Tag Archives: Covid-19

Why Does Vaccinating Our Kids Against Covid Seem Like a No Brainer?

When it comes to our kids, we want the best for them. This, I think, should include making sure that they are physically and mentally healthy.

Last week, the rates of pediatric Covid cases shot up dramatically. According to an article from December 28th, almost 200,000 children were diagnosed with carrying the virus and 2,100 were in the hospital. I’m not a parent and by right, I cannot tell someone who is how to take care of their children. However, logic tells me that every child who is eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine should receive one. Given the number of immunizations that are required to attend school in person, I would think that this shot would be a no-brainer.

The thing that strikes me is that we know that receiving an in-school education is critical to a child’s emotional, psychological, and educational development. While learning via Zoom (or another similar program) was a temporary measure, it can never replace the experience of being in a classroom. The problem is that as Covid cases rise in general across the nation, this ping-pong game of bouncing between the school and the computer will not have a good ending.

We need our kids to go back to school, we need to go back to work, and we need to get the economy going again. The only way for this to happen is to vaccinate as many people as possible. Only then can we move forward.

P.S.

A relation of mine caught Covid last week. Thankfully, he was already hospitalized for an unrelated reason and was taken care of by the staff. But that does not mean that my mind went to the worst place possible.

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Covid-19 Hit a Little Too Close to Home

It’s impossible to avoid Covid-19 these days, regardless of whether or not we contracted the virus.

Over the last couple of weeks, a friend of mine got sick from the disease and one of my cousins nearly got sick. Both were vaccinated.

The fact is that no one is immune. Any one of us can catch it at any time. What makes it so dangerous is that we can either have the virus inside of us and not know it or confuse it for a cold or the flu.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I find it extremely frustrating that we know what we need to do. Herd immunity is not an impossible task to complete. But because of a minority of fools, we continue to lose loved ones and keep our economy from getting back to where it was two years ago.

On a segments on one of my favorite podcasts, The MeidasTouch, an excellent and all too timely observation was made.

(Start at 1:06)

It’s not a hard concept to understand. Only an idiot would knowingly have unprotected sex with someone who has an STD or AIDS. By the same token, only an idiot would refuse to take basic measures that would save their life.

My fear is that these idiots will be the downfall for us all.

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What Will it Take For This Country to Come Together? Another Pearl Harbor?

The United States has always been a land of division. But even with that differences, we have found something to make bridge those divides.

Today is the 80th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. Like 9/11 sixty years later, it was a moment in time in which all Americans, regardless of labels or identity, were one.

These days, the cracks are the deepest it has been in generations. We are on the verge, if things go a certain way, of being the former United States of America. Between that and Covid-19, this nation may go down in history as the modern democratic experiment that failed. We know what we need to do to kick this virus to the curb and return to normalcy. We need to get vaccinated, wear our masks, wash our hands, and social distance when necessary.

It’s not rocket science. But there are some in this country who are either too proud, too foolish, or too stupid to realize this. If and when America goes down Hindenburg style, the blame will be on those who were unwilling to take the most simple of steps to prevent our downfall.

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I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year Book Review

No one is an island. Whether in our personal lives or in our professional lives, we need other people. This is specifically true when one is at the helm of a major organization. Without the effort of those who are on the lower tiers, the purpose and/or goals of the firm will never be met.

I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year, by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker (authors of A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump’s Testing of America), was published back in July. The book explores the final year of you know who’s time in office and how destructive it was. Between Covid-19, a nail-biting Presidential election, and a chaotic administration led by an egotistical conman, let’s just say that it was far from smooth sailing as it could have been. Telling the story of 2020 via a blow-by-blow account, it’s a deep dive into what went wrong and what we must do to never repeat the year again.

This book is incredibly good. It is a compelling non-fiction narrative with the fast heartbeat of a thriller and the underbelly of investigative journalism that makes you really think. If nothing else, it is a reminder of why it is so important to fight for democracy and never forget how easily it can crumble.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

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The State of American Politics: The Democrats Messaging Problem and the Republicans Attack on Big Bird

When it comes down to it, politics is about two things: messages and action. One can say the right things, but without acting on what has been said, nothing gets done.

I am a lifelong Democrat. My first major election was the 2000 Presidential election in which George W. Bush ran against former Vice President Al Gore. For the last twenty-ish years, I have voted mostly along party lines. But that does not mean that I can’t or won’t speak when I feel the need. The problem with today’s Democratic Party is not the message. They just finally passed the Infrastructure Bill, for G-d sake. The problem is how the message is being presented. Instead of hearing that our young children will be educated, our seniors will be provided for, and our roads will be maintained, the only thing we are being told is the cost.

There were three recent elections that exemplified this issue. In my hometown of New York City, former police officer, and current Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams won handily against activist Curtis Sliwa in the Mayoral election. Truth be told, Adam’s win was not a complete given, but generally accepted that it was the obvious outcome. NYC is, for the most part, politically blue. It was not a surprise that Sliwa lost.

Across the river, current New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy won his Gubernatorial election against Jack Ciattarelli, but only by a narrow margin. Down south, the shock that Republican Glenn Youngkin was proclaimed the winner in the Virginia Gubernatorial election rippled across the nation. His opponent, Terry McAuliffe lost because instead of focusing on kitchen table issues, he spent his time on you know who. Youngkin won because he mostly repudiated the former President and spoke to the everyday problems that voters are dealing with.

While this is happening, the Republicans are making mountains of out molehills. With the announcement that children ages 5-11 are now eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, the powers that be reached out to the people at Sesame Street. Via Twitter, Big Bird is encouraging young children to get the shot.

Ted Cruz, in his usual unhelpful way, decided to attack this most beloved of characters. Instead of remembering the 760,000 Americans who have died from the virus, he is opening the door for even more of us to lose our lives. When will he get it through his extra thick skull that the only way to stay alive and return to normal is to be vaccinated?

There is no doubt that the American political scene is nothing short of a shit-show. Until we get our heads out of our asses and do what needs to be done, it will continue to be a shit show.

P.S. How is Paul Gosar still in Congress when he posted a video in which AOC is killed and the President is attacked? He doesn’t have to agree with her, but he crossed the line with the suggestion of violence.

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Billy Joel Concert Review

There are some artists that are so iconic that even if one is not a fan, they know the music.

On Friday night, Billy Joel returned to Madison Square Garden and his residency/monthly concert. Stepping onto the stage after a near two-year absence due to the Covid-19 pandemic, there was a feeling of giddiness that permeated the sold-out arena.

Playing both well-known hits and songs that only the dedicated fanbase would know, Joel delved into his musical past while honoring the places he came from. The audience, which was made up of both longtime fans and casual listeners who have known his music for most, if not all of their lives, responded with an energy that can only be described as electric. For his part, Joel played and sang with the energy of a performer many years his junior. Spending most of the concert at the keys, he stood for the last few songs, performing beloved hits such as “Uptown Girl” and “We Didn’t Start the Fire“.

The highlight of the evening was “New York State of Mind” and “Piano Man“. Revealing that the fireman’s helmet sitting on the piano belonged to Neil Skow, a firefighter who was on the ground during 9/11, a cheer rose from the crowd. It was as if it represented, both physically and literally, the strength that has gotten many of us through the past 20 months. Taking out the harmonica to play his best-known song, the first few notes elicited a reaction from fans that was pure joy.

It was a night to remember for all involved and from my perspective, one of the best concerts I have ever been to.

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700K are Dead from Covid. Vaccine Mandates are Still Being Questioned.

After everything that we have been through in the nearly two years, I would think that we would use our heads. But logic still seems elusive, even when the facts are right in front of our eyes.

The United States reached a grim milestone this week, 700,000 people have lost their lives to Covid-19. In spite of the proof that the vaccine prevents hospitalization, severe illness, and (most importantly) death, there many who refuse to get the jab. In New York City, teachers and other school personnel had until today at 5PM to get the first shot. If the choice was made to remained unvaccinated on Monday morning, those who made that decision will be forced to go on unpaid leave. Statewide, a similar mandate has been put into place for healthcare workers. The only exemption is for religious purposes. Those wishing to file have until October 12th to do so.

I don’t get it. We are all entitled to our rights. But, we also have to realize that the vaccine requirement is not being done for shits and giggles. It is the only way to defeat this virus. What is frustrating to me is that teachers and healthcare staff work with those who are the most vulnerable to Covid-19. The reason I was vaccinated earlier this year was not just for selfish reasons. G-d forbid I get sick, the last thing I want is to spread it.

We know what we need to do. The science is clear. But instead of getting it done and returning to normal, we continue to be foolish and let our fellow Americans die for no good reason.

May G-d have mercy on all of us and one day, forgive us for what we have done.

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Fox News and the Covid-19 Vaccine: Do as I Say, Not as I do

Regardless of where one stands on any specific social or cultural issues, there is one thing we can all agree upon. The media, in its various formats, has a huge role on determining how we view the world around us. The problem is that in our fractured society, one’s perspective depends on which media one consumes and the messages they are putting out to their audience.

Last month, The Hill reported that Fox News, as per New York state mandate, the network was requiring its employees to provide their Covid-19 vaccination status to HR. While they have been internally making sure that their staff have gotten the shots, the ideas that are being communicated to their viewers is the opposite. Their lies and outrageous half truths have added to the death toll and the unnecessary grief that too many American families have forced to live with.

Granted, every media company has their own perspective and an audience who has a receptive ear to the content they are watching and/or reading. However, there is also a responsibility to at the very least, tell the truth. What they say has consequences. In light of what we are currently going through, those consequences can either save a life or take a life. I don’t know about you, but I would rather see someone live than die needlessly from a preventable disease.

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This Will All Be Over Soon: A Memoir Book Review

When one reaches the peak of success in Hollywood, the assumption maybe that the problems this person had when they were not famous disappear. Their life is nothing short of perfection. The truth is that their pre-fame issues remain the same (or may even be magnified) with the harsh spotlight that comes with being in the public eye.

Saturday Night Live‘s Cecily Strong released her new memoir in August. Entitled This Will All Be Over Soon: A Memoir, the book tells her story of losing her beloved cousin, Owen, to cancer and the emotional destruction that Covid-19 has left in its wake. When he passed away in early 2020, Strong was devastated. Her grief was compounded when New York City became the epicenter of the virus a few months later. Needing a break from everything, she left the city, took refuge in a house upstate and began to write.

I like that it is set in a diary format. Strong reveals a personal side of herself that television viewers have not seen of her. She lays her mental health cards on the table, talking about emotions that are private, deep, and a little bit uncomfortable. My problem is that I expected to feel everything that she puts on the page. Unfortunately, I was not, which a dam shame.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Thoughts on Yom Kippur 2021

If there is one thing we all take for granted, it is life itself. Then we are reminded how quickly we can go.

Tomorrow night is the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Jews around the world will fast for 25 hours and pray that our creator writes us in the book of life for another year.

Between the more than 600,000 Americans who have died from Covid-19 and the 20th anniversary of 9/11 this past weekend, the reminder that life is precious has been more than obvious.

One of the most important prayers is called U’Netaneh Tokef. One of the passages in the prayer is as follows:

On Rosh Hashanah will be inscribed and on Yom Kippur will be sealed how many will pass from the earth and how many will be created; who will live and who will die; who will die at his predestined time and who before his time; who by water and who by fire, who by sword, who by beast, who by famine, who by thirst, who by storm, who by plague, who by strangulation, and who by stoning. Who will rest and who will wander, who will live in harmony and who will be harried, who will enjoy tranquility and who will suffer, who will be impoverished and who will be enriched, who will be degraded and who will be exalted.

Yesterday, death came close to home. To say that I am grieving and shocked is an understatement. A friend passed away. I haven’t seen her since before the pandemic and have only spoken to her once since last Spring. Now I wish I had stayed in touch. We need to tell the ones we love how we feel when they are here, not when they are gone.

Z”L my friend. RIP.

To everyone fasting, have an easy fast and may you be written into the book of life for another year.

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