Showing posts with label Pandemic. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pandemic. Show all posts

May 22, 2020

Shopping Up A Pole

Wondering if this is also part of social distancing. 

Shopping cart up a pole. 

No one else up there. 

Safe from Coronavirus, hopefully. 

Maybe some illusive toilet paper to be found in the sky mall? 

Desperate times calling for desperate measures or an anxious society is losing its mind. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 18, 2020

Keep The F*** Away From Me

Social distancing is the new norm.

Shaking hands is a no-no!

Even in the park yesterday, they had a sign prominently displayed that read:
Thank you for practicing social distancing. Please stay 6 FT apart.

We might as well all just wear t-shirts or little reminder signs on each of us with:
Keep the F*** away from me!

That about sums it up without putting up a specific distance range. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 11, 2020

Stock Market Pinocchio Style


Look folks, Pinocchio's nose is getting longer by the minute.

The market continues on a tear, even while the economy is heading in the other direction. 

I know people have been conditioned to buy on the dips, but I'm not sure that applies while we're in the middle (or maybe still just in the beginning) of a pandemic that has claimed 286,000 lives in just over 2 months (and that's with a global shutdown)!

Somehow, there is a notion that when things start to reopen that all the problems will just magically go away, including the $3 trillion we just added to our national debt, all the bankruptcies being declared, and all the job losses that are becoming permanent. 

If you believe this, perhaps you'd like to buy the Brooklyn Bridge.

The greater fool theory is alive and well.  ;-)

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 7, 2020

The Coronavirus Stock Market

I believe this photo best summarizes where we are with the Coronavirus stock market.

As they say:
Don't count your chicken before they hatch.

This market has gotten way ahead of itself and the pending economic realities of the Coronavirus and the consequences of the trillions of response fund debt. 

Remember:

- The virus does not yet have a vaccine, and it is mutating and may become even more virulent!

- The deaths continue to soar in the U.S. with now over 75,000 dead in just two months.

- The deaths involve much pain and suffering both for the victim and his/her grieving loved ones. 

- The unemployment is at all time highs since the Great Depression. 

- Companies are starting to move from temporary layoffs to permanent firings and contraction, and many eventually to bankruptcy. 

- Profitability and gross domestic product are way down and may be even worse in the next quarter.

- Price Earning ratios are around their 10-year highs even looking out toward a possible 2021 recovery. 

- Restarting the economy does not mean a return to what was as the extreme trauma from the pandemic, shutdown, and social distancing rebalance us to a "new normal."

- A second and third wave of Coronavirus may be as bad or even worse than the first. 

- The two biggest global economies of the U.S. and China are facing a deteriorating and toxic relationship.

- The lingering $3,000,000,000,000 that we just added to our National Debt is going to increasingly strangle our future economic outlook. 

- The election is in November and brings increasing instability and likely volatility. 

In summary, the term used by former Fed Chairman, Alan Greenspan of "irrational exuberance" seems like a gross understatement when it comes to our current stock market.  

Get ready to see the froth come painfully off this drunken market--these eggs are about ready to crack.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 6, 2020

Lockdown In Coronavirus

This photo is sort of what it feels like to be in lockdown during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

You're stuck inside, but still have to keep everything moving anyway!

As we enter the next phase with people itching to go back out and "restart" life and the economy and the second wave where more people unfortunately get sick, we are really as they say:
Stuck between a rock and a hard place. 

And that's where bad things can happen (G-d forbid) and it's never a good place to be. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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May 5, 2020

Standing Tall

Thought this was a pretty cool statue at Baltimore Penn Station.

No people though on a Sunday or because of COVID-19. 

I imagine this is what a ghost town looks like. 

The statues stand tall but the remnants of the people are hiding in shelters.

End of times or a new beginning...we'll see. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 27, 2020

The Doctor Is Out!

So one huge downside to this Coronavirus shutdown is that you can barely get any help for other medical conditions or elective surgeries. 

I just heard this morning from a relative about family members that can't get shots they need for pain control or surgeries for breathing problems.

Everything now is COVID-19.

That's the priority (maybe all of the top ten priorities)!

But does it really make sense to completely triage COVID-19 above Cancer, Heart Disease, Respiratory Disease, Strokes, Alzheimers, Diabetes, Kidney Disease, Liver Disease, Parkinson's, and more. 

Coronavirus patients are who the hospital and ICU beds are for now. 

And the respirators. 

The testing. 

The new research dollars. 

Perhaps, the global medical community has gone a little Coronavirus crazy, extreme, radical, overboard in their singular focus, panic, and chaos over just one virus to the exclusion of everything else!

Apparently, our totally "overwhelmed" medical system can't "walk and chew gum at the same time."

Certainly, we have a lot to be grateful for to the dedicated and selfless doctors and nurses in the medical community for everything they are doing to help people with Coronavirus under very trying circumstances.

The problem is that in the meantime, people that have new or other chronic conditions are being left out and sometimes to rot. 

Unless of course you are a big fan of telemedicine, which may be good to get something routine looked after, but something major, and I think you're in big trouble. 

After this Coronavirus (assuming there is an after), there is going to be a lot of pent up demand for medical care. 

I think a lot of people are suffering now with conditions that they were waiting to take care of until they were absolutely necessary, but unfortunately when it became necessary, then the care was not there. 

Makes you wonder whether and when you should do or put off medical procedures in the future: just because the care is there "today," doesn't mean it will be there tomorrow. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 26, 2020

Count Your Blessings

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Count Your Blessings."
I just wanted to share a short reflection with everything going on in the world these days with coronavirus and the economic shutdown: I see people are scared and confused, under lockdown and feeling financial strain, and many are getting sick and dying. But I remember the words of my dear father who used to say: "Count Your Blessings!" And he was so right. There are so many things, literally every moment of every day, for us to be grateful for:

Certainly, we all face extreme difficulties or challenges at times in our lives, but things can always be so much worse, and there is still so much for us to be grateful for. Therefore, truly thank you G-d with a hundred blessings—and more—for every moment of every precious day. And we affirm that surely the L-rd who created us will continue to sustain us, and that ultimately all will be for the good.


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 24, 2020

The Great COVID-19 Lie

We have been told that the first case of Coronavirus/COVID-19 death in the U.S. was in February 2020. 

First, we were told it was February 29 in Kirkland, Washington. 

Then that is was earlier on February 6 and 17 in California. 

But I and others who I have spoken to believe that the first cases of COVID-19 were with us many months earlier. 

Both I and my wife developed extreme coughing around the September/October timeframe. 

The coughing didn't go away for months!

As is now being reported with COVID-19, it was like it reactivates again and again, 

I went to the MinuteClinic and was prescribed antibiotics. 

The cough lingered and got worse a second time. 

I think I went another time to Minute Clinic or to Urgent Care and got a stronger antibiotic. 

The cough lingered and got worse yet a third time. 

As I become weaker and more sick (with fever at some point(s)), I found myself waking up and barely able to even get out of bed. 

I forced myself back over to Urgent Care again. 

I was given the flu test and it was not the flu. 

And no one seemed to know what it was!

They told me that they were getting so many cases...I believe they said each location was seeing about 100 patients a day!

I was so weak I just laid on the doctors exam table half falling asleep and barely able to move to get up. 

I was given yet an even stronger antibiotic and I believe some steroid medication. 

After about 3-4 horrible months and almost near collapse, it finally started to get better. 

I don't remember ever getting anything like this! 

I hadn't traveled anywhere either. 

Lots of people seem to have had a similar experience. 

Was this COVID-19 or some precursor to it?

I/We may never know the truth. 

But these symptoms and sickness was not normal.

And the high number of cases I was hearing about was beyond anything I can remember. 

As we know everything about this COVID-19 is not normal as we can all attest to after weeks and months of global lockdown. 

The reason that you are hearing all the confusing and contradictory communications and crisis from the "experts" and in the media is because the professionals are confused!

And we are left to wonder: when will we find out the truth about what this is, when it started, what the real dangers to us are now and into the future, and whether there will really ever be a cure for it? ;-)

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 22, 2020

Free COVID-19 Cure

This sign was just too great. 

Advertisement with the little slips at the bottom to tear off. 
Free Cure for COVID-19.
Please take an information strip below

And what do the strips say:
Stay the F**K at home

I wonder why no one took any of the strips? LOL

Like every meaningful issue, we have people on both sides of the aisle fighting it out what is the right thing to do. 

And when it comes to life and liberty, passions certainly run high. ;-)

(Credit Photo to my son-in-law Itzchak for sharing this with me from his friend in California)
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April 19, 2020

Coronavirus: A Modern Leprosy

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, "Coronavirus: A Modern Leprosy."
What an interesting time this week during the coronavirus for my bar-mitzvah parshas of Tazria and Metzora, where we learn about how to handle someone with the plague of leprosy...What’s fascinating though for our times is that right here in the Torah, long before medical science understood germs, washing of hands, and disinfectants, we have the first instruction on quarantining someone who is sick. The person with leprosy is deemed impure and is put outside the camp in quarantine, repeatedly checked (e.g. tested) by the Kohen, until they are healed, at which time they are purified before being allowed back in. What we don’t see with leprosy is that the whole community is put in a state of quasi quarantine as we are doing now globally with the coronavirus.

In the end, I see this coronavirus blowing up with some people forever anxious and germophobic and others becoming complacent and careless about the whole thing. Either way there will be more sick and dying people, as well as anger at the system that over time repeatedly failed us. This week’s parsha is a good reminder to go back to the ultimate wisdom of the Torah and read again how we handle the leper and manage with a thoughtful risk-based management approach and an eye on the ultimate purity—physically and spiritually—of the individual and the community.

(Free Photo via Pixabay)

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April 17, 2020

Shabbat Shalom From Elmo!

Remember before Coronavirus when times where a little more innocent...

When we didn't have to worry about viruses spread by eating live or wild animals or that "escape" from weapons laboratories. 

It's good to be a little nostalgic.

Shabbat Shalom! ;-)

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 14, 2020

Plan To Restart The Economy WILL Look Something Like This

What will restarting the economy after Coronavirus look like?

Well Israel has a well-thought-out 4 Phase Plan (pending approval) and I would imagine that the U.S. plan will look something very much like this:

- Phase I: Tech and Finance, some Import/Export industries, 50% of Public Sector, and Preschool

- Phase II: Commerce/Retail Stores, Elementary School (ages 6-10)

- Phase III: Cafes, Restaurants, and Hotels, and most of the rest of the Education system

- Phase IV: Leisure and Entertainment: Culture, Sports, Large Shopping Malls, and Flights

There are 4 additional key provisions to this plan:

- 2 Week Buffer between phases to review and evaluate success before moving forward with the next phase. 

- "People over 60 and at-risk populations will not resume normal activity throughout the four phases."

- Resuming these activities occurs with the exercise of continued caution (e.g. social distancing, testing, etc.)

- Expect 2nd outbreak in the Fall and therefore continue to build up healthcare capabilities in preparation for this. 

This sounds like an excellent plan as a basis to reopen and one that we can and should build upon. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal and thank you to my sister for sharing this with me)

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April 11, 2020

Now This Is Scary On Coronavirus

Latest Coronavirus news reported by Reuters from South Korea...

Virus appears to be "reactivated" after person is already cleared of it.

91 patients so far!

Is this the result of faulty testing or is this not your typical virus???

Folks, it does not look like we are in clear by a long shot on this yet. 

Be careful and stay safe!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal and thank you to my sister with a PhD in biomedical science for sharing this with me)
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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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April 8, 2020

Corona Matzah Man

So this is what happens when Coronavirus pandemic coincides with Passover. 

We get a Corona Matzah Man wearing his face mask so he doesn't get sick, G-d forbid. 

Even as we get ready to celebrate the seder tonight and recall G-d's mercifully delivering us from Egyptian servitude, we also can be certain that He will deliver us from this dreaded Coronavirus. 

G-d is all powerful and has a purpose for everything. 

Perhaps, we just needed a reminder of who was in charge not only on Passover, but all the year round. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 7, 2020

The Grass Still Needs To Be Mowed

Even with Coronavirus and the associated lockdowns and social distancing, the grass still needs to be mowed.

These two are doing the work but also look like they could be playing some bumper cars too! 

So it is: Life goes on; the world is not (yet) ending. 

Unfortunately, there are people suffering and dying. 

And we need to help them and try and save their lives. 

Also, not forget their families and those out of work. 

But as far as the world is concerned, the grass still keeps growing. 

The living will go on living as best they can. ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 5, 2020

The Covid-19 Graph -- No One Wants To Confront

This is the Coronavirus chart that I don't think anyone wants us to confront. 

Rather than the typical chart we are shown with one high and then it tapers off and all is well...

There could be scenarios where there are multiple curves and peaks. 

For example, if we send people back out to (work, school, etc.) and stop the social distancing too early--while there are still Coronavirus carriers around us and we don't have an effective vaccine--then the contagion can start all over again. 

Further, even with a vaccine, if the virus mutates (and could become more virulent) then this infection can go on spreading and killing with multiple peaks. 

In short, this is the chart that speaks to cases where businesses are closed and people out of work much longer than expected, and where the recession takes hold and does some potentially real and lasting damage above and beyond what's perhaps already priced in. 

Again, let's hope and pray that we don't stop the social distancing prematurely and that our doctors and scientists get the vaccine for us sooner rather than later. 

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 3, 2020

Those Were Different Days

Wow, those were different days...

When the stores still had stuff on the shelves. 

And you could go in without waiting outside for half an hour for social distancing. 

With everyone wearing protective masks and obsessively washing their hands, so please G-d not to get sick. 

Then we were happy!

Now we are all just scared. 

Even if some people are pretending they aren't.  

It's more what we still don't know then what we do. 

And how things can unravel so quickly.

Makes us all appreciate what we had, and hopefully what we'll have again. 

Shabbat Shalom!  ;-)

( Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 1, 2020

Pathogen Deaths - Worst Is Yet To Come

So maybe I am the only one who doesn't see how things are adding up.

But in the U.S. we have 4,000 dead from Coronavirus and 3/4 of the country (all the major population centers) are on lockdown. 

Yet, the projections are still for deaths in the U.S. to pile up between 100,000 to 240,000

How do you get from 4,000 to 240,000 with most people under lockdown?

The numbers of projected deaths were in the millions before the lockdown and social distancing, so yes the numbers are lower and better now. 

Still the escalating death toll is frightening in its magnitude of what is yet to come DESPITE the lockdown.

Moreover, the estimated death in the U.S. from the Flu was only 34,000 (2018-2019) and that's with everybody round and about doing their business.

My question is what happens after the (first) peak when they send people back to work and school?

There are still going to be people sick and contagious out there and the whole cycle STARTS AGAIN until we get the vaccine. 

And even after the vaccine, it may become seasonal like the flu or mutate and become even more virulent. 

It seems like there is plenty of reason to be cautious and concerned about what is yet to happen from here.

Then again we may be considered fortunate this time and actually beat this Coronavirus, but then again what happens when the NEXT really bad natural or man-made pathogen gets out? ;-)

Note: There are approximately 16 countries with deadly biological weapons programs. 

(Credit Photo: My wonderful so-in-law, Itzchak)
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