Life or Death Depends on Impulsivity?

As of this morning, there are 102,110 documented cases of the Coronavirus with 1,606 deaths in the United States.  The numbers doubled nearly every third day this last week.  There is no sign that it is stopping or slowing down.

Earlier this week, Impeached President Trump said he would like to negate social distancing in time for Easter Sunday so we can all go to church together.  It’s a beautiful thought that is not backed by science and health experts.

It is very scary that whether I live or die relies on the decisions of a man who went bankrupt six times not because he was a clever business man, but because he was impulsive and excessively overpaid for things.  His business reputation is so bad that American banks will not loan him money to fund his projects.  This has left the Trump Organization to rely on Germany’s Deutsche Bank who is known for money laundering for Russian Oligarchs.

Apparently, Impeached President Trump is motivated more by money and his re-election than the health and protection of the American people which he swore to do when he took the oath.  It became okay to sacrifice those 60 and older for the sake of the economy and his re-election, when someone on Fox News said the “…cure is worse than the disease” in referencing social distancing, unemployment and lost revenue.  The 60 plus portion of the U.S. represents 70 million people or 1 in 5 Americans.  This thought leaves me speechless.

I knew this day was coming late at night on November 8, 2016 when a sense of dread came over me as I learned that an incompetent, mullti-failed business man would become our President.  From day one, I had no confidence that this person could keep us safe and maintain our fragile democracy.  I did hope that he would be surrounded by sounder and keener minds that would keep us safe, but for now I can only hope that this is true.

Sheltered in place…

New Jersey schools were closed on Friday, March 13, 2020 by the health department to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.  Parking lots of local restaurants are nearly empty and the restaurants are posting handwritten signs letting us know takeout and curbside delivery are available.  I’ve been to the grocery store arriving before 7 A.M to avoid a crowd.  I had secured a grocery delivery for tomorrow a week ago, but was notified yesterday that all deliveries have been canceled due to product shortages.  I’ve been engaged in remote learning for my students all week.  Nothing is normal.

As of this morning, there are 19,775 infections and 276 deaths in the United States.  Wasn’t it like a week ago, there were only 15 U.S. cases?  There are currently 890 infections and 11 deaths just in New Jersey.  There are currently 47,000 infections and 4,000 deaths in Italy.  This is important because we are only a few weeks behind and on the same trajectory.  Social distancing is our only fight as there is no vaccine nor treatment.  And, its the only way to prevent a healthcare crisis as hospitals are running out of beds and safety equipment for healthcare workers.  Non-essential workers are being furloughed and told to stay home many or most without pay.  This is creating a second crisis, a financial crisis.  Claims for unemployment insurance are skyrocketing nationally.  The Stockmarket had its worst week since maybe the 1930s.

Some suggest that this social distancing could be required through August and might have to be reinstated beginning around Christmas through January and February.  We’re 12-18 months away from a vaccine.  So maybe summer 2021, life can begin to return to normal.  But, we might be changed forever, just like our parents and grandparents were forever changed by living through the great depression.  Stay strong and follow all the precautions as we need to get through this together.


2020 Pandemic: Covid19 (Real Fear)

This is the most serious world health crisis of my lifetime.  It’s the first time I felt truly at risk since I am now over the age of 60.  I wrestled going to work these last few days, especially yesterday.  I was torn between being loyal to my employer, my co-workers and most importantly my students, and quarantining myself at home in an attempt to save my life.  Even though I was concerned, I went to work, but still contemplated the idea of using half my 20 years worth of accrued sick days starting next week to hide from this potentially deadly virus.  Luckily, I didn’t have to make this decision because the County Health Department shut the schools until April 20th when spring break is included.

We have provided the parents with online learning programs and a packet of materials to complete homebound instruction for 2 hours per day with follow-up communication through phone and computer.  Even, though closing the school has relieved my fear of future exposures from students and staff, I’m still worried that I may have already been exposed even though there is zero evidence that anyone I was with was sick.

Even though, I feel better about not being in a smallish classroom with 9 students and 5 other adults, I’m still feeling unsettled in that my new daily routines are going to be quite different.  Should I go grocery shopping or have them delivered, if possible?  Should I go out to lunch to a small sandwich shop or go to church or stay home for the next 5 weeks?  This is not at all like summer break when life is a bit more carefree.  I don’t know what this is like because I never experienced it before.

I’m feeling some anxiety and am having some difficulty sleeping at night.  It’s not because I’m thinking about anything specific, its just a systemic feeling of life as I knew it has changed and I’m experiencing a greater sense of uncertainty.  This is unknown territory.

Republican, Democrat, Independent, citizen, immigrant, male, female, straight, gay, rich, poor or in the middle and anyone else not listed are in the same boat and we need to work together.  Together we need to make sure we are more prepared for the next pandemic which is sure to come.  The greatest and smartest country in the world needs to lead in preparedness.  We need competent leadership and not someone who makes it up as he goes along wasting valuable time.  A successful president needs to surround him/herself with experts and then be quiet only speaking to reassure Americans that we are doing everything in our power to protect us all.


A Week of Fear and Hope….

The coronavirus that started in China and has killed more than a dozen people in Washington state has made its way to Burlington County, New Jersey.  Much of the news has been dominated by reports of its spread, how it may effect us over the next few weeks or months and how our government and its agencies are handling it.  Right now we are experiencing a bit of uncertainty and it has caused the stock market to tumble.  Not sure how it will all turn out!

On the hopeful side, the moderate side of the democratic primary consolidated in what seemed like an instantaneous flash.  Biden was performing poorly in the early primaries and the moderate voters were floating between Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Klobuchar and maybe even Warren.  Then South Carolina Congressman Jim Clyburn in an emotional speech endorsed Biden.  As a result, Biden won South Carolina and the momentum carried into Super Tuesday and made Biden the new frontrunner.  Then Bloomberg, Buttigieg, Klobuchar and Warren suspended their campaigns leaving only Biden and Sanders.  Now moderate democrats have a focus and can join together to elect Biden and defeat Impeached President Trump and return to normalcy, decency and integrity.

On another hopeful, positive, note, U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton rebuked Attorney General William Barr’s handling of the Mueller Report questioning his “principal conclusions” letter and whether it was calculated to help Trump politically.  The day that he delivered that letter to the public left me bewildered.  It was an obvious coverup of the facts laid out in the Mueller Report and it left me wondering how can the head of the ‘justice’ department derail a legitimate report that should hold the president accountable?  I am hopeful the truth will win!

All of this week’s news, gave us a long-needed break from endless coverage of Impeached President Trump’s antics, half-truths and outright lies.  Let’s pray for the good health of all!