only when our children were part of the activity that we were eager to participate.
We have monthly international Zoom meetings with my in – laws based in England, California, Arizona and Davao.
We also attended many virtual wakes, novenas and memorials. Recently, we get more invitations to virtual celebrations of anniversaries of birthdays and weddings.
Even before COVID-19, my wife and I have been TV parishioners of both Sunday and Daily Masses.
However, when it comes to the active use of the computer and internet, we are helpless and lost without our children.
And so, when our government started to trumpet the arrival of the vaccines, we were almost left behind in the cue.
Our two kids were on the look - out for government announcements. They alerted us whenever we had to apply or register.
They took care of the electronic while I went to our Barangay Hall (Mariana on New Jersey St., between 3rd and 4th streets, near Balete Drive and Hemady Ave., whenever we needed to pick up or file a form.
On Saturday, April 10, I received an e-mail from email@example.com, which I did not recognize as an e-mail from our Q. C. LGU regarding vaccination.
Unfortunately, but also fortunately, I lost a week or so. By the time, we realized what that e-mail was, responded to it and were handed over to our Barangay Mariana for manual communications and coordination, we were falling behind in the cue or line.
First, Quezon City and the vaccination centers near our Barangay ran out of the limited supply of AstraZeneca (which had been restricted to seniors).
My two sisters and my brother’s wife got their first doses of Sinovac in late April.
Just as we were next in line, Q. C. ran out of Sinovac as well as all other brands.
On Thursday, May 13, both my relatives as well as some of my wife’s siblings had their second doses.
On the same day my Barangay called both my wife and me and scheduled us for 8:00 a. m. to 2:00 p. m., Saturday, March 15, at SLMC, Q. C. (in covered walks and tents in the doctors’ parking lot of their Medical Arts Building (MAB)).
There were going to be 270 residents of our Barangay plus an equal number from our neighboring Barangay Immaculate Concepcion.
My wife has been undergoing thrice a week dialysis since November 2013. Her first session was on the eve of Typhoon Yolanda.
She suffered a heart attack on Monday, July 31, 2017, and underwent a triple heart by – pass on Monday, August 7. She remained confined until after her birthday on August 22.
We had consulted our cardiologist and internist regarding our being vaccinated as well as with regards to the brand of vaccine. Both of them recommended vaccination ASAP and with the first available brand.
However, my wife’s nephrologist cleared her for vaccination but recommended Moderna. A large shipment of Pfizer had just arrived early last, last week.
NCR plus was given a big share of the shipment. It was immediately distributed to the LGUs. My wife was at first hesitant and scared.
We pointed out to her that many people were begging for Pfizer. What better place to be vaccinated but the MAB parking lot of SLMC, Q. C.?
If anything went wrong with us, we’d be sure of getting priority at the ER of SLMC Q. C., as well as with regards to admission.
And so, we did it together. My brother who had refused Sinovac, was in the same line as us.
The cue and line took an hour and a half. Then, they made us wait for half an hour before letting us go home.
Our second doses are scheduled for Saturday, June 5. Thank you to the WHO, our national government, our Q. C. LGU, Barangay Mariana and SLMC, Q. C.
My four kids were all born there in 1971, 1971, 1975 and 1980! Except for my wife who was born (assisted by comadrona) at her grandparents’ home in Meycauayan, Bulacan, her three brothers and five sisters were all born at St. Luke’s Hospital.