Cariño: Baguio Connections 107: Off season

Baguio Stories

LAST week, about watching the exceptional. This week, more of the extraordinary.

In our yard, there are three guava trees. Three trees — T3 — hahaha. Regularly, the sweet guavas which are pink inside are ready for picking come September. We harvest until about November, as we did last year and years prior.

After November of last year however, I would regularly see a few large yellow guavas on the ground in the shade of the biggest of the T3. I figured they were just an overflow maybe, the final give of an already generous harvest. But come to think of it, that overflow has been going on and going on till now; it’s already April of the year after.

For which we thank God, from whom all good things come. Even as I ventured out to pick some yellow orbs still hanging among the leaves of the big tree a couple of weeks ago, I noticed that there was not the occasional fruit among them, but a lot. Last week and this, I noticed that there is already a harvest in the making, the guavas are all over the big tree, and will be ready to pick in a bit, actually. It’s only May.

The two smaller trees seem to be following suit. Very off-season, but very welcome.

Another seeming off-season item in the yard is the appearance of sunflowers. Here I thought that they bloomed on the Baguio hills only in the cold, i.e., the colder of the brrrr months. Well, the weather is really warm these days, and here they are. Now I’m actually waiting to see if the poinsettia will bloom this “summer.”

And did you notice that the “flying ants” (simot-simot) that—my grandmother used to say—harbinger the rainy season first came around in April, usually the height of summer heat in these hills? Indeed, May saw typhoon season start in the Philippines with “Ambo.”

Which makes us wonder, does Covid-19 have a season and then does it leave? Does it resurface once the season comes around again?

There’s a fascinating piece that explores the question. It is titled “Why do dozens of diseases wax and wane with the seasons—and will Covid-19?” It is by Jon Cohen and found dated March 13, 2020 in

Cohen’s piece follows researchers testing a multitude of current theories and attendant variants that seek to establish if indeed, diseases are seasonal and if, possibly, Covid-19 is.

Two studies cited explore temperature and humidity. Jumping out in particular: “One looked at Covid-19 spread in 19 provinces across China, which ranged from cold and dry to tropical, and found sustained transmission everywhere. The second study concludes that sustained transmission appears to occur only in specific bands of the globe that have temperatures between 5° Celsius and 11° Celsius and 47% to 70% relative humidity.”

Those temperatures — they are ours in Baguio in the cold months. Reportedly (, our humidity average is 78° Celsius. Gawrsh. I pray it’s past the possible season for Covid-19 in Baguio, even as we pray for the disease to just have no more seasons at all, anywhere.


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