Forgot To Bring Blood

So I go for some blood work today.


Lady pokes my arm, and nothing comes out. 


She moves the point of the needle around and around– still no blood. 

 

She says: “Hey, it’s your fault!”


I say: 

You’re right, no one told me that I was supposed to bring blood with me today. 


She looks up and says, “Okay let’s try the other arm!”


Then she spanks the arm…and I blurt out laughing, “hey do that again!”


Then poke, poke, and the blood easily fills a half dozen tubes.


She’s said, “You see that worked!”


I said:

I only brought blood in my right arm today!


If I could read her mind: “Ok, get the F*** out of the office.”


But she was nice and actually says, “You can get your results in about 3 days.”  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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)

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. 


That where bad thing can happen (G-d forbid) and it’s  never a good place to be. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Matzo Ball Soup For The Soul

It’s a pretty well-known Jewish tradition that Chicken Soup is almost like an cure all. 


Our moms for centuries have preached chicken soup whenever you didn’t feel well or felt like you may be coming down with something. 


Hmm…I wonder if it even works on Coronavirus. Heck, I’d try it for sure. LOL


From an alternative medicine perspective, like it says on the package:

It’s penicillin in a pot.


Anyway, I thought this package kit of matzo ball soup was pretty cute. 


With the old lady that looks like she’s about to fall in the soup saying:

Good. Not as good as mine. But good. 


Hey, I guess there is no package matzo ball soup that is going to be as good as homemade. 


Especially as I was taught that the magic ingredient is not chicken, but love!  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Bacteria Vs. Virus–The Cure!

There is an old adage that:

The enemy of my enemy is my friend

Both bacteria and viruses are enemies of people in that they often make us sick. 

If they can make us sick, why can’t they be used to fight and make each other sick (i.e. destroy each other). 

Thus, bacteria can be our friend, if we use them to destroy viruses, like Coronavirus. 

Why can’t we create a “virus-eating bacteria” (and vice versa “bacteria-eating virus”) to destroy these little monsters that are infecting and killing us?

Let our enemies kill each other!  😉

(Credit Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

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)

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)

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)

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 resumenormal 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)

 

Reopening The Country WITHOUT Endangering The Masses

I understand the absolute need to reopen the country from this Coronavirus. 


We can’t shelter in place forever and watch our economy go into the toilet and our national debt bankrupt us!


Therefore, once we have the mechanisms to control the deadly spread, we must open up offices and stores again gradually to get people working and our economy going again. 


At the same time, I am pissed by those corporate executives that actually have the chutzpah and are pushing for us to open up crowded theaters, stadiums, and other such entertainment or other venues that are NOT critical and pose a greater risk for contagion to masses of people. 


Instead of these CEOs understanding the need to hold off on this pending a vaccination or adequate disease control measures, these greedy corporate chieftain seem to care little to nothing about the health of their customers, and only about lining their fat pocketbooks with more ticket sales. 


I think it’s criminal type behavior to push our government to open prematurely and irresponsibly those venues that are of greatest risk to potentially millions of people to get sick or dead in order for them to profit from it!  😉


Note: It’s reported that COVID-19 compared to the flu in 22 fewer days infected 11x as many people and killed 60 times as many


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)