I have every reason to be paranoid. Covid hit home. Four siblings got infected, one was hospitalized, a nephew and niece tested positive and worse, a first cousin passed away. This is why I am pro vaccine. It’s protection. It’s free. Take it. To get a severe infection these days is just illogical.

I can turn into a tall, tan (and fun) zombie in the future but I choose not to suffer today, or let people around me suffer because of negligence or belief in an apocalyptic prophecy.

Can you imagine humans in a zombie apocalypse? Hiding in fear and running for life. That’s tiring and stressful. Look at god-like Brad Pitt, he was one Haggardo Verzosa in World War Z. But who am I to say if you’ll survive long enough to witness it? A virus variant might get you before a zombie does.

Until that happens, thumbs up to the vax supporters! A couple of weeks after the second shot, you can brave the world with a new level of confidence. But don’t let your guard down. Stick to the health protocol -- mask, iwas, hugas to keep the virus at bay. It can still strike, but take comfort in the knowledge that you’re safe from a severe case.

Like you, I am eager to step out of home more often than an essential trip (which is twice a month in my case). Soon, I can put the “go local” plan into action, but I will proceed with caution. The itchy travel feet will be scratched and the hungry tummy will be feasting on buffet spreads. More importantly, I can mingle with my fully vaxed family and friends and give them a buss and a hug.

Temptation surged pre-vax time. Too much time and nothing to do, dinner and beach invites were irresistible. I declined (with much effort). The activities are marked high risk. Paranoia prevailed.

As soon as the vax is fully operational, I will collect on the rainchecks.

Doesn’t restaurant food taste best when served from kitchen to table? You can go take out and eat in the safety of home but something is lost (aside from the food’s heat and beauty in plating). The feeling is different. It will be a delight to feast on the eat-all-you-can Thai food of Benjarong in Dusit, bite into the monster beef burger of Park Inn, go chinky eyes with glee at Luk Foo Palace at Acacia Hotel, and many more.

And there’s the beach...Saltwater here I come!

A beach hopping escapade will be in order. I can’t wait to relive the days when I lived close to the sand and surf. Imagine opening your eyes to the sight of crystal blue waters glimmering under the morning sun, the sound of waves gently tapping on your door bidding you to get up and step out. Staycations will happen soon at Pearl Farm Beach Resort, Lubi Plantation, Waterfront Insular Hotel, Isla Buenavista and the resorts of Paradise Island and Costa Marina. Like I said, if I turn into a zombie, I will be tall, tan and fun.

But before shedding the shirt, I have a date with my favorite doctor. The surgeon who hooked me up with my waistline nine years ago after decades of separation. Without diligence, I was unfriended again. Doc Dennis will reunite us once more after my second jab.

How about you? What are your plans after your vax? Don’t forget, proceed with caution.

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Email me at jinggoysalvador@yahoo.com.