The Policy of Deception Killing Americans

What America Needs is a Vaccination Against Presidential Malfeasance

Trump’s Timeline

February 25: We’re very close to a vaccine

February 28: Virus will soon disappear

March: Testing for all (no tests available)

March 24: shutdown lasting months was untenable (still ongoing)

April 10: death toll will be less the 55000

April 17: maybe 65000

May: I hope it is less than 100000

Statement to Woodward: “I always wanted to play it down”

Death toll climbs to 210,000

September 26th White House Event infects 34 people including the President and the First Lady

Cases begin to rise again, Vaccine still under development

President holds rallies downplaying the need for social distancing and precautions.

Death toll

10

50

500

1000

10000

15000

25000

50000

100000

150000

210000

Final Death toll?

When do we stop listening to a President whose only skills are mendacity and self-delusion?

Are 213,742 214,771 deaths not enough?

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If you liked, or hated, this piece, let me know why. Comment, criticize, and share. While I have your attention, here’s some more for your entertainment.

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JEBWizard Publishing (www.jebwizardpublishing.com) is a hybrid publishing company focusing on new and emerging authors. We offer a full range of customized publishing services.

Everyone has a story to tell, let us help you share it with the world. We turn publishing dreams into a reality. For more information and manuscript submission guidelines contact us at info@jebwizardpublishing.com or 401-533-3988.

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The Price of Willful Ignorance

First, let me preface this by saying I wish the President and First Lady a speedy recovery. I wish this for all people affected by this virus. But as the President, Mr. Trump owed a duty of responsibility to the American People to lead them in times of crisis, and he has failed in this.

He had a responsibility to protect this country and to do what needed to be done. Still, the evidence of failure is right before our eyes. He couldn’t, or more troubling, wouldn’t even protect himself.

How Bayesian methods embody Occam's razor | by Felix Laumann | NeuralSpace  | Medium

I take no stock in the nonsense of fate, or karma, or even poetic justice as an explanation for Mr. Trump being infected by the virus. Like Occcam’s razor, the answer is always simpler than that, and it is based on science. Something that has become an anathema to many Americans.

Mr. Trump contracted the virus because he ignored the straightforward guidelines of wearing a mask in public, maintaining social distance, avoiding large crowds, and minimizing physical contact with others.

But more egregious than placing himself and those around him at risk, he is pandering to the conspiracy lunatics who see political motivations in any criticisms of Mr. Trump handling the pandemic or the jingoistic malcontents who take pleasure in blaming China while ignoring the evidence right before their eyes.

Suppose one were to review the list of the most popular shows on TV in America. In that case, it goes a long way to explain many Americans’ warped perceptions of reality. These “reality” shows are anything but real, but they are telling.

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe. 

Albert Einstein

One of the most tragic ironies in Mr. Trump disparaging the CDC and other agencies that recommended these precautions based on science is his complete faith in the rapid development of a vaccine. When such a vaccine becomes available, and we all hope it is sooner rather than later, it will come from long-established scientific methodology not Presidential directives or boastful claims.

Though some believe they might master the virus simply by the contempt of it, willful ignorance is nothing but an analgesic for the scientific reality of viral pathogens and how we should be dealing with it. They drank the Kool-aid offered by Mr. Trump and now can’t understand why the world doesn’t blindly follow this foolish course of self-deception.

Mr. Trump failed. He ignored common sense, and he is now suffering the consequences. More importantly, his actions have directly placed more than American lives at risk. He has put the entire government of the United States at risk by his careless actions.

Mr. Trump had a golden opportunity in February to get out in front of the pandemic. It would still have taken lives and livelihoods but at a much lower cost. Instead, he placed the false rhetoric of his “economic success” over the long-term health of a nation at the cost of 200,000 American lives.

The real irony lies with him in Walter Reed Hospital. There, Mr. Trump benefits from the best medical care in the world. Something he and those in Congress (who also have such access) would deny to most Americans in the pursuit of repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Perhaps the knowledge he would be whisked by helicopter to such a facility at the moment of any medical crisis made ignoring the risk much easier.

As I said in the beginning, I wish Mr. Trump and the First Lady a speedy recovery. I do not wish him ill; I wish him gone from the position he holds. I hope he recovers and finds it within himself to act Presidential at least once in his time in office and peacefully hand over power to the next President on January 20, 2021.

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JEBWizard Publishing (www.jebwizardpublishing.com) is a hybrid publishing company focusing on new and emerging authors. We offer a full range of customized publishing services.

Everyone has a story to tell, let us help you share it with the world. We turn publishing dreams into a reality. For more information and manuscript submission guidelines contact us at info@jebwizardpublishing.com or 401-533-3988.

Signup here for our mailing list for information on all upcoming releases, book signings, and media appearances.

R.O.A.R.: Simple Rules for American Lives

If the evidence is to be believed, something that should be, well, self-evident, the US is performing like an amateur boxer facing Muhammed Ali when it comes to managing the pandemic.

At just over 4.4% of the world’s population, we hold the unenviable claim to almost 25% of the world’s cases of COVID-19. Plus 138,358 of the 577,954 who have died so far. But this is not a criticism of our response as a nation, there is plenty already written about that.

No, this is more personal.

This is a criticism of our behavior as something that transcends our status as Americans. It is our conduct as humans that requires serious attention.

Somehow, in our impatience, sense of entitlement, or just plain selfishness, we seem to have forgotten our responsibilities and covered them over with a claim to certain rights.

If we would just learn to R. O. A. R with common decency, we might rehabilitate ourselves in the eyes of the world (and perhaps save a few Americans from needless death.)

Rights carry Obligations, and Ability is tempered by Responsibilities.

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Responsibility. We must be responsible for our behavior toward others. And we have a reasonable expectation for them to behave responsibly in kind.

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ROAR

Rights carry Obligations, and Ability is tempered by Responsibilities.

It’s not that hard.  

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Finding a way to a healthier, happier life by understanding and managing our “Forbidden Emotions.”

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American Impatience: Blessing and Curse

“Hastiness and superficiality are the psychic diseases of the twentieth century.”

― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

Americans are an impatient people. It seems it is a characteristic we’ve borne since the very founding of this nation. When the Europeans first set foot upon the land, driven here by several factors, impatience for change played a major part.

The original colonists sought tolerance for their differences in religious tenets. They were impatient with a government unwilling to change and accommodate them. Their impatience with conditions in Europe took hold in America. They grew impatient with Native American resistance to their usurping of traditional tribal lands.

This impatience grew under the boot heel of English domination, erupting in open rebellion to the crown. It led to the creation of a new experiment in self-governing, disdain of royalty, and loathing the concept of divine ascension to the throne.

Our impatience drove us to ignore many of the founding principles—life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—as we exterminated Native Americans in a quest to seize their land to satisfy our impatience with the status quo.

Yet, over time, despite sometimes violent changes, we came to tame our impatience and learn to direct it toward the common good.

When our impatience clashed with the resistance to abolishing slavery and the secession of those who refused to release their fellow humans from bondage, we went to war.

Our impatience with the continuous bloodshed faced an ever more powerful force in the commitment and dedication of one of the greatest Presidents we have ever had, Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln understood our impatience and turned it to accomplish the goal. It was our most costly war, yet we survived.

In 1939, the world plunged into a global conflagration. Our impatience with the last vestiges of the depression caused us to turn away from the battle as something outside our concern. Roosevelt understood this and sought to help those affected European nations without coming up against our intransigence to get involved.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, and the Axis powers declared war on the United States, Americans put aside their impatience. For four long years, we fought and died to save the world.

Yet, an element of our impatience drove us to victory—and set the stage for our potential destruction. Seeking an end to the war ignited an effort to develop a weapon so terrible no one would want to use it.

And we succeeded and failed. We built the weapon and, in our impatience with waiting for the inevitable fall of Japan, became the only nation to use atomic weapons.

By July 1945, the defeat of the Axis powers was inevitable. Germany had surrendered, the Japanese were starving, surrounded, and running out of oil. When the Japanese refused to believe we had such a devastating weapon, despite efforts to convince them, our impatience compelled us to grant them a view of Armageddon.

Thus came the destruction of Hiroshima, followed by the obliteration of Nagasaki. Our impatience had ended the war and opened a new chapter in world history. Soon, the atomic bomb gave way to ICBMs—missiles equipped with thermonuclear warheads.

The dawn of MAD—Mutually Assured Destruction — was upon us.

This same impatience has accomplished much good. It drove us to put a man on the moon. To be the first people to leave the planet in the dawn of a new age, the age of exploring the universe. The directing of our impatience into a defined goal should have shown us the power within ourselves.

Instead, we grew impatient with the slow progress and turned away. We turned our efforts inward to more self-gratifying pursuits. Our drive for the moon ended with Apollo 17. While we have the ISS, and Americans are in orbit almost all the time, we are just now recapturing the ability to launch our own astronauts.

Youth have always been impatient, wanting each day to come sooner, to flyby, and then move on to the future they view as both destiny and a better place. Impatience fueled by the mistaken belief they have all the time in the world.

The folly of youth unfettered by the inevitability of death.

In a time when the simplest actions—wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, minimizing the risk to our fellow Americans—are all that is needed to ride out the storm, we can’t manage even a few months of patience and determination.

With age comes the desire to slow down time, savor the moment, fend off the rapidity with which it passes. Yet when confronted with a challenge, we’ve forgotten all the lessons of history. We ignore the benefit of tempering impatience despite the hard lessons of our history.

America’s impatience is a dual-edged sword. Driving us to achieve when others urged caution or sending us on fool’s missions toward disasters.

We are living in a time of a pandemic—a time that tests our mettle. Our impatience may kill us if we do not choose our path with care. We forget we are people capable of patient determination in the face of adversity. We forget the legacy of two World Wars, lost to the fog of the past. We forget the fallacy of our mistakes, lost in the noise of our loathing any inconvenience.

We may have the right to pursue happiness, but often that path is paved with challenges requiring patience.

In a time when the simplest actions—wearing a mask, maintaining social distance, minimizing the risk to our fellow Americans—are all that is needed to ride out the storm, we can’t manage even a few months of patience and determination.

Our impatience as Americans drives us to accomplish many things. Yet if we fail to temper that impatience with rationality, it will be our demise. It has already caused the death of 131,509 Americans. If we want to be impatient, be impatient with those who refuse to perform such simple acts out of pure selfishness.

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Rights, Responsibilities, and Obligations

There is much talk about the rights of people to go about their daily lives free from government directives and restrictions. No one who understands the Constitution disagrees with such a position. But discussing rights without including the responsibilities and obligations such rights include obscures the point.

The final evaluation of the success or necessity of the social distancing, business closings, and other measures put in place to control the spread of COVID-19 will be a long time coming. Our knowledge of the virulence, infection rates, mortality rates, and recovery rates will take time to correlate as we gather data.

Responding to pandemics require judgment calls. These decisions impact lives. Failing to implement a reasonable plan to minimize the impact on people and medical resources can lead to disasters.

Overreaction can have the effect of the “boy who cried wolf” as people discount what they perceive as a draconian and unnecessary intrusion on their lives. When a genuine crisis arises—such as the one we face now— past poor experiences would cause people to ignore it.

We need to base the decision to relax restrictions on several factors.

  1. Our best and considered analysis of the risk of a renewed spike in exposures and infections.
  2. Our experience in treatment options learned throughout the pandemic so far and the demand capacity available in our medical facilities, including equipment stockpiles.
  3. A scientifically valid projection of the availability of improved drugs to treat and a vaccine to prevent the virus.
  4. The long-term economic impact on the country, businesses, and those forced onto the unemployment rolls.
  5. The rights of individuals to live their lives without restrictions.

These are not simple matters. They require a well thought out strategy that takes each factor into consideration in crafting a path back to normalcy.

Yet the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness—the famous words from the Declaration of Independence—also come with obligations and responsibilities.

You have a right to live your life, and no one can deny it. But this right does not come without an obligation to allow others the same right.

You have the right to liberty but cannot deny others the same.

You may pursue whatever makes you happy, but not if it denies others the same joy.

No one can predict what the effect of relaxing restrictions will bring. It is one of the most critical judgment calls we will ever make. But we should remember almost eighty thousand Americans have died during this pandemic. Arguing over how we tally those deaths and whether it was underlying conditions or the virus itself that were the cause is an exercise in futility.

People died after contracting the virus. We need respond now, with the best information available, and re-evaluate once all the data is in. Then use that information to plan for the inevitable next one. Assuming facts not in evidence is dangerous.

The reality is, it won’t matter to those who may yet die what was the primary cause until we control this virus. Something has changed in the world and we need be very smart about how we deal with it.

Reasonable expectation of fulfilling your obligations to others does not infringe on your rights, it is a guarantee that others meet the same obligations.

The fact is we do not have a clear picture of the course, level of contagion, or proven method of controlling, treating, or preventing this virus. Until we do, focusing on your obligations to ensuring the rights of others is as important as insisting on exercising your own.

______________________________________________________________________________

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Judgement Calls

“What’s the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we’re willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?”

F. Sherwood Rowland

Despite what many might believe, life is a series of judgement calls. We often face a plethora of options with little or no clear guidance on what path to follow.

As we first venture out on our own to face these choices, a lack of experience compounds the problem or youthful exuberance—what some might see as youthful indiscretions—makes us vulnerable to the verities of fate. Whether there is such a thing as fate or pre-destination doesn’t really matter.

Whether we make choices or fate made the choices for us, the ramifications still take effect. I, for one, believe in free will. As we gain experience, the value of making considered judgement calls becomes all the more clear.

The critical importance of judgement calls come into sharp focus when we face the decision about following the guidelines as we re-emerge from under the shadow of COVID-19.

Science offers the best basis to weigh our options. Emotions, instinct, and gut feelings, while useful, can sometimes be dangerous when making decisions that may affect the lives of others. Our emotional need for stability, consistency, and flexibility in our daily lives comes with a caution label.

Sometimes what we desire the most is that which we need the least.

Science tells us this virus is dangerous, easily spread, and highly contagious. Those who suffer the most severe—sometimes fatal—symptoms cross the spectrum of humans. There is no “common” victim. Treatment protocols, such as they are, are by necessity tailored to the individual patient. Doctors and nurses are making some of the most significant judgement calls because there is no widely accepted treatment protocol, although we are gaining knowledge with each passing day.

Until we develop a vaccine, and until our collective experience provides us with a roadmap to the most successful treatment protocols, this virus poses an imminent and deadly threat.  One that is not going away because we grow tired of the inconvenience, see bogeyman hands in the restrictions, or wish it to be so.

The science on the progression of the virus is clearer than it was several months ago. The effectiveness of social distancing, as debilitating on our daily lives as it has been, seems to have slowed—but not stopped—the spread of the virus.

Yet many seem to ignore the facts before us.

They will ignore the predictions based on deeply considered analysis of the evidence we have before us—not guarantees, not certainties— for no better reason than a gut feeling. Science suggests keeping these controls in place, while we relax them in a managed way, as the best course.

We should make that an elemental part of our judgement calls.

The premise is simple. Control the spread, minimize the drain on hospitals, until we develop a vaccine. Virus have always affected humans. Evolution has always changed viruses. Another will mutate and replace this one. It is using the best tools we have to face the threat that will make a difference, not focusing on the inconvenience.

And when this passes we need redouble our efforts at preparing for the next one. This is a judgement call based on facts and experience not emotions, frustrations, and irrationality.

People flood social media with memes and numbers and arguments on both sides of the issue, yet these forums are almost always emotion-based and agenda driven. And those who would follow medical advice from such forums should seriously question their own judgement.

Those who see visions of a new Black Death scourging the world want to lock themselves away until they can be guaranteed of their survival.

Those who see the hands of a governmental conspiracy, controlled by the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-seeing, yet invisible deep-state, want to throw open the doors, toss caution and rationality to the wind, and go back to “normal” without so much as any acknowledgment of the real and deadly threat.

Why some who protest against these closures feel the need to bear arms is beyond me. It makes them seem more unstable and less rational. And those who cower in their homes out of an irrational belief they can forever avoid exposure to viral pathogens are equally delusional.

We face significant choices over the next few months. Many of those personal decisions will be judgement calls; follow guidelines, wear a mask, keep practicing social distancing. While we all may live our lives, and we should not passively accept government imposed limitations, keep in mind our sense of human decency can guide us.

I, for one, will wear a mask until the science says it is safe not to. I will limit my exposure to others and maintain a social distance. I will do these things not just to protect myself and my family, but to protect everyone.

I do not want to spread the virus to anyone else even if I have no fear of catching it myself. I do not want to cause the death of any other human, even if I did not know I did.

Why would anyone want to bear the thought of making such a poor judgement call?

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Virion: Is Global Warming Sending Us A Message?

Could it be the melting of the frozen Arctic Tundra is the source of COVID-19? Has climate change awakened a new plague on mankind?

In 1967 two scientists, Syukuro Manabe and Richard Wetherald, released a report that reverberates to this day. And like most evidence-based reporting perceived to impact business or economics in a negative way, it was ignored, demeaned, discredited, and challenged. Ultimately, more research confirmed the evidence, and corroborated the initial report. Leading to its wide acceptance.

They did not set out to establish the existence of global warming and anthropomorphic climate change. Manabe and Wetherald posed a question—what effect does the increase of Co2 have on the atmosphere—and followed the evidence. Interestingly enough, using mostly calculations on paper lacking access to sophisticated computers, they predicted a 2.36-degree rise in atmospheric temperature over fifty years.

Measurements taken in 2017, the fiftieth anniversary of their prediction, measured the actual rise at 2.57 degrees. The science predicting the rise was remarkably accurate and borne out by the verifiable numbers.

(Manabe, S. and Wetherald, R.T., 1967. Thermal equilibrium of the atmosphere with a given distribution of relative humidity. Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences) and https://www.carbonbrief.org/prof-john-mitchell-how-a-1967-study-greatly-influenced-climate-change-science

In Cosmos |Possible Worlds| by Ann Druyan, she points out that, based on this initial report,

“The larger community of climate scientists predicted these impacts of climate change. Heightened flooding of coastal cities, check. The mass death of coral reefs by ocean warming, check. The increase in intensity of catastrophic storms, check. Lethal heatwaves, droughts, and runaway wildfires of unprecedented magnitude, check. The scientists warned us. The corporations with vested interests in the fossil fuel industry and the governments they supported acted just like the tobacco companies. They pretended the science was unsettled and stalled for precious years.”

Druyan points out an even more ominous consequence of our failure to heed the evidence provided by science.

“An outbreak may begin when a virion, a mega-virus, dormant for over 100,000 years, is awakened as the permafrost of the Arctic melts away.”

Since the consensus—despite the spin by those with a political agenda to make this some intentional plot by China to obfuscate incompetence within the administration—is that this virus is neither man-made or genetically modified, it is a naturally occurring phenomenon.

And likely to occur again.

So, could it be an ancient virion* — the complete, infective form of a virus outside a host cell, with a core of RNA or DNA and a capsid—long dormant in the once frozen permafrost of the Arctic, now rises from a cryogenic slumber to ravage the world with a new virus?

We have re-embraced the benefits of science. We look to scientists and researchers for a vaccine to eliminate the threat of COVID-19. Shouldn’t we be willing to heed the warnings long available to us to prepare for what will inevitably be the next challenge facing the world?

Suppose the virus is “man-made,” not by our intent but by our willful ignorance?

*https://www.differencebetween.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Difference-Between-Virus-and-Virion.pdf

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Social Distancing: Turns Out I’ve Been Practicing This for Years

It would seem many are put out by this forced social separation to stave off the spread of the Coronavirus. In taking an inventory of things in my life, I realized that there isn’t a significant difference in my daily activity between BC (Before Coronavirus) and DC (During Coronavirus.)

While I am certain those who live in an urban environment find it much more disruptive, I live in a neighborhood. One modeled on the post-WWII design and celebrated in that classic tune by the Monkees, Pleasant Valley Sunday.

The local rock group down the street
Is trying hard to learn their song
Serenade the weekend squire, who just came out to mow his lawn

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Rows of houses that are all the same
And no one seems to care

See Mrs. Gray, she’s proud today because her roses are in bloom
Mr. Green he’s so serene, He’s got a TV in every room

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land
Mothers complain about how hard life is
And the kids just don’t understand

Creature comfort goals
They only numb my soul and make it hard for me to see
My thoughts all seem to stray to places far away
I need a change of scenery

Ta Ta Ta…

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Charcoal burning everywhere
Another Pleasant Valley Sunday
Here in status symbol land

Another Pleasant Valley Sunday…

Who knew how prescient those architects of the 1950s were,  envisioning a time when we would need houses built with a space between them, perfect for maintaining a non-lethal distance from our neighbors?

As to my daily routine, little has changed there either. I get up sometime between 5 and 6 am, write for a few hours. Then I make coffee and breakfast when my wife gets up, attend to any chores around the house, write and/or edit more, perhaps work on our puzzle addiction, read for a few hours.

Then repeat.

The only noticeable change is our shopping habits. We abandoned the concept of doing a giant shopping long ago, instead buying a few things to make for dinner and stocking up on just the essentials for breakfast or lunch.

The difference here is we now can have all that stuff delivered.

This both supports the economy and puts money in the pockets of those Instacart, GrubHub, and DoorDash drivers. Who thought such normally invisible occupations would become essential, rising from anonymity to rock star level popularity?

In scenes reminiscent of my childhood, I now keep an eye out for the delivery trucks like I did for Palagi’s Ice Cream.  They could bring a tear to many an eye if they installed bells on the trucks to ring as they entered a neighborhood.

In this greatest of countries in the world, one can even get beer, wine, and vodka delivered. This may not be Nirvana or Paradise, but it is a reasonable facsimile.

I think the younger generations—enamored of Instant Messaging, Texting, and Facetime—are more prepared for the siege of isolation. Those apps are their preferred form of communication, even when sitting next to each other.

For me, I often leave my phone at home just to increase my level of isolation. I miss the days when phones stayed tethered to a structure where they belonged.

When phones morphed from household furniture to what amounts to a virtual ankle bracelet–monitoring our every move and putting us in constant communication–we lost a bit of our freedom and independence.

Progress isn’t always progressive.

Our other addiction is taking walks. Once, we took one along the Appalachian Trail. My daughter will not be shocked I mentioned this. She will tell you it was only a matter of time. There’s a joke about people who’ve hiked the trail.

How can you tell if someone has hiked the Appalachian Trail?
Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

And so it goes.

We’ve continued our daily walks, weather permitting. The nearby bike path is deserted on most days, but there’s been a slight uptick in the numbers on nicer days. Still, the logistics of walking the path allow a proper separation.

When the crowds (such as they are) prohibit this, we walk the neighborhood where everyone has adopted to “move to the opposite side of the street” policy.  It makes for a pleasant walk, the opportunity to say hello to our fellow inmates, and avoid the constant bombardment of the latest statistics on the virus. 

When the occasional thoughts of going out to dinner, or for a drink, or seeking some outside social contact come wafting up from my subconscious mind, I take pause. I measure the loss against what I am doing. For me at least, it’s hardly worth noticing.

Turns out, I am good at this social distancing/separation thing. But I won’t miss all the cars being driven by people wearing masks. Lines of traffic now look like a casting call for a show about an Emergency Room.

But the inevitable time will pass, and soon AC (After Coronavirus) will be upon us.

While it is important to stay informed and practice this separation, it is just as important to live life.  You can’t get these days back, so make the most of it. When this passes, as it will, some of you might want to hold on to a moment or two of self-isolation. Time spent in quiet contemplation, absent all the hustle and bustle of life, might do you some good.

Perhaps it will make you better appreciate—and see the differences in—all the things you have that truly matter, and what you can do without.  Learning to separate the flotsam and jetsam of life from the things that make life worth living might make all this temporary disruption to the world something more than just self-preservation.

P.S. For those of you familiar with the Monkees tune, no need to thank me for that song playing over and over in your mind. Consider it a soundtrack for your isolation. JB