Missing Florida Vacations

So many months into Covid now, and probably so many more to go unfortunately.

 

Just missing getting out and down to Florida for a little vacation.

 

The palm trees.  The sun.  The beach.  A little fun. 

 

This isn’t forever, right?

 

Hopefully, let’s pray, Covid will be over and we can live again in freedom and without fear of contagion every moment of every day, day, day.  😉

 

(Credit Photo of artwork: 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)

Reach Out And Grab Ya

This is a candleholder. 


But in a bizarre way it looks almost like a toilet. 


The place for the candle is the toilet!


Sort of would make a pretty scary toilet in real life if the back of it (ie. tank) has a body with arms that looks like it is reaching out to grab you as you take your royal seat. 

Hey, someone let me out of here!


Ok, I have definitely been shut in too many days due to this Coronavirus thing. 


I am imagining the world’s scariest toilets. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)

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)