Showing posts with label Closed. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Closed. Show all posts

April 9, 2020

Synagogue or Sickness?

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Synagogue or Sickness?"
When I was a kid and my father would {strongly} encourage me to go to synagogue. My father was a man of deep faith and he used to say warningly to me: "It's better to go to synagogue than to the hospital." Obviously, he was implying that if I didn't follow G-d's word, then G-d forbid, he would punish me and instead of going to Shul, I would go to the hospital. Maybe not the best way to teach someone to want to go to prayer services, but I know he meant it out of complete love for me and ultimately for my best.

Yet ironically, now with coronavirus preventing us from practicing the many communal aspects of our faith, so many of us can only but wish that we could just go to synagogue to celebrate the holidays and Shabbat together once again. Unfortunately, for now at least, we don't even have the option to go to synagogue⁠—the choice has been taken from us. G-d willing, hopefully soon, we can once again go⁠—with willingness and love⁠—not only to pray at synagogue, but also to the holy Third Temple in Jerusalem itself.

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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March 19, 2020

Coronavirus - Something or Nothing?

I don't know about you but I have found the communication about the Coronavirus to be absolutely confusing.

And the actions demonstrating unpreparedness, disorganized response, general chaos, and panic do not match the few calming words we are getting. 

No wonder everyone is panicking and the bottom is falling from the market.

On one hand:

- The officials tell everyone to remain calm, and there is no reason to panic. 

- Help is on the way.

- People are overreacting.

- Most people that get Covid 19 won't even know they had it or the symptoms will be mild (or maybe moderate)

- The death rate is "only" like 3 or 4% and it's mostly older people or those with chronic ailments anyway (as if these people don't matter). 

- Younger children aren't really getting it (although we don't know exactly why or the impact on pregnant women). 

- It's less contagious and deadly than the flu (wait, it's more contagious and deadly). 

- There are plenty of tests available for everyone (no, there aren't).

- It will be over in a few weeks when the seasons change and the temperature goes up. 

- A vaccine will soon be ready for testing and then distribution after 12-18 months. 

- The numbers of infected are going down in China--see they have it under control!

- Maybe we should allow investigative drugs to be used (or maybe not, the FDA thinks this is a bad idea).

- The impact to the economy will be over probably by August (or will it?). 

- It'll ALL be over soon.

On the other hand:

- We don't know what we're facing (people are routinely using the words apocalypse and armageddon). 

- This could be the "big one!"

- Is this a punishment from G-d (and is the Messiah coming)? 

- This has reached pandemic proportions. 

- We are declaring a national emergency. 

- This may have come out of a Chinese bioweapons lab.

- Also, China suppressed information and initial response on this making the outbreak worse. 

- "China should be punished for these things" (or some version of this).

- Cases are raising around the world. 

- The contagion is worse than initially thought (there are comparisons to the Spanish Flu of 1918 which killed around 50 million people)

- The death rate is higher than expected. 

- We don't know why or where certain people got Covid 19 from.

- The hospitals are already overwhelmed and are unprepared for a real surge of cases. 

- We need to "flatten the curve" so our healthcare system isn't brought to its knees. 

- We are already triaging patients and our doctors and nurses are working extra long hours and are exhausted. 

- We aren't prepared for this--our healthcare system and government has "failed us". 

- We're rolling out unprecedented economic assistance from the Fed, the Treasury...another trillion dollar deficit (no answer for how this gets paid, if ever...can anyone say runaway inflation in the future and lots of worthless dollars). 

- Washing and "Social Distancing" are paramount. 

- There is a run on toilet paper and disinfectants and these are either sold out or vendors are price gouging these items. 

- We are shutting down the country (workplaces, fitness centers, eat-in restaurants, entertainment, travel, places of worship, and any significant gathering of people). 

- The instructions to stay at home in "indefinite"!

- People are stuck in the house and worried about how long this will go on. 

- Some places like New Rochelle, NY are under quarantine and the National Guard has been called out.

- There is talk of a curfew and further measures of quarantine to be enforced under penalty of imprisonment. 

- The lines at the stores (Costco, Sam's Club, Supermarkets, Groceries) are out the door and the shelves are empty. 

- Amazon announces that they are running out on consumer stables!

- Businesses are suspending workers, moving them to part time, and laying them off. 

- The stock market is down by 1/3 and we're told that this could just be the beginning. 

- A recession is looming and the economic impact and duration is unknown. 

- Italy is on lockdown. 

- Borders are being closed. 

- People can't get home from abroad. 

- Cruise ships aren't being allowed to port. 

- Airlines are screaming for a financial bailout. 

- Navy Hospital Ships with 1,000 beds each are being deployed to the east and west coast. 

- We're sending $1,000 checks (or something like this) to people below a certain income level (maybe $65,000).

- Taxes are supposedly being deferred (although not filing of returns or estimated taxes yet).  

- People are wearing masks everywhere (but we are being told only the sick ones need to wear it and we see everyone in China wearing it and of course our first responders and medical professionals, so which is it).

- Primary voting is delayed in some states and there is question whether the November Presidential election will also be delayed.

Summary:

Does anyone know WTF is going on around here???

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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