Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Animals in the City

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Reports from around the world identify a natural yet startling and bizarre phenomenon directly resulting from COVID-19.


Animals are taking back the cities they were banished from when cities were built!

I have seen videos and still pictures of ibex walking down the streets of Eilat, Israel’s southerner most city, nestled between the Red Sea and the Arava Desert on the north and beautiful mountains to the east and west.

Malabar, an endangered animal that was thought extinct until seen again for the first time in 1990, is photographed walking down a street in India. A cobra jumps out of a moped’s steering wheel looking dangerously venomous.

Dolphins are swimming in places they have not been seen in centuries. 3,000 pound bison are pictured wandering around cities, many in the middle of the street just looking for food.

With humans and cars no longer creating a natural fence, wildlife is retaking their land.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Monday, March 30, 2020

PA & Blood Libel

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

For decades Palestinian leadership has blamed Israel for their dismal conditions. They have consistently accused Israel of Blood Libel – deliberately poisoning and murdering innocent Palestinians.


COVID-19 is just another excuse and another example of the Palestinian conspiracy theory that Israel is murdering Palestinians.

On Sunday Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shatayeh was the latest to add his voice to the conspiracy.

Shatayeh, who has a history of perpetuating this canard, said that Israeli soldiers are spreading the virus by putting it on car door handles of Palestinian cars. He said: "We were exposed to testimonies that some of the (Israeli) soldiers are trying to spread the virus on car handles."

He also said that Israel will be held accountable for their racist actions: "This is racism and hatred of people who long for the death of the other. We will record this in the list of crimes.” Shatayeh demanded that Israel pay 90,000 Palestinian workers for their missed work.

In the past Shatayeh has accused Israel of "waging war on the Palestinian narrative" and attempting to "Judaize the history of the Holy Land."

Thus far coronavirus numbers among the Palestinians, in Gaza and the West Bank combined, are at 100 cases and 2 deaths. Relatively speaking, those are low numbers for this deadly virus.
Had Palestinians been exposed the way their prime minister claims, the numbers would have skyrocketed.

They will never admit it, but the best thing that happened for Palestinians was that Israel shuttered the crossings between Israel and Palestinian areas preventing Palestinians from being infected.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

Read my latest book THUGS. It's easy. Just click. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=halpern%2C+micah

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Parrot Says "It's Corona!"

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Luca is a 22 month old parrot who lives in Kiryat Shmona in the very northernmost part of Israel, bordering Lebanon.


This parrot has become a celebrity in Israel.

Like all other Israelis, her owner, Zahava Shabbat, has been sheltered in her apartment since the arrival of COVID-19 in Israel. Zahava took advantage of the time and taught Luca to say “It’s Corona! Stay Inside.”

Little children have found this to be particularly fun and helpful. Reuters News Service picked up the story. In searching I found the video published on news websites as far away as Malaysia.

Luca is one example of so many ways in which people, around the world, hunkered down at home, find positive ways to occupy their time. It’s a nice alternative to playing video games, binge watching and noshing on snacks.
 
Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Big Brother - Coronavirus

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

Hundreds of Israelis were startled Wednesday by an unsolicited text message.

"Hello. According to an epidemiological investigation ______ (fill in your name). You were near someone sick with the coronavirus. You must immediately isolate at home [14 days] to protect your relatives and the public. ... This information will be used only for this purpose and will be erased when no longer needed. Sincerely, Public Health Services."

Tens of thousands of Israelis are in self isolation, many because they received this message, as they confront coronavirus.

With this text message, Prime Minister Netanyahu pushed the envelope on violating personal liberties and freedom. He instructed Israel’s Internal Security Services, aka the Shin Bet, to use their highly advanced and sophisticated tools to help bring the virus under control.

These are the tools that are normally used to protect against terror. Now they are being used to fight a virus that has the potential to kill many more people than would be killed through acts of terror.

Cell phones identify the locations of people and are cross referenced with the locations of people who tested positive for the virus.

It’s a Big Brother tactic – but it is a tactic that will save lives.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

Read my latest book THUGS. It's easy. Just click. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=halpern%2C+micah
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Monday, March 23, 2020

Getting Worse

By Micah Halpern
I've Been Thinking:

The US Surgeon General warned this morning that this is going to be a very difficult week. The reason is obvious - the number of Americans infected with COVID-19 is going to increase.

The Surgeon General knows what we all know, but he knows to take it seriously. He knows and, more importantly, he accepts what many of us have not been able to fully accept.

Many people than we know have contracted the virus. We do not know who they are for several reasons. Some have not been tested. Some do not show symptoms. Some have symptoms that are mild. All of these people can possibly transmit the virus to the people around them – and those people will get sick.

One doctor from New York sent a plea to President Trump laying out the details of the community he treats and suggesting an early treatment and even a prophylactic treatment.

He said that he has treated hundreds of people with the virus. Based on his practice, this physician estimates that 60% of his community has the virus. That alone equals 20,000 people.

Truly frightening.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

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Sunday, March 22, 2020

Punishment for Violators

I’ve Been Thinking:
I've Been Thinking:

This is current Israeli policy:

If you violate self-quarantine you will be arrested, spend six months in prison and fined 5,000 NIS, which is about $1,800.

There are exceptions:  You are permitted to go shopping for food, to an essential job, help someone in need.

There are rules:
Only 2 people are permitted in a car, prayers are permitted but only with a maximum of 10, sports are only permitted 2 players only. You are permitted to go outside and stand very close to your home.

This is a very stern set of laws and a major limit on citizens’ rights and freedoms. But Israeli leadership has to clamp down in order to stop the spread of the virus. People especially older people, will die if they contract the virus.

Many people still do not understand that they are required to sublimate their personal, selfish, needs for the greater good by staying inside.
Selfishness is blind in another way, too:

By venturing outside, that very person pursuing their selfish acts may contract the virus endangering themselves and endangering their family.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

Read my latest book THUGS. It's easy. Just click. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=halpern%2C+micah
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Friday, March 20, 2020

Israel & Corona

By Micah Halpern
Friday March 20, 20I've Been Thinking:

As of 11am, which is 5pm just before Shabbat began in Israel, these are the most recent numbers of Coronavirus cases in Israel.

The numbers need to be divided into categories:
Most important is that as of Wednesday there are twenty testing labs, that’s eighteen more than Israel had until now.

Also since Wednesday, the Mossad successfully procured thousands of tests kits.
705 people have tested positive.

10 are in serious condition, 18 moderate condition, 271 light condition and in hospitals. 149 people are being treated at home, 58 in hotels transformed into Coronavirus facilities. 212 are awaiting decisions as to they should be treated.

15 people have been released from the hospital and are free of the virus and totally recovered – that’s an important figure.

Israel has been extremely aggressive in their approach. They are using the GPS on phones of people who tested positive. They are fining and even arresting those who violate their restrictions.

The Coronavirus numbers in Israel are going up and up. The new labs and the availability of the testing kits will automatically increase the numbers. Many, many people have the virus and are asymptomatic.

The higher numbers should not serve as a source of alarm and panic. They are a more realistic assessment of reality.

Micah@MicahHalpern.com 

Read my latest book THUGS. It's easy. Just click. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_ss_gw?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=halpern%2C+micah
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