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Story: In the Shadow of the Corona- Personal Reflections # 1, CA, March 16/2020

Updated: Jan 30, 2021

Date: 03/16/20

Place: Piedmont Ca

This devouring COVID-19 pandemic as it has been unveiling on the center stages, of our shaky global platforms, is mapped and daily updated below.

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE)

Yuval Harari  - a renown futuristic writer declared:  "This is the worst epidemic in 'at least 100 years:  - listen to this CNN Video

Unlike the flu, Corona virus is entirely novel to humans, so there is no latent immunity among the global population.

If the mortality rate of seasonal flu is 0.1% that of COVID-19 is 10 time more at 1% .Yet, when it overwhelms the medical systems, like it had in Wuhan - the Virus’s originated birth place, and in Italy - the viruses first major hot-spot, outside of China, the mortality rate climbs to 3-5%

The absurdity of this ordeal is, that in the process of developing a global resistance against this micro, yet potent “ticking bomb” virus, many virtuous souls will be sacrificed. 

Doomed to be impacted at this battlefield, the resilient survivors will, eventually, bring about a natural immunity to partial world's population. Only much later, and in an effort to curb the rapid spread of this super contagious virus, .the rest can also be further saved, by eventually having a human-made mass vaccination.

At least this is, according to the Guardian, the UK strategic plan to immunize its country’s population, when expecting the virus to freely roam around, circulate and infect until spring 2021, with about 8 million to be contaminated.

The flu kills 200,000-600,000 globally per year, while up to now only 6500  death cases were from the infectious coronavirus. 

So why is Corona paralyzing the world?

There are two reasons -

One : infectivity is much higher (60 times higher than influenza) and mortality also much higher .  .

Two: the second reason is: risk aversion

Aversion to risk vary in response to different catastrophe. We tolerate a 1:5000 chance of dying in a car crush, and thus don’t hesitate to drive a car .

Yet the probability of dying in a plane crash is

1: million, but we are programed to immediately stop flying, when we hear of a plane crush, since our tolerance to such a catastrophe is lower .

The probability of botulism in a food can is 10 exp -12., however one spoiled can, will convinced us to never touch it again.

The risk aversion to this unknown virus is apparently very high .

As the immune system declines past age 50, we are told, individuals over 60 - our own age group, are at the start of the highest risk of contracting the bugger virus.  50% of the 70+ age range, with also lung or cardio-vascular problems, have been infected, and 25% will die.

Although David and I are within the susceptible risky age range, the comforting news is, that we are set at its low end-point, and that we are, at least, spared the additional alarming mentioned maladies…

Yet, as not to push our advantageous "luck” we initially complied as advised, not to travel on commercial air and cruise lines, for some unknown while..  and aborted our plans to visit Tahiti and Israel - where my 2 amazing daughters, darling grands and other family members reside.


Realizing that many of the older folks, to whom the medicinal breakthroughs of the latest decades, have promised prolonged life (over 100) yet are now actually, more susceptible to a much sooner virus related “exit”, in addition to the tragic circumstantial realities few "silver lining" points should be illuminated,

Left with diminished financial resources, if at all, due to market and economic fall-out, the possibility of an earlier or sooner transfer of assets, to the younger, more immune surviving generation, actually had a calming effect on me…

Prior to this virus bombshell, blasting our lives as we have known it, I tended to feel a bit guilty over spending away our children’s inheritance on our many frequent lavish trips.

That nagging feeling, has now subsided…. Having been stranded and many liberties taken away, convinced me that the funds and freedom, taken so much for granted, were very well spent...

Shaken off a sleepy complaisance, the countries of the world have declared a state of disaster and within 3 weeks of panic, many aggressively shifted gears, to an over -reactive National Emergency mode.

Every few years throughout our long history, a flare up of another epidemic like  Measles, HIV, SARS, Ebola, MERS, H1N1 to name a few erupts. Since we have from time immemorial, been in a long battle against infectious viruses, and growing strains of antibiotic resistant bacteria, one would hope, that a functioning medical infrastructure, to effectively cope, battle and triumph over such incidental expected crises, would have been put in place long ago by our “brilliant” leaders…

Yet, as of mid March , 49 states with over 4000 infected cases and at least 60 death were reported in the US only. Of the world wide, 183,000 infected cases with over 7,000 dead from155 countries a were reported, and the numbers kept climbing..

The good news is that about 80,000  in total, are recovering cases. And in Israel - allegedly a country with “a direct open line to G-d” though almost 300 cases were infected, astonishingly no death, as of yet.. was reported.

Who knows… maybe the “Angel of Death” which 3,500 years ago, passed-over our forefathers in Egypt, as told in the biblical plagues ridden Pesach freedom story, would show the same kind of mercy, also this time around, when approaching this year’s April holiday celebration....

Furthermore, may this invented legendary angel creature show a generosity of spirit, and may it extend its compassionate operational powers, beyond the Holly-Land borders, sparing the lives of the many innocent souls of our glob.

In times of the Corona, it is perfectly understandable how G-d could have been invented, and how such an entity may serve as a fantastic placebo...

From the massive “weeding-out” in Iran, where about 4,600 were reported dead and 15,000 were infected, it seems that the magical powers of the virus Messenger, strangely inflicted an extra deadly might, on the major Evil Enemy. Iran has been bent on destroying, both Israel and US..

The reports on top Iranian leaders who were tested positive for the Coved19 virus, and the detected mass graves dug to berry the virus impacted Iranian victims, along with an additional Biblical size disastrous plague, in the form of huge desert Locust, hitting concurrently Southern Iran, are most suitable material, for another epic drama story... .

As the virus death tall has increased, Iran was compelled to ask for billions in loans from world bank.

I truly hope, that the request be declined.  Instead, aborting nuclear plans, and a halt to funding proxy armies and terror groups that Iran has backed up to materialize its expansionist ambitions, would obviously free the required funds. That money can be redirect to responsibly taking care of its own infected people, and by all means, could bring also, much more calm to the Middle East...

Apparently Iran was so desperate, that its religious cleric declared it would acquire Israeli medicinal product, should Israel develop vaccination against the Corona,

Nevertheless, how insane human beings can get?  

In the Middle East “Death business is conducted as usual” . Bombing, shelling and knifing involving the US, Israel, Hezbollah, Iran and the Palestinian have continued, as if this current border-less viral enemy engulfing us all, have not been collecting enough dead bodies “taxes” .

"Rocket attack wounds international troops in Iraq, potentially deepening U.S.-Iran tensions"

Remdesivir - an anti-viral drug from Gilead that showed effectiveness against MERS in primates, was being tried against COVID-19 and was in clinical trial in China and at San Francisco General and UCSF. 

This drug, along with an anti HIV drug and Plaquinel -a Malaria resistant drug for infections caused by mosquito bite, are now in some use.

This promising drugs cocktail was also given to a 38 years old infected Arab driver in Israel, who chauffeured around a group of visiting infected Greeks, and it helped his resurrection from the critical condition he sunk into.

So there is some hope... but belated..If the trials succeed Remdesivir might be available only for next winter, so hang in there..

In the mean time, as the virus is very susceptible to common anti-bacterial cleaning agents:  bleach, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol-based, there is a given permission to use them frequently and lavishly

More so, this extra disinfecting usage is perfectly aligned, at this time of the year, with the traditional Passover deep clean up..

Alas there is a drawback for some of us...

"The hellish side of hand washing: how coronavirus is affecting people with OCD "

For some OCD patients, not washing their hands is part of their treatment. So guidance to do so regularly is reviving their anxieties – and triggering them in others.

If coronavirus continues to spread, experts expect related cases of OCD to spike as well

Public Health systems are prepared to deal with only short-term outbreaks that last for weeks, thus the National Emergency measures are geared to slow the infected spread, we are told. They are needed to help health care providers deal more effectively with medical care demand peak, and to prevent a collapse of the systems, in hope that during the imposed prolonged slow down, the necessary immune drug will eventually be developed.

13,000 only respiratory ventilator are not enough to resuscitate the many who maybe gasping for air, according Dr. Antony Fauci- Director of NIAID 

And there are not, yet, protective masks and uniforms for all medical operational needs, nor enough testing capacity, to be broadly useful.

It took 8 hours for Bibi to get virus testing results in Israel, the shortest time in comparison to the 24 hours it took Trump, to get his negative testing results.

Furthermore, school closures, which left the young ones in need for care, were one of the biggest societal knock-on effects, preventing hospital staff  from coming to work.

This decrease in hospital capacity at a time of surging demand for hospital services, was critical. 

Also medical employees who needed to make accommodations for elderly parents, and for those with underlying conditions and immune-suppressed, got infected when not  immunized, which further contributed to a sever decrease in treatment resources.

If a preventative vaccine is not found soon, even if only 10-20% of the projected loss of life materializes, the entire treatment system may risk a collapse

With this slow down, as to deal more effectively against the infection spread, the limited resources, and lack of vaccine, you may want to consider leaving the globe temporarily until the wrath is over and, checking out into space, ...

SpaceX plans with the May target date  man-manned commercial Dragon and Falcon launch  1-2 launches scheduled a month satellite launches

The life as we have known prior to the corona breakout have dramatically hunkered down.

Daily new policies advances to save life, required adaption to immobilizing situations, and switching to new slow motion practices.

As to be kept disinfected and not to infect, the new term “social distancing” along with “isolation” and “quarantine” were incorporated in large usage, into our daily vocabulary.

In the battle against the “virus terrorism”, the sick need to be detected and removed. Fast and wide detection testing had kept us in long lines. Waiting routines, and preventative public measures were introduced and implemented.

Hand shaking, hugging, kissing and other forms of touching, were put into halt.

Well … these new encouraged “social distancing" practices may had eliminate the “headache” excuse in the context of procreation activities.

It may, as well, contributed, not only to protective measures against the corona invasive virus, but also shield against sexual predators…  

Tele-working (from home) as induced by large corporations, combined with all other prescribed "contact avoidance" may had substantially dieter sexual harassers from acting out.. especially those  older “dirty men”..

That tactic of Social Distancing, has been the justification to:

the travel restrictions and transportation ban in our cities-

BART at 50% capacity.

Competitive sports and musical concerts events, were also aborted.

Also shut downs of:

Religious establishments and Learning institutes like schools in NYC as well as entertainment and leisure cultural establishments - closing the iconic Disney World, and pulling down the curtains on Broadway stages.

Recommended closure of restaurants, bars, malls, movie theaters, fitness centers, or any other crowded hot spot places, so attractive to this uber-active party-goer predatory virus. were implemented all around.

A flood of returning passengers stranded in major airports before the imposed 2 weeks self isolation was applied, and who were waiting for hours in enormously long crowded lines for free testing, had insanely accomplished the opposite. Many more were exposed to infection risks. Likewise, was the case with mobs crowding the supermarkets to stock up on essentials.

This afternoon at our local Trader Joe's, people lined out patiently and let entry in batches of 10 at a time, only to find many empty shelves.

Retirement communities and prisons were forbidden visitors and kept their risk-susceptible clients, from getting out-doors.

Public services, central banks operated in emergency mode

The tourism sector was seeing the most drastic hit, with flights, cruises, hotels and the web of businesses who feed off the sector, struggling enormously.

It was advised to change shopping habits, avoid the mall and postpone elective surgeries.

Only pharmacies, supermarkets and petrol stations have kept open in full operation. And also up to now, daily walk through the open streets of our small township, was aloud.

Coronavirus has changed how we shop, travel and work

In just a matter of weeks.

In summery : People in affected areas became accustomed to wearing masks, stocking up on essentials, canceling social and business gatherings, scrapping travel plans, and working from home.

international manufacturers were being forced to rethink where to buy and produce their goods -teleworking and staggered shifts - work-from-home policies are established.

If you don’t loose it from the actual contamination, then the related stress induced, the uncertainties associated with job lost, and other social and economic constrains, the mercurial stock exchange, the self imposed isolation, reduction in distraction outlets, or solo extended parenting responsibilities toward bored wild kids, may have done you in….

Still... there is additional “Silver Lining” also in this maddening situation

*A welcoming news to Animal Activist: legislature has already imposed a total ban on trade and consumption of wild animals

*Reduction in traffic left uncontested free and fast Hwy-s

* Many more new virtual communities have flourished

* Italians are singing songs during lock down

Italy has 17,660 confirmed cases and 1,266 deaths, according to the latest data. Also there schools, museums, universities and cinemas have been closed.The shutdown is weighing heavily on Italy’s economy.

Yet, Italians are singing songs from their windows to boost morale during coronavirus lock down.

And here are few additional suggestions to lift your spirit during the self imposed isolation:

You can read again Tolstoy's "Ana Coronona"

Or better step up the "Ma-Corona" dance...


Former Prisoner of Zion Natan Sharansky's Advice for Those in Quarantine - Avital Chizhik-Goldschmidt (Twitter)

Israeli human rights activist Natan Sharansky, who spent nine years in Soviet prisons, spoke to students and parents at schools in New York who are confined to home quarantine because of the coronavirus about remaining productive amid isolation.

    Some of his thoughts: Don't lose your sense of humor; continue making light of the situation, however dire.

    The power of Jewish unity is when we feel together with one another, even if we are in solitary confinement.

Here are additional 10 ways to cope with being cooped up

As of tomorrow starting Tuesday March 17th, Bay Area residents are ordered to stay home,

Residents of six Bay Area counties, including Santa Clara and San Mateo, are being ordered to stay at home for all but "essential reasons" for the next three weeks, as the cases of COVID-19 continue to rise.

No doubt that recalling the inflicted 10 plagues, mentioned at  the Pesach Hagada, during the Passover Seder, while being confided and stripped off our precious freedoms, will hit much closer to home and will bear most real existential meaning this year.

Stay healthy, safe and sane.


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