Friday, March 13, 2020


Michael Lumish
I sometimes get the impression that some people actually want an Impending Doom.
This yearning for an Apocalyptic scenario seems embedded in the human psyche and is well-expressed in both Christianity and Islam... although, for some reason, less so in Judaism.
The term in theology is "eschatology" which is defined as a concern with death and the final destiny of the human soul.
I do not underestimate the health significance of the coronavirus, but I am fascinated by our collective reaction to it. It brings to mind Freud's notion of "Death Drive" which was later called "Thanatos."
There is something almost medieval about our reaction to this thing.
I recently saw a video of two middle-aged women -- one "black" and one "white" -- fighting it out in a grocery store over toilet paper.
In truth, there are two problems here. The first is the virus, itself, and the second is our reaction to it. My question is, which is worse? My suspicion is that the latter is even worse than the former.


  1. Mike,
    I don't know. People grab everything they can because they see others doing it. When we lived in CT we would see the same behavior before a weather event. People would empty the store of every battery on the chance there might be a temporary power outage. Now I go to the supermarket and see a lady wearing a mask with a shopping filled to the ceiling with toilet paper - aplenty for me but none for thee.

    On the other hand, it's not just the media but the government itself that seems to be treating this as something we haven't seen in our lifetime - because we haven't. I hope it turns out to be more bark than bite, but I am over 60 and the health warnings are unfortunately at once both dire and vague. That does not inspire confidence.
    I was supposed to be on a band gig booked for tomorrow night at a VFW hall that just got cancelled due to concerns about coronavirus.
    On the other hand I have a single tonight at a restaurant, although it is outside on the terrace - no need to get close to anyone or touch anything other than my own equipment. I'm planning on doing it, but who knows if anyone will even show up? And should I be doing it considering the latest warnings? I just don't know what to do. Would I be risking my life?
    What to do?

  2. Yeah, I don't know what to make of it. It didn't start affecting me much until the last few days. I heard water was getting scarce so I went out to buy a buncha cases for my girlfriend and me (she has been a bit panicked because she has COPD snd seems to get every cold there is.) There was still lots but everybody was buying it so I'm sure it's gone now. Everywhere we went was out of hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol. I ran out tonite to get a few things and for fun checked out the toilet paper aisle. My Lord, it was like Black Friday at Walmart; something you just never see in my little corner of the world. I started laughing and got a lot of scowls then one old geezer came up chuckling too but said he had just hit 8 stores between the next town over (18 miles)and not one had any.We both said we didn't understand what toilet paper has to do with the virus and the cashier agreed with us.

    My brothers and sister cancelled our scheduled trip to Vegas the 26th of April for her 80th birthday because she has COPD and we are all elderly (I'm youngest at 69.)

    I have been kinda naturally avoiding crowded places as much as I can and washing my hands a lot. But so far no major impacts on my life...although tonites toilet paper episode has me worried. WE are all making fun of it on Facebook but you can feel a certain dread out there with some admonishing their peers to remember the elderly most at risk before they hoard.

    Jeff, stay safe. You too Mike and everyone else. And yes, Mike. So far, our reaction to the virus has been worse, but that could change. I personally think the Trump admin has saved a lot of American butts with the travel bans and am outraged that the Dems have said they would not do it just to gain political points.

    1. I played a single tonight at a restaurant out on the terrace, and on one of my breaks a guy comes up to me who says he knows me from some other venue. Fine, but he just has to be a foot from face as he talks to me just like Judge Reinhold on that Seinfeld episode. I just hate that, probably because I'm a major germaphobe as it is.
      Your sister and girlfriend have COPD. That sucks. My friend has it terrible, and I smoked for a long time before I was finally able to shake the addiction for good. So naturally, anything respiratory has me at least a little concerned.
      You stay safe too.
      I keep hoping people will put politics aside for the greater good.
      I just keep washing my hands. Then I touch something we go again.
      Mike, I'm sure, is cool, calm, and collected.

  3. Our good friend Giulio Meotti, Italian journalist and pro-Israel to the core paints a horrible picture ogf what this could be like.

    My prayers are with hime and his family.