“MY newsfeed is beginning to look like an obituary page,” wrote Junx Muaña, one of the founders of Habagat, in Facebook. I think most of us will agree. This week, my mother-in-law Salud Lagare-Chua and her elder sister Guadalupe died and the family is devastated. Let us all pray for the repose of the souls of the departed and find time to reminisce the happy moments we have had with loved ones that we have lost during this difficult period of humanity.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of Aug. 5, 2021, the confirmed cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) have reached 200,174,883, including 4,255,892 deaths, with a total of 3,984,596,440 vaccine doses having been administered.

There will be no end to the pandemic until the majority of the world’s population is vaccinated. While wealthy countries are going full blast in their vaccination program, poor nations are struggling due to the inequity in dose distribution.

WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus appealed, “We need an urgent reversal, from the majority of vaccines going to high-income countries, to the majority going to low-income countries.” He further stated: “I understand the concern of all governments to protect their people from the delta variant. But we cannot accept countries that have already used most of the global supply of vaccines using even more of it, while the world’s most vulnerable people remain unprotected.” Time and again, I must say that this is World War against the pandemic. Every nation, every individual must act as the enemy is invisible and does not distinguish its victim as to economic status, race, gender or religion.

Observe all health protocols. Most importantly: GET VACCINATED. If there is a newsfeed in Facebook that can brighten each dreary day, it is that of the ongoing Tokyo Olympics as we learn of world records broken, extraordinary performances and, for Filipinos, the highest number of medals ever in the Philippines’ participation. We have new Pinoy sports heroes — Hidilyn Diaz, Nesthy Petecio, Carlo Paalam and Eumir Marcial, all medalists, and others who made decent finishes. These athletes have demonstrated that given proper training, international exposure and support from both government and private institutions, Filipinos can shine against the world’s best. It is also high time for the government, sports officials and media to promote and highlight sports that the physique of Filipinos would likely excel: boxing, karate, judo, taekwando, gymnastics, badminton, diving, skateboarding, table tennis and archery, among others. Add to that arnis and sepak takraw.

Stay safe, everyone. May we wake up to a brighter day ahead.