With apologies to Daniel Dafoe.
The world has really is in pieces. Now more than ever is the time for tikkun olam,
But how. New York City is no better than Unfunky Scummedrine. Many synagogues have closed. Broadway. Some Off-Broadway. The JCC. The 92nd Street Y. CUNY. SUNY.
Why such panic? This is not the reincarnation of the Spanish Flu. This is a warning--we must go back to antisepsis.
Reading Amos Oz's "A Tale of Love and Darkness," reminds me of this. A deep thread throughout is the toils of his grandparents in keeping their homes free from the Levantine germs that abounded in Palestine at the time of their arrivals from Eastern Europe. His forebears were cultured, cultivated artists and scholars, shocked by the heat, the dirt, the mud. Incessant, obsessive cleaning was a way of gaining control over the land that they did not chose. What is now labelled "obsessive" and bad was then---and now--not bad--but lifesaving. Tedious--yes. Psychopathology--no.
We have gotten away from antisepsis--preemptive cleanliness, relying instead on anti-biotics--shutting the barn after the wolves lie feasting on the carcasses of the horses within. Hospitals have become the breeding grounds of new germs. Because of this, they are dangerous territories for the sick.
This is not to place blame on hospitals or our filthy public places. But because of the build up of filth and germs, they are hospitable realms for new germs. Hence the need to return to our old ways--antisepsis toward all germs.
There is no leadership at the top. There is no health care system in between. All around us is turmoil and panic. Hence, closings abound.
And all the closings only ensure that the virus will grow. When collegians have to disperse back to their sires, they take the germ with them. Especially collegians toting full laundry bags.
As in the "Masque of the Red Death," New Yorkers attempt to escape the virus by going to their country homes. And they will take the virus with them. Interesting enough, opportunists are now renting out their weekend homes, for a generous personal profit.
After the Kobe earthquake, prices for flashlights, water, etc. stayed the same. A newspaper reporter queried a shopkeeper why he kept prices the same after a catastrophe. The shopkeeper replied, "I would be ashamed to do otherwise."
In an interdependent culture, people don't see crisis as an opportunity for personal profit.
It is an opportunity for tikkun olam.
Now, more than ever, the world needs repair.
This blog will now be my attempt to repair. I don't run the health care system--Medicare for all, anyone? I can't control my mother, who has given up the ghost and doesn't know it. But I can blog.