Like any new experience, parenting is adding new words to my vocabulary. Take “threenager”, for example. Up until two months ago, I didn’t know someone had coined this portmanteau, and that it was actually in common use in parenting blogs.
The revelation started with an observation about my daughter D–‘s current developmental stage. D– has always been quite expressive and her vocabulary pickup has been fast. Owing to this, her “terrible twos” were mitigated somewhat, because she didn’t have to suffer from the frustration of the inability to communicate.
This week, I’ve had to contend with two deaths, one private and one public. Such is life as one gets older, I suppose, that one has to face mortality ever more often as friends and contemporaries go into the sunset.
The public death, as one could easily guess, is Benigno Aquino III, more popularly known as “Noynoy” and “PNoy.” He was 61 — much too young in these days of interminably long life spans — and only ten years distant from my own. The news came as a complete surprise and I only stumbled into it while idly scrolling through my feeds.
As the household IT guy, wrangling with the inkjet printer falls to me. Often these jobs have to do with craft decorations for my wife’s small pastry business. Her latest request: “Jungkook.”
What? June? Cook?
“No, Jungkook. He’s a singer with BTS.”
During the briefing before they gave us the AstraZeneca vaccine, we were told we might have fever and chills. The literature was more explicit in saying half the innoculees would experience such. I thought that since I had passed the night uneventfully, I was in the other half. So I dashed off my previous article joyously early in the morning and thought no more of it; it turns out I was wrong.
I started feeling feverish during my morning meeting, with a cloud of malaise slowly descending. By lunchtime, it was pretty clear where my body was heading. I took a paracetamol as directed and crawled into bed to wait out the course of the side effects.
If nothing else, this stage of the pandemic has given us something new to talk about: vaccinations. It’s a germane icebreaker for starting meetings: “Have you been vaccinated?” “When are you scheduled?” and “Which brand are you getting?” And dare I say, it’s made armchair experts of us all: “I’m going to wait for Sinovac,” “Moderna is too aggressive” and “I heard so-and-so died after taking a second dose of X–!” Which, I suppose, is a step better than talk of homegrown cures like steaming or — heaven forbid! — bleach.
Myself, I had my first jab yesterday, and to answer your burning question, it was Astra-Zeneca, the one allegedly responsible for deaths due to clotting. It’s only been twelve hours as I write this, so who knows? Right now, I feel a little stiffness in my left arm and shoulder, which they told us during orientation was to be expected. Other side-effects they warned us about were fever, chills, and joint pains, none of which have manifested for me, thankfully. But it’s only been twelve hours, so who knows?
Last Easter Sunday was the loneliest one yet. Instead of joining with throngs of celebrants at church, I heard Mass through YouTube. No rush of palms the week before, either, nor via crucis processions on Good Friday.
This year promises to be a little better. Ever since lockdown lifted in our city, I’ve been able to attend Sunday Mass regularly these past six months. Still fewer people than pre-pandemic times but enough to feel part of a community again.