The week of Thanksgiving in the United States is normally one of the busiest travel weeks of the year. But what we know as normal does not exist anymore.
With the rate of Covid-19 infections dramatically rising, officials have been warning Americans about the dangers of traveling to see loved ones. In spite of the warnings, three million Americans have already opted to travel by plane last weekend.
The question is, is it wise to travel this year?
The straight answer is no. We all know how easily transferrable the virus is one from person to another person. That being said, I understand the reasons that some have decided that seeing family and/or friends is important.
With many colleges going completely remote until the Spring semester, students have no choice but to travel. After months of obeying stay at home orders, seeing another four walls and a fresh face is emotionally necessary. Phone calls, Zoom, and other ways of electronically connecting are fine. But, they will never be able to replace the experience of physically being in the same room with someone else.
The truth is that there is no law that will force Americans to stay home. There can only be recommendations and advice from both the scientific/medical community and government officials. What we do with that information is up to the individual.
I can only hope that the prediction of an additional surge in cases stemming from this week stays in the realm of “what if” and does not become reality.
In a time of crisis, logic often secedes into emotion and chaos. While this secession is completely and understandably normal, it can lead to actions that would not otherwise be taken.
As many of my regular readers know, I live in New York City. Anyone who does not have their head in the sand is aware that NYC is one of the Covid-19 hot spots in the United States. Since March, those of us who live in the city have heard the same three words countless time: stay at home.
Unfortunately, there are some fools who are putting their lives and the lives of others at risk. Over the last few days, there were three incidents in which I have to question if the participants truly understand what we are going through.
Incident #1: In Bedford-Stuyvesant, a Yeshiva (religious school for Orthodox and Ultra-Orthodox Jews) was still open in spite of the order from the city to close all schools. Neighbors contacted the local police precinct when they saw students and teachers exiting the building. I am all for education and religious instruction (especially from my coreligionists), but would it hurt to use a little common sense?
Incident #2: A party in Canarsie was broken up by police. After two months of staying home nearly 24/7, I am more than eager to see another set of four walls and my friends. However, there is a little thing going around called Covid-19. This virus attacks and kills its hosts indiscriminately. That last thing I would ever want on my conscious is knowing that I may have been the one to give Covid-19 to someone else.
Incident #3: The weather this past Saturday was perfect. Last year at this time, I would have gone out for a drink without question. But not this year. According to news reports, several bars on the Upper West Side had a full house. Some patrons hung out on the sidewalk, unable to find seats inside. I am all for meeting my friends at a bar to relax after a long week, but not with the threat of Covid-19 hanging above us.
What the f*ck don’t they understand about staying at home?
When the stay at home orders started back in March, it seemed at first to be like a lovely extended vacation with no end date. For the first few days, sleeping in late, watching daytime TV and generally doing nothing seemed wonderful. Cut to two months later and frankly, it’s getting a little old.
Leslie Jordan is just like the rest of us. The actor (known to Will & Grace fans as Beverly Leslie, Karen Walker’s (Megan Mullally) frenemy) is just like the rest of us. After two months of being cooped up at home, boredom is starting to set in. Speaking to fans via Instagram, he is saying what we are all thinking and feeling.
I look forward to his daily Instagram posts. I don’t know about anyone else, but it makes me feel less alone during this pandemic. If that is all it takes to get us through this, I will happily take it any day.
Among the many boundaries that Covid-19 ignores is the health of the person it infects. On one end of the spectrum, the person could be the picture of optimal physical health. On the other end of the spectrum, they could be dealing with dealing with multiple health issues. It means nothing to this disease.
Dr. Joseph Fair is a respected virologist and a regular NBC contributor. In the nearly two months since the virus has taken hold of the country, he is one of the doctors who has become the voice of reason and science. Now he has joined the ranks of those who are sick with Covid-19.
I understand the frustration of those who are eager to go back to the pre-Covid-19 normal. I’ve been home nearly 24/7 for two months. While I am fortunate to be able to work from home, I am more than ready to get out in the world. Especially with summer on the horizon.
However, I also know that Covid-19 has killed over 80,000 Americans and sickened over 1,000,000 Americans. Those who protest and/or ignore the stay at home orders are not only endangering their lives, they are endangering the lives of everyone they come in contact with. If staying at home, and only going out for the most basic of needs (while wearing a mask) means that I am doing my part to save lives, so be it.
Let the fools who believe they can’t get sick with the virus live in a fantasy world. I will live in the real world, knowing that I am doing all I can to protect my health and the health of those around me.
Upon entering Auschwitz, the following message greets all who walks through the gates: “Arbeit macht frei“. Translated in English to “work sets you free”, this was the lie that greeting the millions of victims who suffered and died within the camp’s borders.
I would hope (hope being the optimal word here), that an intelligent human being would hesitate to use these words, understanding their historical context. But human beings are not always known for being intelligent.
For as many Americans who are listening to the experts and staying home during the Covid-19 pandemic, there are some Americans who are protesting the stay at home orders. As an American, they have every right to protest, that is irrefutable. However, given the current circumstances, these protests come off as foolhardy and life-threatning.
In Illinois, protesters decided to personally attack Governor J.B. Pritzger for his decision to close down the state. Governor Pritzger is Jewish, his father’s side of the family immigrated from Kiev to the United States in the late 19th century. Fully aware of the Governor’s faith and family history, the language and imagery used by some of those at the protest hearkens back to Nazi Germany.
If it was just a protest of the stay at home orders, it would be one thing. It would be un-American to deny their right to tell the Governor that they disagreed with his decision. That being said, as an American citizen and a Jew, I find their choice of images and phrasing to be disturbing and disgusting.