Sever Plocker
Sever Plocker
Photo: Shem Olam
U.S. President Donald Trump and Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky

A mortality tale

Opinion: Upon becoming infected with COVID, both the U.S. president and an Israeli rabbinical leader did a huge service to their communities, becoming living proof of the real danger of the pathogen and a warning to all those who dismiss it

Sever Plocker |
Published: 10.04.20 , 23:58
With his hospitalization for COVID-19, U.S. President Donald Trump did a great service not only for his country, but for all of humanity.
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  • From now and forever, he will be living proof of the clear and immediate danger of downplaying, suppressing and denying the true severity of the pandemic.
    U.S. President Donald Trump and Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky U.S. President Donald Trump and Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky
    U.S. President Donald Trump and Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky
    (Photos: AFP, Shlomi Cohen)
    It is the same story with the more radical members of Israel's ultra-Orthodox community, but their stubborn refusal to face to reality is possibly coming to end now one of its most influential leaders, Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, has contracted the disease.
    Just like with Trump, the infection of the aging posek was an important service to his flock.
    Coronavirus is no longer a mystery and can no longer just continue to run free until a vaccine is found.
    The risk of a person becoming infected with the virus while they refrain from closed and crowded spaces, public gatherings, adheres to social distancing and mainly wears a protective face mask when outside is low to the point of being almost minuscule.
    אירוע שופטת איימי קוני בארט הבית הלבן דונלד טראמפ קורונה מסכותאירוע שופטת איימי קוני בארט הבית הלבן דונלד טראמפ קורונה מסכות
    Donald and Melania Trump hosting a White House event last Saturday that is thought to have triggered a wave of infection among high-ranking Republicans
    (Photo: Reuters)
    On the other hand, those who grossly disregard and do not give a damn for public health directives, as the Trumps did, only increase their risk of becoming infected as every day passes.
    What was more surprising was not the confirmed infection, but rather their ability to evade it until now.
    There is a clear statistical correlation between the rate of denial over the severity of the virus within a society and the level of morbidity it experiences.
    Popular coronavirus "truthers" in certain countries, including Israel, were given prime time attention - and in the U.S. they got support directly from the White House.
    The false notion that the Israeli public has abandoned a sense of responsibility and shared camaraderie on the lockdown orders should be done away with quickly.
    מחאה חרדים רוממה ירושליםמחאה חרדים רוממה ירושלים
    Haredi men protest the lockdown in a Jerusalem neighborhood
    (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
    Nearly 95% of Israelis have been doing exactly what the government tells them to do since the start of the pandemic.
    But the average citizen, now tired and afraid, looks across the Mediterranean and wonders how the unruly, sectarian and politically divided Greeks managed to get a grip on the pandemic, while their own country cannot.
    Athens managed the crisis by implementing correct policies, something that cannot be said of either Washington or Jerusalem.
    Those who run away from intelligent risk management are doomed to have that risk catch up with them eventually.
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