Overwhelmed by events!
March 27, 2020
Most columnists dread the well-known malady of “writer’s block,” particularly when their editor’s deadline for submission edges ever closer and closer. My problem, as I worked on this week’s column was not “writer’s block” but too many current topics that interfered with my ability to focus on any one of them.
If I had to compare this virtual smorgasbord of subjects to a physical phenomenon it would be like trying to listen to many conversations at once, each interfering with another, leaving me unable to hear anything but combined gibberish. In fact, I do suffer from this very hearing deficiency. Hmm? Now I am wondering if that affects my writing!
I have had this hearing deficiency for a number of years, but never thought it would impact my writing. Why would it? What does hearing and writing have in common? Writing is active. Hearing is passive. I don’t think they are related at all. But wait a minute! Could there be a connection?
When I sit at my desk peering at the computer screen, waiting for more words to appear, I often find my arm leaning on my desk with my head gently resting on my hand compressed against my ear. I suddenly realized my ear has a direct two-way connection to my brain.
Could it be that when I lean on my desk I am actually and subconsciously connecting my writing hand to my brain by way of my ear for direct transmission of thoughts and ideas enabling my hand to tap out the words to write what becomes my column?
Anyway as I was saying, I began to write about one subject, another grabbed my attention and off I went down that path until a completely different thought distracted me and I ended up writing gibberish.
My first attempt was to write about my experience in February when I had a hole-in-one at Celebration Golf Course and how I would connect it to my Jewish heritage.
That theme gave way to writing a column about the Democratic primaries, the surprising results for the leading candidates and the total and welcome collapse of Bernie Sanders’ quest for the Democratic presidential nomination. I had completely veered off course from the Jewish take on my hole-in-one moment.
There is much to write from the Jewish perspective why Mr. Sander’s failed and how fortunate his failure is for both the American Jewish community, for the State of Israel and for our own country as well. And no, he could never have unseated Donald Trump. Mr. Trump has much more to fear from a Joe Biden challenge.
But before I could complete that column along comes the coronavirus pandemic and off I went on another tangent.
So here I am, with three incomplete columns and a looming deadline from my editor. I will get back to all those topics in future columns, but for now the world has seen incredible upheaval in these past weeks and it is overwhelming to even begin to understand what is happening.
It will be interesting to see how the world’s governments and people react to the onset of this global pandemic. The initial impression is not promising as the quick spread of the disease has revealed an incredible lack of preparedness on the part of government and the international and national medical communities. Other than security and keeping public order, the most important function of all governments is to protect the public health.
Public policy in this regard has so far been feeble. Let us hope we can move quickly to correct the revealed global and national inadequacy brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.
Stay safe and well.
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Mel Pearlman holds B.S. & M.S. degrees in physics as well as a J.D. degree and initially came to Florida in 1966 to work on the Gemini and Apollo space programs. He has practiced law in Central Florida since 1972. He has served as president of the Jewish Federation of Greater Orlando; was a charter board member, first vice president and pro-bono legal counsel of the Holocaust Memorial Resource and Education Center of Central Florida, as well as holding many other community leadership positions.