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

Wrong again: the current COVID-19 hotspots in Israel are no hotspots

If there are hotspots of COVID-19 outbreaks, why is the PM blaming all Israelis? Who do we all have to be more careful if only some of us are neglecting their responsibilities? However, that may not be true.

* * *

The newest figures say that in Chaired neighborhoods in Jerusalem, the virus spreads twice as fast as in the rest of the Capital.

But — big but — of the newly infected, 72% are members of the same nuclear family in the same household of someone infected already.

Everyone knows that the number of children (and grownups) in Chareidic circles is at least twice as high as in secular homes. In other words: There are only more Chareidic COVID-19 patients now because they have more people per household. Not because they are more careless.

In other words, the hotspots are not hotspots.

I would not be surprised if the same is true for Arab Jerusalem.

Much as I think that we religious Jews should be held to a higher standard than less-religious Jews — as my blog posts regularly show, in this case, the figures don’t show that in Chareidic neighborhoods the behavior is less responsible. So: no lockdown selectively for the hotspots that aren’t.


On a happier note, a faster spread of the infection might point to a virus mutation that makes it more susceptible. That would be good news because generally, that would make it also less deadly — as I explained before. However, less deadly in percentage may also kill more people, because less dead in more infected could still elevate the death toll.

The overall moral: be more careful with avoiding crowded, closed places for longer than 15 minutes (and especially places where people shout or sing), avoiding people who do not wear masks, wear a mask, wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap after touching public surfaces before eating or touching your face, and stay home if you can. You don’t only avoid a small chance to die from the infection, and a chance to infect others, and a chance to get a horrible sickbed but you also avoid having a mild form that could make you exhausted for many months.

It seems to me that an overlooked factor that may heavily influence how much the coronavirus may sicken someone is the amount of virus we breathe in. That is not just an all-or-nothing issue of being infected or not. That, in infected, a low amount of virus making it into the lungs may be less bad for your health. Not only is the greatest chance when infected that you survive. But if you get infected minimally, your survival chances may be enormously greater. Just yet another reason to use your brain and prevent getting infected as much as possible.

Also, the later one gets the infection, if at all, the better it is. Because the virus likely will be less aggressive, the physicians will know better what to check and how to help you with healing, there will be less chance of infecting others because more people got it already, and there will always be a chance that you’ll have the vaccine before the virus gets to you.


The trophy for the most ridiculous piece of writing about COVID-19 this week goes to an article that asks if our life expectancy will go down since COVID-10 tends to kill mostly the elderly. Any 6-year-old can understand that life expectancy would go down much more if the coronavirus would kill mostly younger people. With a mortality rate of 0.5 and a spread in the population of 5% per year, no effect on how old we’ll get is to be expected.

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. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM 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 2000 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 too, here: 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. One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * 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 (, 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. * His newest books you may find here:
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