I think we all can agree that we had a memorable Pesach. Statistics are important but they rarely tell the whole story. The numbers as they relate to the coronavirus are no different. There have been disagreements regarding the criteria used in counting a death as being caused by the virus. Also, the numbers of those who test positive for the virus have their own limitations. They only include those who were tested. Furthermore, they do not distinguish between those who have a mild case and those who had to be hospitalized. There is a tendency for some to minimize the condition of those with COVID-19 who did not require hospitalization.
My fellow columnist Moshe Hill, in the April 8 edition of the QJL, in a column titled “I just recovered from COVID-19,” addressed some of these issues. He described in detail his bout with the virus and how debilitating it was, even though he never ended up being hospitalized. He also mentioned his frustration with getting tested, which included getting the test and receiving the results. These complaints are consistent with what has been reported throughout the country.
Moshe did an important public service in telling his story. It reinforces the importance of abiding by the rules of social distancing and face covering. I am glad that he has recovered from the illness and, hopefully, his wife, who he mentioned was feeling ill, is feeling better.
It has been a tough month for the country. What gives me hope is how the American people have joined and have generally abided by their states’ stay-at-home orders. It is not easy to do, because of the economic and emotional effects of being forced to stay at home. The percentage who have done so is much higher than was expected. It has saved countless lives and has reduced the number of people who have gotten the virus.
There also has been an outpouring of support for those on the front lines, including healthcare workers and workers in stores that are still open. There has been an increase in volunteerism to help those in need.
There has been cooperation among many of the governors from both parties. The governors have stepped up their game. The people realize it, and that is why some of the governors’ approval ratings have gone up 30 percent.
Since I want to stay positive, I will not address the president’s actions except to call your attention to an interesting editorial in the April 19 Newsday with the title “Truth and Consequences [subtitle: Trump’s campaign to rewrite history makes it impossible to address issues raised by the virus].” In contrast, President George W. Bush supported the creation of a bi-partisan commission that investigated the 9/11 attacks and issued a report that was critical of many individuals including those in the Bush administration.
Lastly, I present my favorite president’s tweet/statement of the week. It was not the most important statement he made, but I found it to be humorous. Trump was upset with the governors and tweeted: “Tell the Democrat Governors that ‘Mutiny on The Bounty’ was one of my all time favorite movies. A good old fashioned mutiny every now and then is an exciting and invigorating thing to watch, especially when the mutineers need so much from the Captain. Too easy!” There is great irony with the reference. The HMS Bounty was a British ship that did have a mutiny in 1789. There were two movies with the title “Mutiny on the Bounty,” which were made in 1935 and 1964. In each one, Captain William Bligh was the villain. He was portrayed as being arrogant, brutal, corrupt, incompetent, paranoid, and despised by his sailors, whom he treated like dirt.
Let us keep abiding by the requirements and hope that COVID-19 will pass quickly.