Sleepless in Seattle

Can we talk about emotions? Specifically group emotions? And can we get a grip? Ripping down statues that are ‘offensive’ and remind black people of their oppression? Really? Here’s something to chew on: Don’t you think Jews who lost their entire families in the Holocaust, were tortured and subjected to unspeakable horrors didn’t want to erase Germany from the face of the earth? Or at the very least divide the country up and give small pieces to other European countries?  Yes they did but no they didn’t.

You may be now thinking that Germany has outlawed any reminder of WWII and you would be correct. But as we told a good friend, the reason for that is mainly, if not totally economic. If Germany wants to be part of the global nations of the world, they had to, at the very least, pretend that they were remorseful.

Now you may try to say that the police don’t shoot Jews and you would be correct. But until around 1960, outright anti-semitism was in your face and definitely affected how Jews lived. They could not move to certain neighbourhoods as per the no dogs no Jews signs, could not join most golf-clubs or any other club,  were given a very low quota of students allowed in university etc, etc.

Tearing down statues is based on emotion and  keeps the story going in the news and on social media. As you can see for yourself, people are tired of protesting night after night. So this is a good way of keeping the movement alive and kicking.

Tearing down statues that are ‘offensive’ does not erase history. In this case, out of sight is not out of mind. Tearing down statues is based on the feel-good theory, the same as lighting candles in the street after a mass shooting.

We will repeat what we wrote on Tuesday: for any lasting change to happen, it must start at the grass-roots level. Grand gestures make those doing said gestures feel very good about themselves  and then, poof! it’s over.  Real change  is predicated on communication, on sitting across a table and having serious, meaningful dialogue…over a long period of time.

We think it’s time to inject a bit of humour here. Ever hear of John Hickenlooper? We hope his nickname is loopy because that’s what he is. We will jog your memory and remind you that he was one of the democratic candidates running for the presidential nomination this past year.

While debating recently, he said “The pandemic created a moment where, when the shooting of George Floyd took place, everyone was in their living room. Everyone saw it and it was a catalyst to action.”

The shooting of George Floyd? Seriously? Which newscast was this guy watching?  Loopy is running for his senate seat again. As we are wont to say, be careful who you vote for.

In case you thought that COVID-19 disappeared with the new kid on the block, the protests etc, think again. Ten states in the US that were previously not that bad have had large spikes in cases. As their governors are saying, people won’t be held down or kept at home so expect the cases to rise. Sweden tried that and had the most deaths, by far, of the Scandinavian countries. In fact, the Prime Minister of Sweden said that they had made a big mistake by not keeping people home.

It’s not so much the young people going to bars and restaurants and not social distancing. They will get it and be fine. It’s the fact that they are giving it to their parents, grandparents and other people in their orbit who may have an immunity problem.

We have our own deep throat in one of the major hospitals in Montreal. In case you are young enough not to know who deep throat is…he was the insider who gave Bernstein and Woodward key Watergate information which eventually took down Richard Nixon (who was the president at the time) on August 9, 1974. We actually read a book about deep throat who turned you to be someone very high up in the CIA. But we seriously digress.

Nurses and other professionals are literally holding their breath here waiting for the other shoe to drop aka the second wave of the pandemic to hit. They are still short of PPE and are still working under very difficult conditions, the main one being the fear-factor.

Working on a daily basis with very ill patients who have the virus is beyond stressful. Couple that with the sad reality of management not quite understanding how difficult their conditions are just adds to the mix.

To end this piece, we will quote from a letter we received from someone who had to be tested for the virus in the hospital. Here is part of her experience, after the test was done:

…Eager to leave, I jumped off the chair too fast, infringing a bit on the 2 meter separation between me and the nurses, and was stopped by the look of acute fear on the nurse. While my nurse caught her breath and washed her plastic gloved hands with sterilizer, another nurse led me to yet another handwashing station. On my travels I thanked every nurse I saw, all smashed against a wall for maximum protective distancing, and asked if them if they felt protected.

Their answers were, that in this environment, where they assume every patient has Covid, there is minimum contact and no aerosolizing procedures so the exposure is low enough that they feel safe in their protective gear. It’s not like on the wards where there is coughing, sneezing, spitting etc.

So here’s the deal peeps: Don’t let your guard down. Don’t think that because you are sick of social distancing or wearing a mask or washing your hands this pandemic is over. It’s not by a long shot and frankly, who wants to wind up in the ICU with no visitors and human contact through gloved hands and masked faces?

It appears that many companies are using this time to downsize. Zara will close as many as 1,200 stores around the world with hundreds of jobs lost. Starbucks is closing up to 400 stores.

Joe Biden is treading on very thin ice. So thin in fact that he may actually fall through. He said he expects President Donald Trump to try to “steal” the presidential election, and expressed hope that the United States military would remove Donald Trump from the White House if he refused to vacate. Seriously? This is so out-there that we are thinking it is a bot from Russia. Time will tell.

If not, it is clear Biden thinks he can’t win or he would not be putting this forward right now. And going for conspiracy theories such as this one shows exactly how desperate he really is.

Then there’s Seattle where the riots and unrest has morphed into the creation of the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone (CHAZ) – six city blocks that have been commandeered by some to create a police-free version of their desired utopia.

Seattle is Uber-left, a ‘sanctuary’ city and lover of all whales, trees, dogs and cats. We wish the governor and mayor much luck in trying to get those squatters outta there.

They have created a tent city complete with a food tent and are guessing, bathrooms. They are there for the long haul…until of course they contract the coronavirus at which time they will quickly dismantle their tents and run to the government hospital.

Good Shabbos We’ll talk…

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