COVID-19 fatalities are aplenty

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Frankly, I don’t really know how to make sense of all the data from last week pertaining to coronavirus disease (COVID)-19 figures in the region. While there is certainly a couple of good news to make us think we are indeed on the road to seeming recovery, setbacks here and there would pull us back to earth, that probably there’s a long ways to go before we can even entertain thoughts of surviving this pandemic.

For starters, for the second straight week, recoveries again outnumber the new cases, and all of us at least know that is definitely a good thing. New COVID-19 cases registered for the week from June 28 to July 4 reached 4,395—a lot fewer than WV’s record of 4,899 new cases set a few weeks back, but recoveries were at 4,826 for the same period.

What broke the record for the single-week total in new cases, however, is Iloilo Province’s 1,150 new cases for the past week, surpassing the 1,123 by the same province only last week. As for the provinces’ week-long cases haul, Aklan sets a new record with its 589 new cases for the same period, exceeding its previous high of 531, also registered the week prior.

Now, for the really sad if not grim part of the past week’s COVID-19 figures: Western Visayas posted records in both single-day fatalities and week-long deaths. The region registered a total of 112 fatalities from COVID-19 in the preceding week, with the highest single-day death toll of 43 patients succumbing to the disease last June 30!

For those who are still pooh-poohing COVID-19 as though it isn’t really happening, wake up. COVID-19 is real, and you better believe it is before you or someone you love perish from it!

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While all these were happening, in the NBA, both the Phoenix Suns and the Milwaukee Bucks clinched for themselves a place in the 2021 NBA Finals after disposing off the Los Angeles Clippers and the Atlanta Hawks, respectively, several days apart from each other.

As it already is, this season’s conference finals feature three teams that have been long out of the Final Four for the longest time—the Hawks, the Bucks and the Suns, and a virtual newbie this deep in the playoffs in the Clippers. Of the four, only the Bucks (powered by Lew Alcindor aka Kareem Abdul Jabbar) and the Hawks many decades ago were able to reach the Last Dance and eventually lift the Larry O’Brien NBA Championship Trophy.

Another astounding trivia in this year’s NBA Finals is that all 30 players save for one, 15 from each team, are all greenhorns in what is called the biggest stage of them all, the NBA Finals. You know who has stepped in on this same grand stage only a season ago? Yes, Jae Crowder of the Suns, who was then with the Miami Heat that battled with eventual winner the Los Angeles Lakers but lost in six games to LeBron and company.

Certainly not Chris Paul, who sashayed in the NBA floors of the 30 member-teams for the last 16 years can claim he knows a thing or two in championship play better than the others because he too is new in all these. Like the 28 others that will open the 2021 NBA Finals on Wednesday, July 2 (PHL time), everything will be completely new to him.

Can Crowder teach his fellow Suns how to navigate themselves on the grand stage that is the NBA Finals on their way to a first-ever championship ring or will this signal another stinging debacle for him for the second straight time? That, we have to find out starting on Wednesday!

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