Daily at 4 p.m., almost without fail, I visit the website of the Department of Health to find out if we have finally been able to gain some measure of success in containing the spread of the coronavirus throughout the country. The numbers that I see inevitably leave me feeling sorry and wondering whether I should do it again the following day.
Of course, I do. In boredom, self-flagellation can become an addiction. Or maybe it has something to do with the hope that supposedly springs eternal from the human breast. The good days will come and the DOH website will bring the news first.
In the meantime, there is basketball to temporarily keep your mind isolated from gloom and free you from the increasingly maddening boredom of being quarantined. And yes, there’s politics, too, both the American kind. Thank you, cable television. Thank you, internet.
The NBA playoffs are being played in empty arenas because of the Covid-19 pandemic but that makes no difference to us who have been watching NBA games on television since the time of Jerry West and Gail Goodrich. The lay-ups, the dunks and the blocks look the same as they did in the past seasons.
The reference to two Lakers stars of the 1970s is intentional and I apologize to other Cebuano NBA fans like Mayor Edgar Labella who bleed Celtics green (but whose late father, Nong Gene worshipped the purple and gold) and those who continue to peddle the myth that Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls teams were the best in the history of professional basketball. I am a Lakers follower. And from what I’ve heard, so is former Mayor Tommy Osmeña, by the way. And, gloat, so is another former mayor, Mike Rama, who had a life-size picture of Kobe Bryant installed at City Hall after the Lakers star died in a helicopter crash.
The LeBron-led Lakers are still in the hunt for their first championship after 10 years, which is why it is easier to get absorbed in the games in spite of the pandemic. Not everyone is pleased with the aforementioned Mr. James, of course, perhaps none more so than his president, Donald Trump. In fact, Trump’s dislike extends to the entire NBA, gloating about its admittedly poor television ratings without mentioning that his Republican national convention also suffered badly in terms of TV audience as did the Democrats’ own convention.
Which brings us to politics. America introduced us to democracy which counts among its virtues the holding of free elections to choose our leaders. The US will hold theirs on November 3 (their time) and Trump is running for re-election.
I have complained many times in the past that America did not teach us well on how to conduct free and honest elections. Unlike ours, theirs was free of shenanigans and unlike us, the Americans rally behind their chosen leaders. I wondered if we would be able to reach that level of political maturity.
It seems to me now that we are almost on equal footing with the US insofar as elections are concerned not because we have “leveled up” but because they have “leveled down.”
When they learn the three Gs (guns, goons and gold) of our elections, the reversal of roles shall have been complete: the teachers have learned from their pupils.
We have a chat group of pro-Trump and pro-Joe Biden friends. Everyday, we repost all the insults traded by both camps that we can find on the internet. It’s entertaining and it takes our minds off the coronavirus scare, even if temporarily.