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)

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)

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)

Harris Teeter War Zone

Who would’ve thought that going to Harris Teeter would be a war zone. 


But this guy in the respirator mask is showing us how bad things can start to get. 


As an avid fan of the show The Walking Dead, I think we are entering TWD territory with the people walking around with their face’s half covered and some looking sick with fear and worry or perhaps even with symptoms–who knows!


What is amazing is how things can go from boom to bust, and not just for our economy, but for life and civilization itself at the turn of a dime. 


Yesterday, I read how the CFO of Jefferies Group Investment Bank (NYC) died at age 56 from Coronavirus. 


Even as the Navy’s hospital ships Mercy and Comfort enter the ports of Los Angeles and New York City to lend a hand and about 1,000 hospital beds each, it seems like more and more of these deadly cases are hitting the papers and social media every day.


Where does this sickness stop?   


What happens if the virus mutates again and become even more virulent?


How do we ever feel even remotely secure again?


Can we keep taxing our already overwhelmed healthcare system with more and more sick patients?


How long can we keep printing Monopoly bailout money (incredibly, there is talk of yet another multi-trillion Coronavirus stimulus bill even after we just passed this $2.2 trillion one last week)?


Eventually, as we all know circumstances can indeed overwhelm the health and financial systems, and even our governments…thank G-d we aren’t there. 


But what we are all beginning to see in the midst of crisis is that “there” isn’t really all that far away from “here.”


…That life hangs by a truly thin thread. 


And because we can only do so much, this is where we really need to look up to the heavens and ask for G-d’s help and mercy.  😉


(Credit Photo: my wonderful son-in-law, Itzchak)

3 Months of Social Distancing

Here is a link to the modeling for Covid-19:

https://covidactnow.org/


You can click any state to see the impact of 3 months of social distancing or 3-months of Shelter in Place.


Basically, it looks like this first round of coronavirus will last until around the beginning of June. 


The hope is that we can keep the hospitals and medical system from being overwhelmed while we try to come up and test an effective vaccine. 


Of course, vaccines are helpful, but look how many still get the flu every year because viruses mutate and the vaccine misses the mark.


Also, there is a risk that the virus comes back even more virulent again, so we all need to continue to pray! 😉


(Thank you to my sister for sharing this with me.)

We Just Magically Found $2,000,000,000,000

It’s amazing how we can magically find $2 trillion for a Coronavirus “Rescue Plan.”


This after we already wasted over $6.4 trillion (and thousands of our dead and wounded) through 2017 in unexplainable and endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with no known or lasting benefits to this country (while archenemy, Iran continues their pursuit of nukes unabated). 


And for decades, we haven’t been able to find money for:


– Decent healthcare for all Americans.


– Ensuring our national security, including adequate planning and disaster preparedness for things like Coronavirus, cybersecurity, WMDs, EMPs, and for critical infrastructure protection. 


– Repairing our aging roads, bridges, and infrastructure


– Fixing our broken public education system.


– Helping our countless of homeless and needy lying the streets of our nation. 


– Restoring our space program to get a man on the moon again or put another shuttle into space. 


When politics are in play, there is plenty of money to go around. 


But when the nation needs proper care and feeding, there are no adults in the room. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Great Explanation of Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Great explanation of Coronavirus (Covid-19) by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Need a Part II though to explain what people should do when they get sick–communication on this part has been awful. 

BTW, the governor of California stated that he estimates that 56% of their population or 25.5 million people would be infected there within eight weeks. 

At a 1-2% fatality rate (lower than the current global 4% fatality rate) that would mean between 250,000 and 500,000 dead just in California.  

This is very serious stuff folks. 😉

(Credit to my daughter, Rebecca for sharing this with video)

Amazing – They Go In And See

Had my routine colonoscopy this morning. 


It is so amazing that they can go in with camera and everything. 


Look around and if necessary, cut out anything bad. 


Years ago, people just felt sick or pain and maybe saw some symptoms from outside.


But they had no idea what was happening inside. 


So grateful to G-d for the technology and doctors that can make sure all is okay. 


We are truly living in miraculous times. 


They even send you home with some pictures afterward.


It’s interesting to see, but maybe a little TMI. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)