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Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Omicron the next disaster, the best solution, or what surprises may it have?

This is to ponder possibilities; I will not bring news. For that, you have the News.

Omicron, the newest variant of the coronavirus pandemic, is too new to give a final judgment about its seriousness. But, we can ask questions about what to expect from knowledge about older viruses.

1. Many viruses eventually calm down. When they are too deadly, they spread less well than when they are milder. They may be more contagious. Like I mentioned at the start of the pandemic. However, we don’t know yet if the Omicron variant is such a contagious but mild animal.

A current worry should be especially Long COVID. We can’t know yet what this variant will do in the longer run. And we don’t want to find out either. Prevention is still far better than healing.

2. Physicians, in their heroic unending fight against Death, sometimes see all of illness through the prism of life or death. But, there is much more to health issues. A virus might hardly kill but badly maim.

Take the poliovirus. In most people, that infection doesn’t spread to the Central Nervous System, and patients recover completely. If there are any symptoms (70% has none), it’s over in 2-10 days. After weeks, in 0.5%, it does affect nerve cells. This may show only years after the infection. Of them, 25% end up with a mild disability, 25% as severely handicapped.

We don’t know if Omicron will have any long-lasting or late symptoms. Until we know, we need to hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

3. The original strains of COVID largely spared the young. It wasn’t just that the elderly had weaker immune systems or more often were in worse health. We have no such guarantee about Omicron. Omicron, in a way, is a whole new virus. We don’t know how much vaccinations and prior corona infections protect against it, or against heavy symptoms, and death.

Because it seems more contagious, we need to double down on social distancing and mask-wearing. Not because it’s more dangerous. Rather, because it’s more contagious and we don’t know yet how bad or innocent it is. We must tell young people that, this time, they must join us.

When I enter my synagogue now and see 30 men without masks from all over the country for some commemoration, I go home and pray there.

4. Wouldn’t it be marvelous if Omicron infections were always innocent, cure easily, have no long-term effect, and give life-long immunity against all coronavirus infections? However, until this dream-too-good-to-be-true turns out to be reality, we need to step up vaccinations, social distancing, and mask-wearing—all of us. Be patient. Eventually, we will know.

Watch out for Fake Experts

Meanwhile, be careful to only follow expert advice. In the Netherlands, they have a TV show where candidates compete for the title the Smartest Human on Earth. How do you get there? You must be famous and the best at answering trivia questions! Ridiculous but popular. One of the winners is a biologist. He wrote a couple of books about how people are just animals.

And this is what he says about this pandemic.

We have the pandemic, not because of international traffic, but because we are with too many. That is only half true. It’s because we live too close to each other and want our autonomy. Sweden has hardly any corona. New York City is a paradise for the virus. China, with giant cities, has no corona anymore because it lacks freedom, also to not wear a mask.

This pandemic is Nature’s way to reduce world population. That is not true at all. In the worst-case scenario, it would kill 0.5% of all people. How does that reduce anything? We should reduce humanity from 7.5 to 1 billion. Of course, he’s not including himself in being redundant. Earth can easily sustain 16 billion people. But we must stop fighting wars, polluting the environment, eating meat like crazy, all have our own car, stop world hunger instead of having all the wealth unevenly distributed, etc.

So, guard your health and life, have kids, but become a social activist.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 1400 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/ or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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