Tag Archives: Covid-19

One of my late Mom’s best Mother’s Days. One spent primarily in Brookyn, NY

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I refer to this as ONE of the best Mother’s Days my mother ever had because I am certain each of my siblings orchestrated equally special days honoring our late mom.  The Mother’s Day I speak of was the one in which New York City, specifically Brooklyn took front and center in giving her a day she spoke of till her dying day.

I honestly don’t know what year it was other than to know, by mere mathematics alone and the fact that it was after my married days, the fact that my father was still alive and where I lived at certain times in my life, that it was between 14 and 18 years ago.  My parents came to visit me and would spend this mother’s day with me in my apartment in Forest Hill, Queens.  I asked my mom if she would allow me to take control of the day’s itinerary, and since she was just happy to be spending the day with her favorite child (kidding guys), she happily agreed.  I decided to make the theme one in which I would show my parents, specifically on this Mother’s Day, my mom, proof that Hitler didn’t win.  In what better place to do that than Brooklyn?

I’ve avoided openly criticizing the Orthodox communities of New York for some unfortunate displays during the COVID-19 crisis.  While the public gatherings that took place, specifically for funerals was irresponsible and wrong on many levels, including Jewish law, I didn’t join the mob in excoriating them.  Other than mentioning it in this piece, something I do because of the relevance to the points I’ll be making, I’ve stayed away from public criticism for their actions.  The reason is a very simple one.  While it is unlikely I will ever choose to live like them and often think very differently than they do, in some ways I and every other Jew on this planet owe them a sense of gratitude and respect for their undying devotion. A devotion very much part of why the Jewish world has survived for centuries.  So on this Mother’s Day, in an effort to offer some evidence to the fact that Hitler was not successful in his quest to wipe us out,  I began the tour of what is really only parts of Jewish Brooklyn.

The first stop on our trip was Williamsburg.  Williamsburg is the center of Satmar Chasidism.  The Satmar’s are widely known as being an insulated Ultra Orthodox community and one known for being close minded to the ways of the modern world.  Travelling through the Jewish sections you primarily see Chasidic Jews, Jewish shops, schools and places of worship.  If you are a very modern Jew or person of any other faith, or someone who does not believe in any religion at all, you likely will not relate at all to how the people of this community live.  That’s fine. I neither was on that day nor am I today  trying to sell their way of life.  However, as a Jew, specifically one born to survivors of the Holocaust, I remember driving through there thinking, welcome to Hitler’s worst nightmare.

We then traveled to Flatbush.  Flatbush was interesting for me personally because at that time I worked for a company in Brooklyn where quite a few of the employees, including my boss at that time, lived in Flatbush.  I had willingly spent some time there over the years, more often than not thoroughly enjoying myself.  In Flatbush what you were able to witness was a very significant presence of Orthodox Jews, many of which clearly lived in nice homes.  You once again saw a thriving Jewish community, this one where the community primarily had a higher standard of living than what you saw in Williamsburg, while being one more very clear example of Jewish life and survival.

Our final stop was Borough Park.  While being more diverse than Williamsburg, it has more of a ghetto feeling to it than Flatbush.  Part of Borough Park’s diversity is within the Orhodox Jewish community, one that is rich with both the Chasidic contingents and the Haredi ones.  I am no expert on Borough Park, but for me there is one street that represents it above all others.  That street is 13th Avenue.  This is a street filled with shops, many of them highly affordable, large crowds of people walking up and down either browsing or shopping.  Somewhere in one of these shops I brought my mother a  Star of David necklace that she was to enjoy often in the coming years and always helped her remember that day. This was also somewhere rich with places to eat, of which a significant percentage are Kosher. By this time my brother Marcel had arrived from Philadelphia to join us in what was to be remembered as a delicious dinner in a Kosher Chinese restaurant somewhere along 13th Avenue.

This was a good day.  Mostly for the joy it brought my mother. Hearing her refer to it as one of the best Mother’s Days she ever had is something I will always remember happily.  As I think of her today, while I miss her, I am grateful that she doesn’t have to witness what’s happening today.  While I am not comparing what we are going through today to what she and so many others went through during Nazi-occupation, I am grateful she did not have to spend one more day of her life living in isolation and risk.

I want to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all the mothers out there, specifically to those I know and love. Enjoy your day, enjoy your kids and families, and stay healthy and safe.

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Reopening society may require us to follow Israel’s example

israelreopens

It’s important that I start this piece by making it very clear that I am an American who loves his country.  The opinion I am about to share should be seen more as a call to arms and encouragement than a criticism or indictment.  Who knows? If properly heeded it might just save some lives.

The other day a friend of mine from my grammar school days in London posted statistics showing how, to date, of all developed countries none had done better in keeping down the Coronavirus death toll than Israel.  The friend I speak of, Alison Fisch-Katz, is a brilliant writer, not swayed by political bias, and honest in her assessments. In her post Alison said the following:

Corona deaths per 100,000 in developed countries from highest: Belgium (7,924 deaths), Spain (25,428 deaths), Italy (29,079 deaths), UK (28,734 deaths), France (25,201 deaths), Holland (5,102 deaths), Sweden (2,321 deaths), US (69,121 deaths – NY 18,000)…. Israel is No. 24 out of 30 on the graph with 230 fatalities out of a population of 9 million (similar populations to New York and Sweden). Israel’s stringent measures have saved thousands of lives.
The economy is now being re-opened with caution. If the curve doesn’t spike, the expectation is that by month’s end we will be allowed to congregate freely with no restrictions. Red lights that will return the country to isolation are: 1. If the rate of infection rises again to 100 cases per day. 2. If rate multiplies by 30 every 10 days. 3. If hard cases rise to 250.
KEEP WEARING YOUR MASK!!😷

The numbers she presented are quite real. When I read her post, coupled with a previous article I had read in Times of Israel by founding editor and part of that same group of friends,  David Horovitz,  it seemed to consolidate some feelings I had felt for some time.  The ultimate management of the current situation ultimately lies more in the hands of the people than their respective governments.

The Times of Israel article entitled “It’s not over, and uncertainty abounds, but Israel’s COVID-19 stats are stunning”  is striking because in its description of everything Israel has done, from mitigation strategies to the timeline, it doesn’t differ much from actions taken here in America.  The population of Israel is approximately 8.6 million.  The population of New York City is approximately 8.4 million.  While at the time that I write this the death toll in Israel is less than 300, by startling contrast the death toll in New York City is over 18,000. I have maintained from the start that public transportation, particularly the New York City subway system has played a significant role in the spread.  I also have witnessed a New York City mayor performing less than adequately.  Yet as easy and popular as it is to point the finger at our elected leaders and politicians, sometimes accurately, often partisan based, I believe that the greatest responsibility of slowing the spread and minimizing the loss of life lies in the hands of us, the people.

For 3 1/2 years between 1980 and 1985 I lived in Jerusalem, Israel.  When I read Alison’s post I shared a thought with her and followed it with a question. My thought was as follows. During my time in Israel, when riding the bus I was often confronted by rude people who had no qualms in pushing and shoving me or anyone else out of their way.  Israeli’s riding a bus back then were not the most patient or polite of people. In fairness, packed buses have never been known to bring out the best in anyone.  But when I looked at the people pushing me I also realized that more than likely, every single one of them would have given their life to protect mine and would have done so without a moment’s hesitation.  In western culture, today’s definition of civilized is far too often based on packaging and presentation, while lacking in action and sacrifice. Of course the healthcare workers are a huge exception as their actions and sacrifices are unmatched and a blessing to us all.  I continued by telling Alison that it was that mentality of caring for another person’s life as though it was their very own that has always been my fondest memory of Israel. I went on to ask her if I would be correct to think the mentality I remember so well has impacted the slow spread of COVID-19 cases and most importantly the significantly lower death toll in the country?  She answered me as follows.

Unlike other countries that have pursued herd immunization (example, Sweden & UK – at the beginning) followed a policy of survival of the fittest and essentially sacrificed the older generation. Israel, on the other hand, cares about its parents and everyone complied with love.

While Alison’s response might be perceived by some as indictment on these nation’s citizens and their love for their elderly friends and relatives, it actually speaks more to Israel’s inherent value system.  While everyone’s intentions were the same, have as few deaths as possible, why are the results so different? As a nation threatened by neighboring enemies since it declared independence some 72 years ago, the mentality has always been one critical to its survival.  That mentality, a value for human life that takes precedent over everything else and a sense of responsibility for the safety and well-being of others, is a basic instinct of the populous, one that makes up the very core of what has helped the country survive. To put it simply, since Israel is far more used to having the lives of its citizens threatened than other developed countries, the people were more prepared.  While the majority of Israel’s adults either still are in, or have spent time in the military training to defend their country, the majority of adults in New York City have never dealt with that level of collective responsibility.  So although the leadership in Israel needed to initially enforce the policy as other nations and localities did, once the people understood the critical nature of that responsibility, the people, as Alison put it, complied with love.

While that same love exists in the places suffering significantly higher death tolls, we need to consider the possibility that the preparation and sense of responsibility does not exist on an equal level. While our essential workers keep our lives moving and our healthcare professionals give their hearts and souls to saving lives, the rest of us need to step up to the plate and meet our responsibilities.  The current schism developing within American society of staying at home or reopening, one like so many others becoming a political one, does actually have a middle of the road.  Like so many things it’s a simple concept with a more difficult practical implementation.  Reopen while simultaneously going out of your way to keep those at high risk as safe as possible.  The hard part is to make people understand their individual responsibility.  As much as some people prefer to bloviate on social media rather than saying or doing something constructive, government can’t really make this work by itself. The people need to do their part for it to be even partially successful.

In essence this means finding those people who are high risk, the elderly or those with preexisting medical conditions and doing what we can to help them. Run errands that make it possible for them to stay at home.  Call them to see how they’re doing? Show them that they are not alone.  Sometimes all they need is a friend.  Let them know that if they need anything you will take extra time and get it for them. And most importantly,  do everything in your personal power to not put them at risk.  Keep a safe distance and wear a mask whenever you are in their vicinity. By looking after their best interests as though they were your own, which is indeed the reality, we can make a big difference.  Want your life to get back as much as possible to what you remember as being normal?  It comes with a cost, and that cost is caring about someone other than yourself.  It worked in Israel, theoretically there is no reason it can work everywhere else.  Ultimately the cost of not doing it is a far greater one.

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Next Year in Jerusalem. Once we get out of the house

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The piece hanging on my wall and made for me by my late mother

I have a confession to make. In 1985 I left Israel with the intention of spending a few years back the the U.S. before I would return to Israel and settle there for the rest of my life.  35 years later I am still living in America and having either been limited by time or budget have made only one trip back in January of 1994.  And while today I celebrate with love and appreciation the 72nd birthday of the modern State of Israel, I question the authenticity of my affection.

This would mean less if it wasn’t for the fact that I am not alone when it comes to being someone who left Israel “for just a few years”. I would imagine a rather large city, maybe even comparable to Jerusalem or Tel Aviv could be formed in Israel from people such as myself that had every intention of going back soon after they left to make Aliyah.  But the truth is, that with the opportunities to earn, the accessibility of so many products and so much entertainment, and for those it matters to, which is a large percentage of people who love Israel, a large Jewish community, leaving America wasn’t easy.  For many Jews, in the age of COVID-19, and a New York Metro area clobbered by the virus, coupled with a rise in anti-Semitism that has a frightening likelihood of only getting worse, moving to Israel might seem a whole lot easier than it once was.

While there would be nothing pioneering about jumping ship and moving to Israel in light of a changing landscape for the Jewish population outside of Israel, would it be any less acceptable or moral?  To answer that question one need only understand the initial purpose of the modern State of Israel.  It was, and is, first and foremost a safe haven for the Jewish people.  It says the following in Tehillim, Psalms,. Chapter 147, Verse 2:

בֹּנֵ֣ה יְרֽוּשָׁלִַ֣ם יְהֹוָ֑ה נִדְחֵ֖י יִשְׂרָאֵ֣ל יְכַנֵּֽס, The Lord is the builder of Jerusalem; He will gather the outcasts of Israel.

Israel was formed in the wake of the worst catastrophe the Jewish people ever faced.  In 1948, when the Jewish state was formed, the word was a mere 3 years removed from the end of a war that saw 6 million Jews murdered by Hitler’s Nazi party.  In the coming years Jews would continue to find themselves living in countries in which situations changed either significantly for those countries, for the status of Jews, or both.  Israel continued to be a safe haven then as it was after the Holocaust.  It remains one today.

So as we celebrate Israel’s 72nd birthday, many that once left intending to return, as well as those who never went, may have more to be grateful for than ever before.  Maybe once they get out of the house and reassess our lives as they are today, they may find that L’Shana haba’ah b’Yerushalayim, Next year in Jerusalem, may become more than just a catch phrase, it may actually become a reality.

Happy Birthday Israel!

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Positive Stories to Brighten your day

raysofhope

Want some good news?  Sure you do.  Well there happens to be plenty of it out there if you actually want to find it badly enough.  Any time we speak about the positive and hopeful, it is appropriate to recognize the tragedy that has befallen too many people since COVID-19 took off all over the world.  We need to offer our compassion and support to those who need it whenever possible. But one of the ways to help them and everyone else it to keep a clear perspective of what is happening around us, and that means to take the time to acknowledge the happier stories and the people that make the world a better place. Here are a few stories that will hopefully brighten your day.

1-Surviving Seniors

Leonidas

Leonidas Romero, 92, with his daughter, Carolina Romero.

Sometimes the devil is in the details, but other times only the headlines matter.  While tragically the elderly population has suffered due to COVID-19, it’s important to note that unlike what many reports might lead you to believe, it is not a death sentence.  We need to continue to take all actions possible to keep our elderly safe as it is very dangerous for them to get COVID-19, but let’s also recognize some notable stories of seniors that fell victim to it and survived.

A 92 year old man in Massachusetts returned home after weeks in the hospital.

A 97-year-old woman in Brazil survived the virus.

A 104 year old man in Oregon survived COVID-19.

And a 106 year old woman in the UK survived after 3 weeks of hospitalization.

Four random cases of which there are definitely more, and while we need to do everything we can to risk the exposure of the elderly, enough to make us feel a whole lot better.

2- A Happy Milestone

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Bianca Jimenez, 600th patient released from Mount Sinai South Nassau in Oceanside, NY

A little closer to home, on April 25th, Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital in Oceanside, NY celebrated as it released its 600th patient recovering from the Coronavirus. 19 year old Bianca Jimenez was released less than a week after being admitted with a fever of 104 and symptoms that included, cough, dizziness and shortness of breath.  We all thank our Drs. and nurses any chance we get, but if you talk with them you know nothing makes them feel better than sending people home who are recovering.  Let’s hope that number continues to grow exponentially faster.

3- Bringing joy and support through music

BSM

http://newjersey.news12.com/clip/15054098/broadway-actor-brian-stokes-mitchell-takes-on-new-role-after-bout-with-covid-19

Broadway performer, Brian Stokes Mitchell, as a way to express his gratitude to front line workers has taken to singing from this Upper West Side window in Manhattan. Singing “The Impossible Dream”,  Mitchell says that what he is doing “is not a performance. It’s an act of gratitude.”  He also states that the song is not about doing something impossible, rather it is about trying.  To make what he is doing even more poignant, Mitchell himself has had the virus and was even sick enough to worry about whether it would have a permanent impact on his vocal chords.  I think it’s safe to say that there are many people very happy that it didn’t.

4- NFL’s Greatest Moment

Not only did the NFL Draft provide us with a fun distraction, it offered us some heartwarming stories that yes, get ready for it, had nothing to do with the Coronavirus. As serious and deadly as the illness is, it is refreshing to hear about something else, especially if it is something good.  No story struck me more than the story of Offensive Lineman Austin Jackson, picked 18th by the Miami Dolphins.  Austin’s little sister Autumn, was inflicted with Diamond Blackfan Anemia (DBA), a rare inherited disorder that prevents bone marrow from producing red blood cells.  Last year with her condition deteriorating, she required a bone marrow transplant just to help her survive, let alone improve.  Without  any hesitation, Austin, who matched as a donor did what was necessary to help his sister despite the risk to himself and his career.  Around 1 year after the successful transplant, Autumn is on her way to complete recovery and Austin is on his way to the NFL.  This is probably the first time a player has become one of my favorites in the NFL before even playing a snap. Thank you to them both for their inspiration.

And on a side note, kudos to NFL commissioner to Roger Goodell, for not only giving us a really well run and entertaining draft during challenging times, but for being able to laugh at himself enough to encourage virtual boos.  Something tells me those virtual boos might just turn into more cheers in the  future than he’s ever seen before.

 

So there you have it, some stories I hope will make you feel just a little uplifted in a time when despair sells. We can’t control a lot of what happens, but we can control what we put out there and what we allow in.  Let’s make an effort to acknowledge and be grateful for what is good out there, because not doing so will very possibly hurt us more than any virus ever could.

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Stories of Hope & Recovery in the age of COVID-19

Grondona

Italica Grondona

With the global spread of the Coronavirus it is very easy for all of us to follow all the bad things happening all over the world. In this post I want to share a few of the happy stories.  Although I totally understand and agree with the respect we need to give to those who have lost their lives as a result of this Pandemic, I think there are enough positive outcomes that those need to be shared as well. With the majority of the people actually recovering from COVID-19, I dedicate this post to the focus on 3 specific cases. Well 3 ½ actually.  The ½ being a little more personal.

Eli Beer-46

EBEER

Eli Beer

Miami resident Eli Beer is the Director of United Hatzalah, volunteer emergency medical organization.  He was hospitalized with COVID-19 on March 18th.  On Friday, March 20th he was put on a ventilator.  Here is part of the statement issued by his family as of yesterday.

“As you may be aware, Eli was diagnosed with COVID-19 at the end of last week. He was put on a ventilator last Friday evening. Eli is showing signs of improvement. His vital signs continue to get stronger and the level of fluid in his lungs is decreasing. If Eli continues to improve they will start the process of waking him slowly in the coming days.”

Here’s hoping and praying his health continue to progress in the right direction.

 

Lawrence Garbuz-50

LGARBUZ

Lawrence Garbuz

Having the unfortunate distinction as being the first American to contract the COVID-19 virus, Lawrence Garbuz of New Rochelle went into the hospital on March 9th.  On March 11th he was put into a medically-induced coma. On March 18th,  his wife Adina posted that Lawrence was “awake and alert and seems to be on the road to full recovery.”

We wish him a full recovery as well and are happy to hear of his good news.

 

Italica Grondona

 

Leaving out Naples resident Italica Grondona was not an oversight.  Her amazing story has to do with her age.  Grondona is 102 years old. That is not a typo.  Italica Grondona, born in 1917 was alive during the time the Spanish flu as well. In the beginning of March she was admitted to the hospital with mild heart failure.  She subsequently tested positive for the Coronvirus.  Although the average age of those who were diagnosed and later died of COVID-19 in Italy is 78, Grondona has recovered from the virus, and on March 26th this remarkable woman was released from the hospital.

Hoping she keeps going on for quite some time and inspires us all.

 

Susie

About 10 minutes before I started writing this, I found out in a text from my friend Jeremy, that his wife Susie, who was in the hospital with pneumonia caused by the Coronavirus has been released and his resting comfortably at home.  She is doing well and all indications are that she is on the road to a full recovery.  May she continue on a good path and have a complete and speedy recovery.

 

It is so important, if we are going to spend our time following everything that is happening regarding the Coronavirus that we take the time to talk about the good news as well.  Although there is more bad news than any of us wants to hear, there is plenty of good news as well, and I will try my best to share it with all of you over the course of time.  If there are stories you wish me to share, please email me at hollandsheroes80@gmail.com.

Stay healthy and safe.

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Open Letter to Congress: Please share this post.

Congress

Dear Members of Congress,

Today is a day to do your job. Today is a day when the American people will not see the D. or the R. next to your name.  What they will see instead is whether or not you came through when we needed you most.  For years you have been members of this overly entitled institution that has often looked more like a social club designed to give their members a better life than one designed to provide a service to the country.  To those of you who have gotten away with that till now, be very aware of the fact that today is a day you can no longer do so. Today is a day when we are all watching and waiting.

No one, myself included, needs to go over the details of the crisis we are in as I write this letter.  That may be the most despicable thing about your collective behavior.  You know what is happening in your country.  People are getting sick and dying.  The economy faces what is likely its biggest challenge in modern history. What all of you need to know is one very simple fact.  Listen to this carefully, understand it, and maybe then you will realize why you need to be scared as well.  Many of the American people believe, and today’s actions do nothing to dispel this fact, that what scares a member of Congress the most is to lose their job.  I guarantee you, that if you as a group fail the American people, then many, if not all of you will ultimately lose your jobs over this catastrophic failure.

Each one of you, those obstructing a bill and those not working like your future depends on passing a bill, will be held accountable by the American people.  This is not one of those, “they’ll forget all about this in a few months” moments.  Today is the day to get your acts together and do what the American people elected you to do.  Today is the day to actually be civil servants. People that care.

This unprecedented crisis can not be blamed on any individual or political entity, but today is the day that all of you realize that all the benefits you have as a result of your position come with the responsibility to take care of your constituents.  As of 5:00 PM, EST on Monday, March 23, 2020, the Congress of the United States of America is failing every single one of its constituents like no other time in history.  I am certain that we, the American people will hold you all accountable for not helping us with what comes next.  Maybe when you think about that you will realize how this will impact you as much as it will impact the people who you are failing today.

DO YOUR JOB.

Sincerely,

David Groen

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Is the Corona Virus as much a message to humanity as it is a virus?

benchdg2

I am a simple man.  Some might say to a fault.  I believe that to its core, life is not that complicated.  If you are blessed to do so, you get up each day and do your best to make the most of the waking hours ahead of you.  You do some things right and some things wrong.  You get some of the things you want to get and fail to get others.  You feel joy and pain.  You are healthy or sick.  There is a word to describe what this makes every single one of us.  The word is human.  I also feel that whatever it is you believe in is so personal that to judge others for contrary beliefs is only justified if those other beliefs are designed to, or clearly will cause harm to others.  So when I say that at the core of everything I believe is a belief that there is an all powerful God, I quickly and I feel fairly add that if someone reading this does not share that belief, I do not feel I am better than they are as a result.  That being said, I will continue to share my thoughts with that very clear and certain belief, dare I say knowledge that there is indeed a God that watches over us and causes events to occur.

I’ve heard the rebuttals.  What kind of God is it that causes suffering?  Anyone who thinks that is a question I haven’t considered is clearly unaware of the information and history that was in the forefront of my life from as early as I can remember.  Being the son of Holocaust survivors I was taught to have not only an understanding of the overall horrors of what took place, but a personal account of what it was like to be alive, scared and devastated by personal loss as a result of what took place.  So again I understand that you may ask, what kind of God does that?  Maybe the answer lies in the message being sent to the human race.

One of the first things a true belief in God should do is teach humility.  As certain as you may be that you do, you do not have all the answers.  You may be a leader in your community, am expert in your field, the most educated person among your piers, or the strongest person physically, mentally or spiritually anyone ever has ever had the  pleasure with which to interact.  Any of these qualities or statuses are wonderful achievements and they are to be appreciated and respected.  That being said, to try to understand God on a human level, to think however great your achievements are you can know what God is doing and why, may very well indicate a basic misunderstanding of what or who God is.  So we theorize.  Mostly everyone feels it is acceptable to do that, but to apply our personal or the current world’s standards to God’s purpose and actions is not only futile, it is often dangerous.

With all this in mind, I still sit down and write this with the basic belief that with what is happening in the world today, God is sending a strong message.  I feel this way for a number of reasons, but the one reason that is most prevalent is that in my lifetime I have never seen the powerful more powerless than I do today.  There are scientists working on a cure and governments taking actions to slow down the spread of the disease, but when you listen carefully to what experts and politicians are saying, it sounds a lot like a glorified version of throwing things against the wall and hoping something sticks.  All of that would be quite terrifying unless you go back to that core belief that God has a purpose and reason for all that is done.

Do I know that what I am opining here is the truth?  Of course I don’t.  I am neither deluded or that conceited to think my answer is absolutely the correct one. However, I do feel strongly about what I am about to share with you.  First of all, the one thing I feel that making the powerful powerless should teach them all, is that as much as high or lofty a level as they have achieved in the world, they are not the ultimate power in the universe.  If they were to truly comprehend and feel that I believe they would be better leaders.  Let’s wait and see, but not hold our breaths and find out if that is a positive result that comes from the current crisis.

The second thing is the message I feel this is sending to mankind, and it not only goes back to that simplicity I referred to in the beginning of this piece, it also does not require you to believe in anything other than humanity.  The message as I see it is as follows. Do your true best to be decent to living creatures,  treat your home and planet with respect, and most of all, be nice to your fellow human being.  We will all make mistakes.  We will offend people we care for, we will be selfish when we should have been selfless, and we might put our personal ambitions ahead of what is the right thing to do.  But the God I believe in knows when our intentions are pure.  When we wish well on others, find more sadness than joy in the pain of others and truly care for our fellow human being.

There are many who say that a good mental state of a cancer patient helps to advance their health in a positive direction.  It’s far fetched and out there to say a world in which we show more care and affection for each other will help to cure the virus, but no can dispute the fact that it certainly won’t hurt the situation.  None of us will get it completely right, but if we all try we might just be getting the message, and maybe once we do things will begin to get a lot better.

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How about this novel approach towards the Corona virus? CALM

benchdg2

Let me start by saying that I am no expert on the Corona virus.  Why is that an important place to start from?  Because most of the people opining in the media are also not experts.  Many of them have said there is a lot “we” don’t know. So with that in mind I want to suggest a radical approach to the current growing crisis.  That approach is one of calm.

I am careful in choosing my words in this piece.  Yes I urged calm immediately after calling it a crisis, but I did so because in my eyes the crisis we face today is not a health one, it’s a behavioral one.  I do not know what the future holds.  I am also fairly certain there are significant facts we do not know regarding COVID-19.  All I know is where we are today and what almost everyone is saying regarding this illness.  They are saying that if you are elderly or have an existing medical condition you are at risk should you contract the virus.  If you are healthy, not elderly, a child, a teenager, or anyone else not in the previously stated categories you are not considered at risk.  So then why is the world going crazy and our global economy in peril?  Because people scare easily and love drama.

Although I am not one to generally attack the media, if major news outlets are unable to behave responsibly I would rather they shut up or talk about something else.  Yes it is highly dramatic to show a cruise ship coming into port knowing it was kept at sea due to infected passengers, but all things like this do is work people up into a frenzy.  And since people like drama they are willing participants.  Is it possible the situation is worse than we know?  Sure it is.  Does that mean we should participate in making it a much bigger problem? Absolutely not.

The hysteria and drama we see increasing on a daily basis is starting to bring much of the world to a halt.  People are ceasing to travel, events are being cancelled, schools are being closed, people are talking about working remotely from home on large scales.  The scariest thing about what is happening today is that assuming the health problem gets resolved, the impact of the reaction could be far more devastating.  If that is the case, after years of Conservatives blaming Democratic presidents and Liberals blaming Republican presidents for destroying our way of life, something not one of them has ended up doing, what has the potential of bringing us down is the stupidity and irresponsible reactions of a panicking populous.  Of course that might be because in today’s society the 2 words most likely to cause panic, are “don’t panic”.

At I sit here today, fear and ignorance is still far more dangerous than the Corona virus.  If the Corona virus is significantly worse than we are lead to believe, the way our world is constructed will make all of these extreme actions mostly useless.  If that turns out to be the case we will find out when it happens.  In the meantime if we stay calm and go on with our lives as normal, and yes, even enjoy ourselves when possible, we will be doing a lot more to better the situation as it stands today.  For now why don’t you get a flu shot, stop smoking, don’t abuse drugs or alcohol, watch what you eat and exercise.  If you don’t do all those things it seems far more likely that it won’t be the Corona virus that kills you.

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