Scientists – the true men and women of action
The WHO (World Health Organization) has encouraged worldwide vaccine diplomacy to help poorer countries. China’s response to the Philippines is not unique; other nations have done likewise, without much fanfare, with the traditional reserve of philanthropy.
It should not be beyond the centuries-old decorum of the Chinese to insist that there is really no need for the Philippine President to embark on rendering a personal “thank you,” surely an extravagance at this period of desperately depleted resources, with so many going hungry.
What’s a planeload of vaccines between friends anyway? And it is not as though the Philippines has been short of gift-giving, mostly in sufferance, from way back. There’s the West Philippine Sea trespassing, the sourcing of drugs, kidnappings and human trafficking, plunder of protected fauna, corruption of immigration officials, etc. Is this list not ample proof in aid of reality check, of why Filipinos remain unconvinced by the hand of friendship extended?
Is there hope in altering the vision of the infatuated? Someone did say that there is none so blind as he who would not see. Is the President impervious to the sensibilities of people who are embarrassed, betrayed, disgusted, and finding it nigh impossible to respond to the benevolence of China with unqualified gratitude, a gratitude that has been laid on with a trowel? A devastating health crisis has sadly been politicized.
Fortunately there is W.H. Auden to turn to: “The true men of action in our time, those who transform the world, are not the politicians and statesmen, but the scientists.” Indeed; there’s the Mars landing to prove it.
VIRGINIA CALPOTURA, RSCJ
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