Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

By Mel Pearlman

Coronavirus is not America's only sickness


August 14, 2020

The pandemic has brought about extreme modifications to our everyday living and how we relate to family, friends and community.

Government at every level is scampering, and for the most part failing to find effective policy initiatives and to implement programs in order to blunt the disastrous health, economic and social effects brought about by the complete disruption of our normal way of life.

The pandemic has also exposed and laid bare the fact that what once was a resilient, respectful, resourceful and thoughtful American population has degenerated into safe space politics, ideological hatred, a disproportionate dependency on government and group think.

Siri, Wikipedia, Google and the other search engines have given us facts without context; social media has given us fake facts, and in almost every case the news media has equalized the credibility of real news with fake news.

Thoughtlessness has replaced thoughtfulness. Opinion has replaced wisdom, and tribal passion has replaced public interest in public policy decision making.

Science and technology, which had been the guiding beacon to a prosperous and uplifting American society, has been given a bad name by politicians seeking cover under the shield of following the “science.” Unfortunately, government public health “scientists” have been more interested in placating an ignorant and uninformed president to keep their jobs, rather than honestly informing the public about what they do not know.

Anyone who has seriously studied any of the sciences will readily admit that there is no absolute truth, and that science is a process of understanding nature in all its aspects. It is a process of pursuing discoveries to expand our knowledge; and most importantly, recognizing that with each discovery we learn how much more there is to discover and how much more we do not know.

While the race card has been raised with regard to the disproportionate distribution of the Covid-19 disease, Bill Maher, in the closing segment of his HBO “Real Time” show on July 31, 2020, pointed out that not one word has been mentioned over the past five months by anyone in the health care professions in and out of government, that individuals of all races can help themselves to avoid or minimize the effects of the disease by immediately shedding pounds instead of glorifying or excusing overweight as an acceptable lifestyle.

The invasion of the coronavirus and its relative ease of contagion among the American people was not as predictable as some would claim. This however, has not stopped the extreme left from pointing the political finger of blame at their political enemies (I would prefer using the word “opponents” rather than “enemies”, but reality requires the use of the latter).

We the people are also partially to blame for the persistent bleak situation in which we find ourselves. Too many Americans on the extreme right and left have ignored the basic health practices of wearing masks and social distancing. Neither of these acts are an inhibition or restriction of our fundamental freedoms. We must stop reading the constitution as if only certain words apply to “us” and disregarding the rest of the text as applying only to “them.” The reader can determine in this context and for each issue who is the “us” and who is the “them.”

It is tragic and unfortunate that so many Americans have died and suffered from this pandemic. It is tragic and unfortunate that so many American families have suffered the loss of loved ones and the separation from those they love. It is tragic and unfortunate that isolation has stunted young children’s social and educational development. It is tragic and unfortunate that workers have lost their jobs and that small businesses that took a lifetime to build have been destroyed.

The scientists will ultimately perfect the vaccine and the therapies that will cure this disease. But only the American people can cure the other sicknesses that afflict our society. The cure for these other sicknesses is within each of us. America is too good to waste.

If you wish to comment or respond you can reach me at melpearlman322@gmail.com. Please do so in a rational, thoughtful, respectful and civil manner.

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.


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