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Trying To Make Sense Of Manila – In All Its Joy And Deprivation

A “walking euro” describes his travels through Manila, the dizzying capital city of the Philippines. Chaotic, corrupt and largely Catholic, the city is also bursting with energy.

A slum kid in Manila (Roberto Verzo)
A slum kid in Manila (Roberto Verzo)
Til Biermann

MANILA -- At the Ring Bar in Manila they have alternating wrestling matches – sometimes dwarves, sometimes prostitutes. A cup of coffee at Starbucks costs as much as a Filipino merchant sailor earns in one and a half days. Just a few kilometers away, slum kids swim in stinking water so disgustingly dirty that there are large dead fish floating in it.

Slum buildings, often just a bunch of boards and corrugated iron up to three stories high, are piled one on top of the other against a backdrop of 40-story high-rises shooting out of the ground. Welcome to Manila, capital city of the Philippines.

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Coronavirus

The Main COVID Risk Now: Long COVID

Death rates are down, masks are off, but many who have been infected by COVID have still not recovered. Long COVID continues to be hard to diagnose and treatments are still in the developmental stage.

Long COVID feels like a never-ending nightmare for those who suffer from it.

Jessica Berthereau

PARIS — The medical examination took longer than expected in the Parc de Castelnau-le-Lez clinic, near the southern French city of Montpellier. Jocelyne had come to see a specialist for long COVID-19, and exits the appointment slowly with help from her son. The meeting lasted more than an hour, twice as long as planned.

“I’m a fighter, you know, I’ve done a lot of things in my life, I’ve been around the world twice… I’m not saying this to brag, but to tell you my background," says the 40-year-old. "These days, I’m exhausted, I’m not hungry, I no longer drive, I can’t work anymore, I have restless legs syndrome.” She pauses before adding sadly: “I can’t read anymore either.”

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