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These are my quarantine prayers

By BARBARA GONZALEZ- VENTURA, The Philippine STAR Published Jan 30, 2021 4:00 pm

We have a new Apple TV. The instrument allows you to remotely control your TV set. My husband sent me out one day to replace the old one, which had died. So I went. Now it’s the newer model. The old one, you pressed buttons. This new one you press “Menu” to get to what you want to watch — news, movies, or whatever. Then you have to swipe.

One of my husband’s sons properly installed it, but I don’t work it well. Whenever I need to access a program I swipe my finger across the control like you’re supposed to do. Nothing happens. I think I have erased all the marks on my fingers from making rosaries. That was my theory, anyway. But when I visited my daughter and told her about this problem I had, she enthusiastically said she had the same problem. Her fingers never worked at swiping controls.

I was relieved! Maybe we belonged to the same type: people whose bodies cannot keep up with advances in technology. Surely this is an inherited trait. This inability must be passed down to us from beyond our great-great-grandfathers.

I know I must go back to the store, bring my small black square — that’s what it looks like — and the control, and ask them what to do. That’s what the very young man told me to do the last time I asked him what I was supposed to do. Now I have to show him that it’s my fingers that don’t work and ask him if I can use one of those new-fangled pens with a sponge at the tip. Please God, help me!

Now is the time to awaken our imaginations, to sit down somewhere quiet and ask ourselves, what can we do that we can share with others?

While you’re at it, God, please also help me decide on what to do about the COVID-19 vaccine. I have friends who are vehemently against it, don’t believe in vaccinations at all, and certainly don’t believe you need it for COVID-19.

All this time we — my regular customers, my husband and me — have simply been drinking my StemEnhance Ultra and we are all well. My supplier tells me it’s good at protecting you from COVID-19, in fact from almost any illness. I tend to agree with her because none of those who take it have shown signs of vulnerability. 

Especially me. Through this quarantine, I think I’m the one who has gone out the most. Fully masked, I’ve gone to Quiapo regularly to buy materials for the rosaries I make. I enjoy those trips immensely. I end up buying exotic dried fish, vegetables and fruits for a lot less. Calamansi is P25 a clump at the supermarket near us and they have little juice. In Quiapo, it’s P10 a clump and they are bigger and juicier.

My friends also say we are afraid of COVID-19 because of the media coverage it has been getting in the US and here. On the one hand, I tend to agree; but on the other hand, the US data — states afflicted, vaccines running out — are terrifying. In truth, I really don’t know whom to believe and what to do. Right now, none of us are going for the vaccine. And right now, I still don’t operate our TV control well.

I guess these unusual times have us all in a state of confusion. Many are out of jobs. What are they supposed to do? I think they have to think of what they can do to earn money on their own. I now make rosaries. Not that they earn me a lot of money, but at least they keep me busy and give me the chance to go to Quiapo, look at the selection of beads, try using crystals and false pearls, and discover which roses I can use. It brings novelty into my life. Furthermore, it keeps me sane.

It also makes me happy when the people who buy text me and say how they love the rosaries I make. And I have forgotten to tell them that they can also be worn as necklaces. They are quite pretty when worn around the neck.

It occurs to me now that what I’m really saying is: now is the time to awaken our imaginations, to sit down somewhere quiet and ask ourselves, what can we do that we can share with others? Some of us can cook. Others can bake. Others can sew. Others can create other things that they can sell or swap with their neighbors. Once I had a cook who baked a mean pie using saba bananas, brown sugar and cinnamon. It tasted like apple pie and it didn’t cost very much. It was delicious.

Maybe that’s another thing I can add to my quarantine prayers. Please God, awaken our imaginations and teach us to take another look at our talents. I’m certain we will find something we can do to live better again.

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