Missing Earth’s Golden Days

I have to admit that my overactive imagination is getting the best of me in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, especially now that I have so much time on my hands. Look at it from a science fiction perspective and tell me an extraterrestrial is not responsible for this mess.

Mankind had been progressing quite nicely day-to-day up until just recently, without consideration to the crazy political environment in the country. The economic situation was under control, or at least it was in the US. There are squabbles occurring globally all the time, just like there have been since the beginning of time. The large players were managing to get along with each other as they attempted to increase their dominance militarily, economically, politically and religiously.

But something really bizarre is occurring now. An unknown virus has been unleashed on all of mankind. By whom? Mother Nature? Someone from another planet?

It began in China, where the locals always try to cover up serious problems to save face. The outbreak of coronavirus has been particularly contagious, so getting off to a slow start to combat it, was not good for anyone including the Chinese. You owe us one Mr. Xi.

But the virus is not really a brutal killer, although any loss of life is always a tragedy. It makes people sick, but not that sick unless a patient is hampered by other health issues, such as respiratory problems and old age.

However, the virus spread like a wildfire. Two people passed it to four, four to 16 and so on. You get the picture. It’s been exponential. Entire countries have been overwhelmed in a matter of days.

The affliction is spread by airborne contact. Just to make the situation more eerie, many are wearing protective masks as every other human is a potential coronavirus Mary (reference Typhoid Mary).

World leaders in conjunction with infectious disease experts, are taking action. They concluded almost immediately that the way humans socialize makes the disease stronger. Big crowds where people are close to each other can easily pass on the bug.

World leaders decided to bring the planet to a complete stop. No travel, no going to the office to work, no schooling in classrooms. In fact, everything that humans did as a group before this bug surfaced was now being done online, with no physical contact.

The staggering implications of this new way, and hopefully, temporary way, of interfacing with others are so great that world leaders are concerned that their societies might change permanently, lest new bugs uncontrollably assault us every few months. But the experts are still hanging their hats on new (and old) treatments and new (and old) vaccines. If a drug can stymie malaria, maybe it can stop this virus.

In a world where everything revolves around political, economic and religious domination, humans globally are now depending upon the most creative medical minds to stop the spread of the disease. And this leads to conversations that are not pleasant relating to medical ethics. They include who should live and who should die.

For instance, if an elderly patient is on his last legs being completely overwhelmed by the virus, why use a bed or a ventilator that can be used to save a younger, healthier patient? Very tough question with no good solution.

And now social talking heads are considering the implications of un-socializing mankind. It is safer to spend less time in large groups, at work, in restaurants, at sporting events, at family get togethers and at religious ceremonies. The experts are saying that if you don’t create some separation from your neighbor, you have a substantially greater chance of becoming sick and dying, if not from Corona, a bug that blooms in the near future.

And what about all the sociology books written by scholars who claimed that social interaction is the key to a great society? Those that don’t participate with others will be left behind they say.

Another monstrous sword is hanging over our heads as the economic implications of all this spacing between people and working at home become more obvious. Our economy morphed from the best ever, if you believe our fearless leader, to an economy that is dead on its ass. When the disease passes just like they have for millions of years, will everything resort back to what it was previously? Will we have low unemployment? Great productivity? A high standard of living? Will we be happy?

One thing that will change will be our readiness to deal with another pandemic.

My family has been fortunate. We had a few cases of the virus and outlasted the little buggers. But we are in suspended animation as we wait for light at the end of the tunnel and a signal to return to our former lives.

The New York Metropolitan area is now the center of the world relating to coronavirus. The medical people keep telling us to separate and wash our hands, hoping that new cases and death will subside. We need to turn the corner. Every day I read the papers and listen to the talking heads, I want to hear about how we are about to experience better conditions. I miss the old days that ended three or four weeks ago.

Society Versus Mother Nature

What is the status of our world, and the threat imposed by the pandemic virus?

The first observation relates to how our leaders have asked us to respond to the Coronavirus. They want everyone to self-isolate and avoid congregating for any reason. Staying at home and allowing the pandemic to pass over our homes is what has been recommended for all. The biblical reference to the forthcoming Passover holiday is ironic.

Have you really thought about how epic the lock down is to mankind? For all intents and purposes, six billion people are supposed to quarantine themselves for two to four weeks. The world is no longer social. No one has committed a crime, yet our leaders have taken our freedom. Of course, it is for the common good.

And yet, there are some who are resisting authoritative demands to keep their distance from others. Experts say this technique will facilitate the end of the pandemic, probably. So many having their freedom taken away is a really serious moment for our world population.

No crimes have been committed, so some civil libertarians are objecting to unwarranted loss of freedom. Why is it so difficult to gain the cooperation of the masses for the benefit of all society? Why is short-term inconvenience so hard to swallow even when the health of mankind lies in the balance?

In America, freedom is the most important right we have. It’s why we fought wars and faced down tyranny. Over the years, blood has been shed and heroes received medals for protecting our civil liberties.

Are we now at the point when the health of society outweighs the rights of each individual? Are some people so self-important about their freedom that they set aside the well-being of our species? Purposefully ignoring edicts not to congregate and to keep one’s distance should be a crime against humanity. It’s attempted murder when an American endangers others by challenging the law.

A small mistake can theoretically imperil the human race. If you think about it, this pandemic can have a much greater impact on mankind than nuclear weapons. And yet, less credence is given to the risks of pandemic. It’s not man versus man on a battlefield where collateral damage, to save our freedom, is at stake. It’s Mother Nature creating a conundrum. Her methods can be significantly more dangerous and threatening than a nuclear encounter.

What needs to change after the pandemic is over? For one thing, the United Nations needs to split into two equally important organizations, one that protects the world from man versus men annihilation, and one that protects mankind from Mother Nature. Both have the potential to turn Earth into a dead planet. Just like we prepare for conventional and nuclear holocaust, the world needs to study and anticipate the evolution of disease that guns and bombs are not effective against.

The actions by China to save face were despicable. Every country in the world should be prepared to work with its neighbors to protect mankind. There is no amount of political, social or religious influence that can offset a threat to mankind by a bug, a virus or a germ.

Will The Coronavirus Cause Humans To Be Less Social?

The coronavirus pandemic could have a material impact on the manner humans interface with each other prospectively. Humans are social animals that crave attention, love and physical contact with each other. But significant contact could result in greater spread of disease.

I never really thought much about the amount of time I spend with others. Of course, I try to have as much quality time with my immediate family as possible, but when I thought about how often I’m among many others in the course of a typical day, I was somewhat surprised. Is it something I need for my own mental well-being?

At work, millions of us file into the same building and we sit in rows of desks just a few feet apart from each other. Most companies want their employees to interface with each other regularly to inspire creativity and to improve the social experience.

Recreationally, we attend gyms and workout together in tight quarters. The most important thing is to try to be physically fit, but the social aspect of working out together is also pleasing to many.

We eat together in restaurants with 50 or 100 strangers, serviced by waiters we don’t know personally. For many New Yorkers, going to dinner is a very important part of their social life. It’s a time to reconnect with family and friends.

In school, our children join 10, 15, 20 others in classrooms all day long. The social aspect of school is an incredibly important part of a person’s maturation process.

Sporting events bring together thousands of us in huge venues including Madison Square Garden and Yankee Stadium. We sit close to each other and cheer on our favorite teams.

Summer is upon us. Going to the beach with hundreds of others is commonplace and will happen every day that there is warm weather.

All these activities are currently banned by the federal government or at least severely restricted. The authorities say the coronavirus will continue to spread so long as people congregate, at home, at school, at religious ceremonies and at sporting contests.

When will the federal government relax restrictions? It will depend upon the slope of new cases of coronavirus and the affiliated deaths.

In the meantime, humans across the globe must continue to act anti socially by minimizing contact with others. Will this new way of life persevere? Will humans be a little, or a lot more, resistant to socializing.

A broader point is whether these current antisocial requirements will become more widespread moving forward. For instance, will corporations recognize that they could decrease their carbon footprint by markedly reducing travel by their executives. There’s really no need to get on an airplane, travel 1,000 miles and have a face to face meeting when it can be done using Skype. Many in business believe that they are more productive if they meet regularly with their clients face to face. But the current ban on travel could make some corporations change the rules of engagement with clients.

For years, corporations have attempted to make it easier for women to be successful in high pressure jobs while they are growing a family. It’s possible that some corporations, after experiencing these new antisocial restrictions, will conclude that working from home two or three times a week will not decrease the productivity of their employees. By staying home more often women just may be influenced to stay the course and strive for greater compensation and higher positions.

Even the simple act of greeting friends, which typically involves at least shaking hands and sometimes a peck on the cheek may end. It may be too dangerous to continue with this formality given the problems related to the current coronavirus pandemic.

For 7,000 years humans have practiced these social rituals without interruption. Is it possible that after one month the whole system can be upended? Do humans crave the attention of others, physically and mentally?

It’s going to be really interesting to see how all of us respond if there are no long-term ground rules to protect us from disease. Having been around a long time, I’m not enamored with the prospect of being less socially involved with my friends. The real question is whether disease is so prevalent these days that less socialization is going to be critical to our long-term existence.

Personal Thoughts About The Virus

It’s over a week since the coronavirus odyssey began for my family. To say the least, the experience has been harrowing for my loved ones, as well as millions of people around the world. Many crazy thoughts have run through my mind, reminiscent of 9/11. I thought I might share some of them with you.

Frankly this whole episode is nothing short of a science fiction horror story. The entire global community is being subjected to a killer virus that emanated from deep within China. The Chinese kept the bug a secret and attempted to deal with a rapidly growing epidemic without soliciting the help of other countries. An effort to save face was a disaster as the virus spread like wildfire. An opportunity for the entire world to get its arms around the disease early was lost because of the hubris of our Asian counterparts.

There are many individuals that may become heroes or goats in the battle against the coronavirus, and its derivative impact on the world economy. The worst potential offender, besides China, is president Trump, who actually believes he can will the disease away. False hope and claims of doing a great job fill the newspapers and airwaves every day. But everybody knows it’s all exaggeration and self-aggrandizement. Trump wants to save the economy by bestowing unrealistic expectations about our ability to stem the pandemic. Hopefully, the president will finally set aside his own ego and just find a way to give comfort to those that need hospital beds and ventilators. He needs to be a strong unselfish leader, a large ask for this man.

It would be unfair to underestimate the strength of the worldwide health community and the ingenuity of doctors, researchers and pharma companies. But unlike a political war where man kills man, Mother Nature is a truly formidable adversary with absolutely no empathy for human life and suffering. A strain of flu has overwhelmed the world, and we need to empirically, logistically and medically cut through deep underbrush to confront the world’s affliction.

But heroes are distinguishing themselves with wisdom, confidence and a will to work with others. Doctors are ramrodding new potential cures and treatments through the system, and our great financial minds are ensuring that enough money will be available to fight a recession and provide for those who are being devastated financially. There is nothing like the American spirit when we have a common enemy. Political distrust and bad blood are being set aside for the greater good.

The most important thing that individual Americans can do to get the country, and the world, back on track is to heed the warnings of the experts. What we don’t need are renegade and undisciplined young people living for today and spreading infection. We need everyone to isolate and retard the growth of the virus. We need people to wash their hands regularly. Simple things will save lives.

Our intestinal fortitude is being challenged. Humans are social animals that need companionship. The fight against this virus is counter to our basic needs. For several weeks, we need to stay away from each other and avoid crowds. It’s unnatural but essential.

Last night I lamented to my family that being quarantined was really getting to me. I felt great anxiety, and cabin fever was setting in. I needed to dig deep with help from those I love the most.

Generally, I’m not willing to let others tell me what to do or how to behave. I’m the master of my own life. But this virus is a new kind of challenge that will make our country stronger in every conceivable way if we are diligent. It will take some time, but not that long before we will once again live the American dream.

 

 

Isolation Is The Key To Beating Coronavirus

The world is waiting for medical experts to tell it how and when this coronavirus pandemic will end. Researchers have had plenty of experience tracking the evolution of disease in recent years, so it’s surprising that they are stumped by this new virus.

The Chinese experience seems to be the best outcome from what we know. Government officials isolated a significant hot spot and allowed the virus to run its course.  The objective was to not allow the bug to affect others outside Ground Zero. Apparently, Chinese officials were not shy about the isolation process. It may have been cruel, but it was effective, as the outbreak turned the corner in China. And this was the objective- to stop the increase in the number of newly infected individuals.

In the New York Times, the tree impact of a disease outbreak brought clarity and the importance of avoiding contact. Graphs showed how a disease will spread exponentially if each person passes the disease to two other people. The contamination is astounding. But, the most important point is that the less contact we have with each other for a short period of time, the sooner the disease will peter out.

But, America is not China. Authorities asked, pleaded and gently coerced revelers In Florida during this past week. Only after the governor and mayors shut down beaches and bars did the crowds disperse. The alternative was that these young people would pass the virus to each other and bring it home to their parents and grandparents, who are much more vulnerable to the disease. The lesson to be learned is that every American should stay home for a couple of weeks and the coronavirus will lose power. This in conjunction with severe travel restrictions into the US is the solution to the virus’ enigmatic qualities.

I am personally in quarantine at this time and have avoided contact with my family. Cabin fever is setting in, but it’s only a short time before my life will be back to normal. It’s a small sacrifice that I want to make for my loved ones and for my country. I implore all of you to do the same thing.

 

 

America Will Win The Battle Against Coronavirus

I’ve been trying to find the words that express my feelings about the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a scary time for the entire world. But, it’s not the end of mankind by any stretch of the imagination. And frankly, the world has survived through much more difficult times in the past.

The most disconcerting issue to me, besides the deaths of several thousand people worldwide, is the inability of government the leaders to work together. The virus does not play favorites, it makes ill and kills humans across the globe indiscriminately. The efforts by China to hide the outbreak was unforgivable. The US and other countries could have gotten a head start in the battle with this bug if we were brought in early to help the Chinese.

But the Chinese are not the only ones who deserve criticism. Here at home, politicians, the media and citizens have weaponized the virus for their own advantage. After 9/11, the entire country empathized with and wanted to avenge a horrible tragedy. We worked and mourned together. Even some of our enemies overseas were outraged by such a despicable act of terrorism.

Not today. Instead of giving support to our leaders, the political opposition is looking to denigrate efforts by the president to get his arms around the disease. He’s making mistakes because the pandemic is new to America and the world. Granted, Trump’s ego makes it difficult to give him our trust, but he’s in charge. Our lives and well-being are in his hands.

Similarly, the media is so busy harassing the president that it has not reported the situation in a way that gives us any confidence. If the president makes a mistake, they should report it. They shouldn’t continuously keep saying everything he’s doing is part of an effort to get reelected. Trump does not want Americans to die or suffer, and it’s shameful that the press indicates otherwise.

Making matters worse is the totally imbecilic primaries being conducted by the Democrats. The contenders think that proclaiming Trump is not the man to get us through these difficult times is only stoking resentment against the man who is responsible for pulling us through this horrible situation. Winning an election by distorting the facts and creating mass hysteria is not more important than defeating the virus.

I lived through many difficult moments that will be judged to be far more dangerous than a flu bug. In the 50s and 60s, we were practicing taking cover in the event that the Soviet Union launched nuclear missiles. In the 60s and 70s , Vietnam killed 50,000 plus Americans. Natural disasters plague the world unceasingly during the last 50 years. Aids killed thousands. And of course, 911 was a heartbreaking time for all Americans.

The most important thing that occurred during all these tragedies was that Americans empathized, contributed and kept a positive outlook. We faced every disaster that Mother Nature and our enemies threw at us. We are the strongest most resilient country in the world. So, it’s time we all began to approach coronavirus with confidence. We will defeat this nasty bug. The virus attacked us suddenly, and it’s likely that it will depart just as quickly. In the meantime, give your children pep talks, follow the rules that will decrease the spread of the disease, be empathetic for those who lose family and friends and support our government.

I wish you good health.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Inferior Candidates And A Deadly Virus

I feel obligated to discuss my current thoughts about the presidential election, after Tuesday night’s primary victories by Joe Biden. Unfortunately, there are not many positive things to report.

In my opinion, the worst thing about the presidential campaign is that there is no one running who deserves to be president. On this blog, I have indicated numerous times that Donald Trump has done some positive things, but he is neither statesman-like nor inspirational and does not have the personal qualities that befit the leader of our country.

On the other side of the aisle are Biden and Sanders and all the rest of the Democratic contenders who have gone by the wayside. I believe that quality Democrats were spooked by the specter of competing against Trump. They didn’t throw their hats into the ring because they were reluctant to go head to head against the megalomaniac, and they believe Trump will surely win in November.

Note: the second perspective was more relevant before the Coronavirus pandemic began to affect America. Potential opponents of Trump worried they would not be able to overcome the president’s economic achievements. And so, Democrats ended up with a poor slate of candidates. By the way, I’m hard-pressed to offer up a liberal candidate I would find attractive.

Along came the pandemic, and its impact on the stock market and the economy. Those who shied away are now kicking themselves in the ass for not entering the race for president. Trump’s vulnerability, like it or not, is growing as the virus spreads throughout the country. His electability will rise and fall with the assessment of his performance relating to controlling the virus.

Let’s discuss Sanders. The socialist looked like he was going to run the table in the primaries until the South Carolina primary. Congressman Clyburn single-handedly ended Sanders dream by giving Biden resounding support and encouraging his followers, the black Community, to do the same. Black people have shown that when unified they are a true political force in the country. Sanders would have run away with the nomination if Clyburn had remained subdued or silent.

I never believed that Sanders could defeat Trump. As discussed in earlier posts, America is not going socialist any time soon. Sanders promised a lot of freebies, which is attractive to uninformed Americans. They graciously accepted Sanders expensive snake oil assurances. And then a lot of them didn’t show up to vote.

Biden has done less than almost any contender for the presidency has in the history of the country. Is it because he has no stamina? Basically, he just keeps saying he’s a real Democrat; was Obama’s partner, and he’s moderate most of the time. For someone who has been in politics for so long, Biden has an uninspiring resume. But the Democratic establishment and the liberal press think he has a better shot to beat Trump than Sanders.

I’m puzzled about this perspective. Biden is finding it impossible to put two coherent sentences together, and he uses vulgarity without restraint. I am embarrassed for him as he exhibits his increasing lack of mental acuity. His speeches are short and without real content as compared to endless rambling by Sanders. It’s fair to predict that Trump is going to eat Biden’s lunch when the latter is unprotected by his handlers.

I would make three observations at this point. One, the virus is going to have a meaningful impact on the election. Two, Democrats are going to regret that Biden is their candidate. Three, identity politics is becoming more prevalent in this country. Many voters are casting ballots based upon their skin color, nationality, religious beliefs, sexuality, cultural background, union membership and gun ownership. It will be interesting to see how this impacts the impending election. Voters are going to have a real difficult decision to make.

 

Sanders’ Most Dangerous Socialistic Plans

What initiatives will Bernie Sanders espouse if he defeats Joe Biden in the primaries and wins the general election against Donald Trump?

His principle objectives will include decreasing income inequality, significantly reducing US engagement in overseas military operations, opening our borders, providing free health care to every citizen and illegal aliens, extinguishing student loans, emasculating large corporations and banks and decreasing police forces around the country.

The reduction of income inequality will be one of Sanders’ most immediate ambitions. In one generation, Sanders will try to decrease the compensation of the most innovative and brightest among us. Supposedly, this action will result in more for middle class and poor Americans. We will see the end of US technological superiority, as no one will be incentivized to be “more” creative. Additionally, the profitability of high tech companies will nose dive, paving the way for layoffs and other reductions of the work force. And, individuals with high net worths will be subjected to a wealth tax, which will retroactively steal money earned in the past. In summary, America will experience a gigantic effort to redistribute wealth at the expense of one economic class.

Sanders will stifle military engagement overseas including those that are meant to fight off terrorism, human rights violations and imperialistic regimes. Middle East hotspots such as Afghanistan, Lebanon, Yemen, and Iran will foment new organizations that want to recreate another 9/11 attack. Military responses to human rights violations will not happen exposing million of individuals to genocide and religious discrimination. This type of intervention is among the most honorable of all actions, yet, the new president will not endorse them.

Our borders will be even more porous under a Sanders administration. New illegal immigration will be re-characterized as legal, as I.C.E. and other border protection agencies are disbanded. The objective would be to encourage more poor people to come to the US to increase the number of liberal voters. This would effectively change the distribution of voters throughout the country. The result of such an outrageous policy will be more crime, more hardship for border states and greater unemployment.

Health care will be in turmoil as one-payer insurance replaces thousands of private plans. Millions of Americans will lose protection they are happy with, replaced by mundane free benefits. Carte blanche access to hospitals and doctors will overload our health system, and our care will degrade into a socialized system characterized by long waits for doctors and hospital beds and poor treatment. Just like Obama, Sanders will ram this new system down the throats of all Americans. To make matters worse illegal residents will receive free services.

Student loans will be extinguished. The unfairness of this proposal is mindboggling. Students who drew down loans without consideration of how they would repay them would get a free ride. In the meantime, millions of students who have been paying would not be reimbursed. One should keep in mind that many conscientious students worked while attending school and/or borrowed money from family to pay for their education. There is no way to fairly establish a system to extinguish debt. Rather, students should be given more time to pay debts they incurred. Repayment should mirror their current earnings.

It is politically fashionable to criticize corporations and banks. People like Sanders see evil in profit-minded corporations and executives. In the meantime, corporations employ millions of people, and banks provide the capital to businesses to grow and hire more Americans. To demonize a staple of American capitalism is idiotic and naïve. Emasculating these essential institutions makes no sense, but Sanders is set on doing it.

The reason why America is peaceful is because most of its citizens are civilized, and they obey the law. The police are an essential part of our society. They need to be overseen, and the rules that govern their actions must be clear. But, Sanders suggests that we should decrease the presence of our first responders, and many are outraged. The back and forth between the police and minorities can be worked out only if both sides are inclined to work towards that end. Decreasing protection in high crime areas is folly as is making police shy about meting out justice. Sanders favors less police intrusions in our lives. This would be a horrible mistake.

A vote for Sanders will bring us closer to chaos and financial disaster. What was left unsaid was the insane amount of money it would cost to deliver the entitlements that Sanders proposes to bestow on Americans.

 

Note: Most of the aforementioned changes cannot occur without cooperation of Congress, which will not happen unless the House remains in the hands of Democrats and the Senate flips to Democrat control.

 

 

It’s The Bumbler Versus The Communist -Edited Version

The only thing worse than having Donald Trump riding roughshod in the White House for another four years is having either Biden or Sanders taking his place in November.

How insane is the Democratic primary? A self-proclaimed socialist/communist streaked into the lead after four primaries, seemingly on his way to clearing the table and locking up the nomination.

Then, Crazy Joe miraculously bounced back in South Carolina with the help of the most senior black member of Congress, who mobilized his supporters to resuscitate Joe.

Shortly after that, Butt and Klo threw in the towel and endorsed Joe for the nomination. Butt took a long-term perspective and the political high road thereby securing future electoral opportunities, while Klo didn’t want to risk losing the primary in her own state. Both were lauded for their party loyalty.

And finally, the socialist and Crazy Joe went head to head during Super Tuesday when Joe amazingly won ten of 14 primaries, kicking Bernie’s butt (not Buttigieg). Most pundits think that Joe has the momentum moving forward, as he continues to receive more endorsements and bumble his way across the country.

Oh, I almost forgot about screaming Warren. Wow. What a bust she’s been. Liz never had a chance though. What political genius gave her the green light? Warren was so bad that she even lost the primary in her home state.

What’s next? Probably, Biden and Sanders will split the remaining delegates, and if Warren continues (I don’t know why she would), we may have a contested convention. If not, either Joe or Bernie will limp in with a victory in the first round. Trump is sharpening his teeth as he anxiously waits for one of them to win.

I would describe how a contested convention works, but I haven’t understood any of the explanations I’ve read about or seen on TV.

In any case, Trump is a shoe-in, like it or not. Joe couldn’t identify which woman on stage with him during a victory speech was his wife and which was his sister. Do you really want this man to have his finger on the nuclear button? Or would you rather have Karl Marx reincarnated?