No Matter How Much You Prepare

So we just finished watching Season Six of Alone (and have now started Season Seven).


Highly trained professionals (military and otherwise) with ALL the skills, experience, and confidence setting out to survive in the arctic, alone.


Each one thinks they can make it and outlast the others.


And watching these folks, you think to yourself, wow, these people can fish, hunt, build shelters, survive off of the land, and know how to survive.


Yet, usually well before 100 days, (virtually) all the contestants are out:

No matter how well prepared they are, life happens!


– They get hugely sick, often from the gross food they are eating.


-They fall down and hurt or break something.


– They cut or stab themselves.


– They lose one or more of their essential survival tools.


– They inadvertently burn down their own shelters.


– Animals steal their food or attack them.


– They starve and their bodies start to break down critical fat stores in their heart or other vital organs.


– They start to lose their minds from the lack of nutrition and mind-numbing loneliness.


It seems like no matter how well trained and prepared they are, they can’t outrun, outwit, out-survive what life eventually throws at them.


Even the last person “standing” is still usually more dead than alive.


Anything other than self-control is ultimately an illusion.


Remember, life happens, and eventually everyone needs help from someone.


No man is an island even if you are living on one. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

I’m Still Alive!

600 Holocaust Survivors and their descendants sing “Chai” (Life) by Ofra Haza.

Hope is not yet lost.

I live. I live. I live. 


I cried my eyes out watching this. 


The Jewish people not only survived the Holocaust as most of the world sat by and watched the genocide of six million men, women, and children with a soulless indifference, but G-d has kept his promise and restored the Jewish people and returned them to the Holy Land and made it flourish again!


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

We Have To Pray Just To Make It One Day

So as we have done for ages…

We pray.

We weep.

We bless. 

We request.

We thank.  

We only control what we say and do.

The rest is in G-d’s merciful, blessed hands. 😉

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Ignorance Isn’t Bliss

Please see my new article in The Times of Israel called, “Ignorance Isn’t Bliss.”

It’s Passover, and we celebrate our deliverance from Egyptian slavery, yet this is a slavery that was foretold by Hashem, and as you could say, like with many bad things that happen in this world (e.g. Coronavirus), we knew it was coming!


To me it’s not about being afraid, but rather it’s about being prepared. It’s great to be an optimist, but it’s important to be practical, especially when it comes to saving lives. Yes, we need to have faith in G-d and believe that ultimately everything is according to His word and plan for the world, but at the same time, we need to be responsible and do our part to protect ourselves and the future from terrible things that we have a relatively high-level of confidence will happen. There is no mitzvah to wait and be caught off guard, rather there is a commandment to save life (“Pikuach Nefesh”), and for this we need to “face up to facts” (including our known vulnerabilities, threats, and our capabilities to address them) and actually be very well prepared.

(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)

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)

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)

Hope Amidst Coronavirus

This is absolutely what I call:

Hope Amidst Coronavirus.


Life is hope. 


The children are our future. 


Love and caring is our continuity. 


G-d’s is the Master over it all. 😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Don’t Cough On Granny

So these are the signs of the times of Coronavirus. 


Pictures telling us not to cough on Granny. 


Cover your germy mouth!


Don’t get the older and more vulnerable amongst us sick. 


I was in the elevator the other day, standing in the corner next to the elevator buttons. 


Someone else–an older person–gets on with a big (double size) shopping cart.


He’s standing in the opposite back corner (kitty corner from me) with this huge cart between us. 


Then he starts yelling at me, literally, to “get in the corner!”


Ah, I’m already in the opposite corner. 


He’s huffing and puffing angry that he wants me to literally get up against both walls. 


I was almost tempted to say something like maybe you should just get off and catch the next elevator Sir. 


But I held my tongue, in part out of sympathy for these elderly people who are obviously really scared (and maybe rightfully so) of the Coronavirus. 


Sometimes, I think to myself what if we were really hit at some point in the future with a very deadly bioweapon that was expressly designed to kill and to repulse any sort of countermeasures against it. 


What if the fatality rate was 1/3 to 2/3 of the population like in the Middle Ages Bubonic Plague or even higher like 100% of anyone that gets infected from a military-grade, genetically modified virus (similar to effects from Ebola). 


Maybe it’s not good to ask what ifs, but if we are really going to learn anything from this, then I think we need to extrapolate from the relatively minor now to the potential major down the road. 


If you think we have hysteria, deaths, and $2.2 trillion U.S. impact now, this is just a glimpse of what could actually happen. 


We need to seriously rethink our disaster preparedness and response–big time.  😉


(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Trying To Maintain Normality


People are trying to get out of the house for just a little bit each day amidst the mandated social distancing. 



Especially difficult is to try to get some exercise with all the fitness centers, gyms, and pools closed down. 



Some people are just choosing to go for a walk around the track or get in a quick workout with a few friends or family members. 



Can we be normal when everything is abnormal? 😉



(Credit Video: Andy Blumenthal)