Colors: Cyan Color

Since the end of February, most citizens in countries around the world have remained glued to their televisions. CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and various local news outlets have all dominated our brainwaves. Whereas in autocratic states the news media is simply a tool of the government, in democracies the role of the news media is to provide citizens with independent and objective reporting of the facts.

Last week’s parshah was Tzav. It tells of one of the most glorious days in the history of the Jewish people, the dedication of the Mishkan, when the Sh’chinah came to dwell among us. Yet on this greatest of occasions there was unspeakable tragedy, the sudden death of two sons of Aharon. We are about to celebrate a Pesach unlike any that most of us have ever seen. We will celebrate the festival of freedom as virtual prisoners in our homes. We will sing the Hallel while crying for those we have lost and fearing for the future.

Three weeks after first falling so ill that I knew I became another statistic, I finally have the strength and clarity of mind to contribute an article to the Queens Jewish Link. My experience with coronavirus will go down as a minor one, as I, thankfully, did not require hospitalization or assistance in breathing. However, I share my story because those who are afraid to get the disease should know someone who had it, and those who have it should know there is an end in sight.

Shortness of breath… febrile… weakness – these have been the words ringing in my ear as the report is being given to me as the change of shift happens. “Admitting diagnosis – rule out COVID.” It has been a very exhausting, overwhelming, sad, and frightening, to say the least, these past few weeks. How one small virus has overtaken the globe! But is it really the virus?

With the climax of novel coronavirus still lingering in New York City, the Queens Jewish Link took a moment to do its own investigating and see how the rest of the world is fairing. We were privileged to speak with award-winning investigative journalist Lisa Daftari, who has been focusing on foreign affairs with an expertise in the Middle East and counterterrorism. She has appeared across various recognized media outlets providing exclusive reporting on vital developments in the region with unique commentary and analysis. Over the last decade, Lisa has expanded her areas of expertise to include North Africa, terrorism, national security, the Arab Spring, global Christian persecution, human rights, and cyber security.

I had planned to write on a number of different topics over the past few weeks. But with the outbreak and spread of the coronavirus, the subjects I had planned to write about have paled into insignificance.