A local Medical Practitioner writes

To all my friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors,

I’m writing this letter in the hopes that by voicing my opinion as an emergency room medical practitioner, I will inspire you to resume aggressive social distancing practices which are critical to the well being of this community.

I work in a local hospital with hands-on experience treating COVID19 patients. This is the second letter I am sending out for the benefit of the community after working with many COVID-19 patients – watching several patients deteriorate in a matter of hours, listening to their lungs getting worse, and seeing more critical patients in weeks than I normally do in months.

As you all know, we are in the midst of a devastating pandemic that has infected at least 1.3 million Americans, and killed over 80,000. There are several factors that make this disease so dangerous. First, it is highly contagious. We know based on how fast it spread, and we also do not fully understand how it spreads. Second, it is a very deadly virus. Yes, worse for elderly or those with comorbid conditions, but I have seen with my own eyes both younger and healthier individuals who were taken by this disease. We have no vaccine yet. There are as of yet no definite treatments. Some of the medicines that were initially used have proven worthless, but a couple of antivirals show some small benefit- but not enough to be a true treatment regimen yet. My point is to remind everyone that in this respect nothing has changed. We have no way to prevent or treat it medically. Antibody testing exists, but we have no proof that it will provide immunity. We also believe that there are multiple strains of the virus, so even if someone has immunity, he may contract another strain.

What prompted me to write this is my fear that the virus will resurge and we will wind up back at square one, with the numbers of ill and dying going up again. The reason I worry now is based on what I see and hear. I was pleased and relieved that most of the community took the severity of this illness seriously, and people were truly keeping to themselves, staying home, etc. Unfortunately, the last two weeks I have noticed a big change. Looking out the window, I now see children playing with other family’s children. I see many more cars – people are going places too often. I see walkers, bikers, and joggers, many of them in groups. The CDC is still recommending masks, and I see barely anyone with masks on outside. I know there are once again outdoor minyanim and rumor has it that the inside minyanim are coming back shortly, which is a much higher risk of transmission.

I am not the only one concerned that the virus will resurge. Dr Anthony Fauci, head of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases just made a statement to Congress, mirroring nearly exactly what I have suggested. I have provided links and resources for much of what I am saying at the end of this statement.

Please don’t be lulled into a false sense of security that the risk is over. The federal government hasn’t even said that we meet criteria yet to decrease social distancing, but even if they would, I believe, as do many other medical practitioners, that this will lead to a quick resurgence and Chas veshalom more deaths.

So what is the plan, if we wait – when do we go back, we can’t do this forever? Think of it this way. There’s a surgery for skin cancer known as Mohs surgery. They remove a section of the skin and send it for pathology testing during the operation. If there is any sign of unhealthy tissue, they go back and remove more, then send it back to pathology, and so on, until they get a sample with clean margins. If they don’t continue this, the disease will just spread again and the whole surgery was a waste. This is the answer here. We need clean margins. We need to wait until there are no new COVID19 cases, and then wait for a few weeks for our “clean margins”, and only then go back safely to our daily lives.

To be blunt: if you knew that reopening would lead to 100 deaths in Lakewood would you do it? What about 50? 10? 5? How about one? Is it worth starting up too early if one community member dies? What if it’s a member of your family Chas veshalom? I believe that risk is very likely if we drop the distancing now. I hope I’m wrong, I will be happy to be wrong, but what if I’m right? Are there serious problems we face while in social distancing? Absolutely. Do I have the solution to all these problems? No. When a man runs out of a blazing fire in his house, he grabs his family and gets out even as all his worldly possessions burn, and he worries about it later. He has problems later, but at least they’re all alive.

Sincerely, An Anonymous Local Medical Practitioner *

*Previously there were those who questioned my submitting this anonymously. As I mentioned before, due to restrictions from my workplace, I am unable to give my name. I’m sure some people will get hung up on that, and I can’t force you to believe that I am who I say I am. I can only give you my word that it’s the truth.

LINKS TO SOME RELIABLE SOURCES

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/fauci-serious-consequences-united-states-reopening-warning/?ftag=CNM-00-10aac3a

https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them

https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/cid/ciaa460/5822175

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2020/05/04/science.abb8001.full

https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.29.069054v1

https://apnews.com/bda9923cff8c143084141bc4c097b95c

https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/04/25/844939777/no-evidence-that-recovered-covid-19-patients-are-immune-who-says

FEEDBACK TO SOME QUESTIONS THAT HAVE COME MY WAY

Wouldn’t we have all been exposed by family members and gotten immunity by now? A logical point. As I mentioned, there are at least two known strains and there are theories that there are more, and that the virus can mutate, so immunity may not help much. We also don’t know how long the virus can last in our systems. I had patients who reported symptoms for more than 4 weeks. I saw studies that people could remain contagious for up to 6 weeks after symptoms are gone. And the final point is that we just don’t know enough about it yet. It has defied many of the rules we knew, so we can’t assume.

Why trust doctors, they seem to be getting it all wrong and admit to not knowing anything about this? Kind of silly, but the part that’s true is – we don’t fully understand it. So here’s a mashal. When computers (or typewriters) came out and someone asked a Rav if it’s a problem to use them on Chol Hamoed. The Rav would admit he knew nothing about the computer, but he still knew Halacha, so he was still in the best position to figure it out and advise. The medical profession doesn’t know COVID19, though we are learning on the job, but we know the human body and how to treat it. Finally, I ask this person who posed this question: if he or his loved one stopped breathing due to COVID19, Chas Veshalom, would he stay home because the doctors don’t know anything? No. He’ll be running to the hospital just like everyone else.

What about the financial crisis, we just can’t keep this up forever- people need to get back to work? A mashal I thought of to help explain the situation in my mind: a right handed artist who makes his living drawing, contracts a serious infection in his right hand. He is told by doctors that this infection is life threatening and can not be cured with antibiotics alone. There is a slight chance that it will work, but if they risk waiting, he will likely become septic and die. The recommended treatment is to amputate his right hand. He complains that this will ruin his ability to work, he won’t survive. And there is a small chance that he will recover without it. The doctor tells him that he still advises the surgery because without it he will probably die. Yes, he will ruin his livelihood, but what good is that if he’s dead? He will stay alive with the surgery, and then work on a new plan of how to make a living. Yes. There is a real financial crisis developing, but there is a greater and more urgent crisis of a deadly pandemic, which is why we started the social distancing in the first place, knowing full well that it would cause financial hardship. We need to wait until it is clearly safe, and then pick up the pieces of the financial mess.

What about the mental and psychological impact? People “can’t take it anymore”? I think we need to be logical. I am aware of this problem, another side effect of the virus, much like the financial issue. But again, the priority is to stop the virus spread and resurgence. The psychological impact must be worked through and dealt with in ways other than introducing the risk of transmission. I saw a post about people bringing back their cleaning help, with comments including that they need it for mental health. This is a very serious risk, especially having them walking around your home for hours a day. Is the cleaning problem real? Sure, it is hard, I’m not trying to minimize, but again that’s a problem that has to be figured out in another way.

This content, and any other content on TLS, may not be republished or reproduced without prior permission from TLS. Copying or reproducing our content is both against the law and against Halacha. To inquire about using our content, including videos or photos, email us at [email protected].

Stay up to date with our news alerts by following us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

**Click here to join over 15,000 receiving our Whatsapp Status updates!**

**Click here to join the official TLS WhatsApp group!**

Got a news tip? Email us at [email protected], Text 415-857-2667, or WhatsApp 609-661-8668.

Check out the latest on TLS instagram

64 COMMENTS

  1. So do we stay like this for years? Maybe we shouldn’t drive. Is it worth one lost life in car accident G-d forbid? You at some point have to have bitachon and go on with life

  2. Why sell doom and gloom when you can sell hope and optimism instead? You said even if it risks one life it’s worth it- well the lockdown has caused severe economic distress, lots of mental issues, terrible loneliness, and the kids- think about the kids, how many have regressed because they’re being forced to be outside of a regular routine for months now? Does that not count? If even one person commits suicide chas veshulem because of his financial decline is that not worth it to reopen? Who decides which lives are more important here? They said 15 days lockdown to ‘flatten the curve’ We have long flattened the curve. So they moved the goal posts. Now it’s lockdown until ‘no more deaths’ or until we ‘find a cure’ which can take years. The states that reopened have all reported lower deaths and cases since doing so? Look at Georgia it’s been 24 days since they reopened. The ‘experts’ predicted a bloodbath in 2 weeks-not only didn’t that happen, but the numbers dropped and continue to drop and its already 3 weeks later. Same with Florida which besides for Miami has reopened and the numbers keep dropping. So please, stop the fear mongering. We can use all the optimism these days. At this point few can argue that this hasn’t become politicized. Because the truth is that is has become an aggressive chess match of power grabbing.The politicians with an agenda-
    Hi Cuomo, want to drag this out as long as possible for their own self interests. It’s time to start fighting for our rights and that includes the right to assemble. For those that are afraid, they have the right to stay home, but don’t force it on the rest of us.

  3. I am willing to bet that those that are calling for the end to all restrictions, bringing in cleaning help, etc., do not have a close family member that died, or nearly died, as a result of this disease. I, too, work in the medical field. Many of those that died, did so very slowly, in pieces (one organ failing at a time), alone, over the course of many weeks. It was not pleasant, to say the least, for the patient or the family members who sat at home, helpless. It is not something to be wished on anyone. Think about that before you say that this is no worse than a bad flu outbreak.

    • I beg to differ I have family that was hospitalized and that passed away. What about the people that are getting killed by the stay at home orders. People that will suffer for years due to lack of income, people that will resort to addiction, children and young adults that will fall behind in school for years. What about those in abusive households? I don’t think that consistently saying we can’t get back to a normal life is the correct way. This will only cause more pain to the community and world at large.

  4. Hey Fred
    Did daas torah or a doctor tell you that you cant drive?.Bitachon and defiance do not go hand in hand..Bitachon is listening to the authorities that we trust

  5. Dear letter writer,

    First I’d like to personally thank you for being at the frontlines of hatzolas nefashos during this crises.
    Now with all due respect,
    You take the position that an entire city of 100,000 people should stop functioning in order to avoid the high probability that one or more lives can be lost to an illness. This is a question that needs to be posed to a most senior Rov & Poseik, this is not something you as a doctor should be deciding. We know that the hevel pihem fo tinokos shel beis rabban is keeping us all safe & your opinion will prolong the closure of the yeshivos. I don’t know the answer to this question but I expect all frum medical practitioners to seek the counsel of gedolei Horaah before stating their opinions. This is what separates us from the other Umos Ho’lom, we have living Talmidei chachomim to guide us & only they can make the decision of what Rotzon Hashem is in this situation.

    • In response to Shepsil, To be clear, I am not giving the Daas Torah, merely my medical advice. I don’t call a Rav before I tell someone they need to be in the hospital over Shabbos or Yom Tov, or any other Halachich Shailah, and if patients ask me what is the Halachic view – I say to ask their Rav. I do think that the Rabbonim are following medical advice for the most part – but that is not for me to say.

    • While your point about our tinokos shel beis rabban sounds good, you forget that the same G-d that tells us to daven with a minyan and send our precious children to learn in yeshiva is the same G-d that tells us v’nishmartem me’od l’nafshoseichem. HKB”H brought this mageifa upon us, and it’s up to Him to remove it. Until then, it’s up to us to keep our priorities straight, even if our children are learning at home instead of yeshiva, and we are davening at home without a minyan. Hopefully our proper hishtadlus will score us the necessary points On High as we show HKB”H that we truly care for one another, and we no longer need this mageifa to prove that.

  6. There have been no cases of someone getting covid19 twice. Not one. Any thinking person can deduce that the presence of antibodies does give a person immunity. It is very easy to be altruistic and preach that shutting down the economy is worth it to save a life as you continue to collect your paycheck.

  7. So what is the plan?? We were told to Flatten the curve -which has happened. (Hospital’s are empty) There are thousands of experts saying due to the asymptomatic people there is no way to contain this virus and most likely almost everyone will get it. At this point the only goal should be for herd immunity – we don’t know that it works for sure but at this point it’s working. I just saw an article where countries are getting nervous that not nearly enough people got the virus for herd immunity! Do you plan on waiting for a vaccine? It may be years away and who exactly is going to inject themselves in some unknown covid vaccine? And you’re worried about strains -how is the vaccine going to be better? Going to give 10 shots? Good luck! This virus has to run it’s course and hopefully this will all end very soon.. I’m not really sure because you work in a hospital that makes you a Pandemic expert?

  8. I expected some actual details he is seeing in the ER these days. But no, nothing about the 30 days of reduction and downward trend in our community. Just worries about what may happen if we reopen. Same with links to some articles. There are just as many articles promoting reopening, and even Dr. Tzur from Hebrew universty, that the shut down doesn’t accomplish much. And then he does on to dismiss all the problems being caused by the shut down, I have seen some first hand. So please read up and start realizing how much politics and other considerations are at work here.

  9. Unfortunately, I don’t read it trust articles by ‘doctors’ that refuse to put their name on an article. Frankly, I’m surprised TLS would print this and thought you had higher editorial standards.

  10. So to be clear we may be immune you don’t know ! The way to see is if people have been out now for two weeks let’s see is there a resurgence? Let the young and healthy out and see what happens! Staying home indefinitely is not a plan it cannot work! Should there be no school for a year until there’s a vaccine? Oh wait ! There may never be a vaccine ! Because no one knows anything! Just waiting is not a plan! Mental health matters! Financial health matters! I’m not advocating complete opening but we need to start in stages with the young and people with antibodies! What you write is nonsense because you cannot keep people in with no end in sight!

  11. One of the questions posed in the letter was “To be blunt: if you knew that reopening would lead to 100 deaths in Lakewood would you do it? What about 50? 10? 5? How about one? Is it worth starting up too early if one community member dies?
    My question in response, hopefully without sounding too insensitive, is that one life, or even a few more than one may very well be worth the risk. If this weren’t the case, wouldn’t we have stopped driving years ago There are many deaths from automobile accidents daily, and if we were concerned about avoiding “even a single death”, we would prohibit driving.
    I understand that the mortality rate of Covid-19 is worse than driving, and the comparison between the two is frowned upon, but if we are talking about reaching a point where we are worrying about a few isolated deaths, then the comparison holds weight. The government has not banned driving despite the “one or two deaths” (in reality many more) that may occur, and as hard as it may be to say, neither should they avoid opening the country due to a few isolated deaths. I understand that as Frum Jews we value life above all else. However, our Rabbanim have never signaled a directive to avoid driving, despite the mortality rate. Does our Torah tell us something different in this case?
    Certainly, if we are talking about thousands of potential deaths, the discussion changes. However, to the doctor’s specific question of “Is it worth starting up too early if one community member dies?”, then as horrible as it may sound, the answer is yes, it is worth the risk.
    (As a side note, I am curious if anyone has an answer as to why we are allowed to drive despite the mortality rate. Is it not an issue of “Venishmartem Meod Lenafshoseichem”?)

    • The comparison between a few more weeks of lock down, and the indefinite stopping off driving, is idiotic to say the least.

      Most people who die in a car accident is either the result of their own negligence or someone else’s negligence.

      Of course no one should drive under the influence and no one should go out if they have COVID symptoms, but the issue with COVID is that people without symptoms transmit the disease without knowledge, either directly or indirectly, to people who will die from it as a result.

      So can’t we discipline ourselves for a few more weeks and prevent unnecessary deaths?

      • …And most people who died from Covid-died from negligence too. Hospital negligence!

        If they’d focus more on curing people, they’d agree to give Hydroxy/zinc instead of dumping them on ventilators which have proven to make matters worse.

  12. It seems that the Lakewood scoop only wants to print letters telling us to keep the lockdown maybe you can post the alternative view…. as for this doctor your idea of a lockdown for the foreseeable future is unrealistic and extremely dangerous

  13. What about people who can’t do anything because they need back surgery, knee replacement ans they are deemed elective surgery? My surgery in April was cancelled. I am in tremendous pain and need surgery. Should people like me go on oxycodene?
    And what about the flu? There have been years when 80,000 people died.
    Should people not work, have no income and loss there homes?

  14. It’s literally unbelievable that after so many deaths there still are some individuals that don’t take this very deadly virus seriously. I personally know one family that woman, her son and 43 year old grandson died. Her granddaughter got extremely sick but BH is recovering.

    Take your head out the sand and wake up and smell the coffee (if you could still taste and smell)

  15. Im sorry. But the fact that ur anymo. Makes noone wana listen to u. Second of all, they told us stay home until they flatten the curve flatten the curve we flattened the curve. Now they want us to stay inside until there is a vacvine or cure. Is there a vaccine for cancer? A cure for cancer? Vaccine for aids? Cure for aids? GIVE ME A BREAK!!!! THIS HAS TO END!!! AND END NOW! U AND FAUCI AND OLDER PPL CAN STAY INSIDE AND BE CAREFUL. THE REST OF THE WORKD HAS TO MOVE ON

  16. In regards to immunity, I don’t know the science, but so far there are only about 20 known cases of people recontracting the virus, so please explain how it’s possible that antibodies don’t help.

    In regards to the lockdown, I’m seriously asking this, is it possible that Lakewood has reached herd immunity? Because 90 percent of people I know have already had the virus and everybody I ask says the same. Someone should please do some sort on this as I don’t think it’s been looked at yet.

    Before anyone attacks me, I want to make a disclaimer. I’ve been keeping the lockdown fully, and I plan to continue doing so until we have evidence that we are through this. But I do think we should be looking for evidence that we are done with the disease.

    • Well Said!!!
      How many cases in Lakewood were and are in Nursing Homes. (not to blame them but it does factor in the overall decision)?
      There is public information on this check for yourself

    • This is a general response to many of the questions and responses. First of all, I understand that this is a very frustrating time for all of us, not least those of us in the medical field because nobody truly knows what to do. That being said, we have to use our best judgement. Of course you make some good points – we can’t keep this up forever. Yes – we accept certain risks daily such as driving in cars (and BTW I personally agree that it’s a bit crazy based on how much death and disability is cause by car accidents. I think the world just refuses to give it up due to convenience – just like pro football is still allowed even though it causes brain damage to nearly all the players – because Americans love football!). There are a couple of differences in the case of COVID19. One is that it is temporary. I feel like we are almost there. Numbers are going down. We need to hang in just a bit longer so it is really gone. I agree though that this won’t be a livable situation indefinitely. I mentioned in my statement that I feel we should wait until we have no new cases and a few more weeks – not forever. Another point that I feel is being overlooked. When it hit Lakewood, it spread like wildfire. People were stumbling over each other to come in to the hospital, many very sick. Why did it slow down? Because of social distancing – because we are staying away from other people who have it, and letting the virus die down. Could there be immunity – maybe – it’s not clear if that’s a factor yet. For now it seems that social distancing is the best weapon and it has been working. As Dr Fauci – the “top infectious disease expert in the USA” said – that if we reopen too early “there is a real risk that you will trigger an outbreak that you might not be able to control which in fact paradoxically will set you back not only leading to some suffering and death that could be avoided but could even set you back on the road to trying to get economic recovery. We would almost turn back the clock rather than going forward.”
      I don’t have all the answers, but I believe that at this time our best course is to keep social distancing and minimize contact – and hopefully very soon BE”H this will be over.

      • I’m just wondering, what is purpose of waiting till there is no more cases in Lakewood? Are you saying we should just wait till there is no more cases in Ocean County or New Jersey? What about New York & maybe then the whole USA? What help is it if there are no more cases in Lakewood if people are going to travel & as a matter of fact are already traveling back & forth to Brooklyn & other places?

      • I’m not sure why you are saying that it’s temporary. Dr. Lebowitz said very confidently on the Hatzalathon that COVID is here to stay and there is no such thing as a post COVID world.

      • Dr. Lebowitz said very clearly on the Hatzalathon that it is not temporary. It is here to stay. There is no such thing as a post COVID world the same way there is no such thing as a post influenza world. Can you, nameless doctor, please let me know in what way you are seeing it as temporary.

  17. What a confusing silly mashal with the artist. Like most mishalim if they are not on point then they lead to confusion. The proper mashal would be if the artist has an infection that has less than a 1% of being deadly. One cure is to chop off the right hand, the other option is to guard the infection carefully and let the rest of the body function normally. While the second option has inherent risks, I think most doctors would recommend the second.
    The point is if we protect the vulnerable and do our hishtadlus, in regards to social distancing, masks etc. it becomes something that al pe derech hateva is no different than risks we take in our every day lives.
    Just one point about doctors. Of course we run to you to save lives. And we thank you for your sacrifices. But lets be clear. If you are not an epidemiologist, your training is in how to treat and cure people that are sick, not in deciding how society should function during a pandemic. You certainly are a part of the puzzle, a significant part, but far from the only part. Even the doctors are realizing that risk of infection from covaid is far from the only risk out there. See NY times opinion today by Dr. Makary for reference.

    • If g-d forbid theres a resurgance and 1% of lakewoods population dies u know how many lives that is? its not 1;2,10 it cud cost us hundreds of livesCHV isnt it just worth it to do it for a little longer and save so many lives???

  18. What about the other 98%+ people who recovered from the virus? Most likely a higher percentage due to the fact that most cases have been mild and ppl did not get tested. You are only seeing the worst cases but the rest of the world is fine. Why cant the high risk people stay home while the rest of the world opens up? The media is making it sound like all of humanity will drop like flies

  19. Many deveolopments that I know have kids playing together and adults getting close to each other for over three weeks with no new cases. That should be enough to show you that the danger of resurgance is not as strong as you think it is.
    Remember that levaya in Williamsburg with over 2500 in attendance? Everyone yelled they were rotzchim? It was over two weeks ago, and the people in Williamisburg that I asked still don’t know of any new cases. It’s ridiculous to keep people inside all day on a maybe.

    I know some for sures..
    I know people who have dangerously high blood pressue due the stress and are now at severe risk for a heart attack.
    I know a mother that has fallen in depression due to the situation and can hardly drag herself out of bed in the morning. The kids are not being taken care of. It’s pikuach nefesh.
    I know elderly people who live alone who lost the will to live because they have not seen other humans or being taken outside for air.
    I know fathers in tremendous anguish that their business may not be able to open again because they are falling further and further in debt. How do you think their household members are functioning with the father in such a situation?
    It’s not for you or me to decide. It’s up to the Rabbanim, who hear these stories on a daily basis to decide at what point we say enough hishtadlous..

  20. there was an excellent article in the voice last week going through all the halachic aspects of the risk of sakanas nefashos vs. living a normal life vs. a country’s overall needs.
    Even though there was no practical conclusion, I think many People would be surprised to hear that no we don’t shut down a country for one life.
    I know this sounds heartless but coming from someone who experienced the horrors of covid up close, what is really missing in any of these conversations is any perspective.

  21. No one is questioning your medical knowledge or minimizing your experience. But the question of whether we should reopen is not a medical question it’s a halachic one and should be left to the Rabbanim with medical input

  22. I have a mashol for Mr Anonymous. If i give you a 1 million dollar check but i dont sign it, its worthless.
    I understand your reason for anonymity, but we dont know anything about you to make us take you serious.

    • I know who this medical practitioner is, and I can tell you that he is 100% ehrlich. He cannot identify himself due to the policies of the hospital where he is currently employed, not because he cannot be trusted with his opinion.

  23. There are two problems facing us. One is a contagious, and sometimes deadly virus. The second is the confusion and lack of clear guidance from our leaders. Perhaps the second is more frightening than the first. Both are gzeiros from Hashem and completely in His control. Let us once again strengthen ourselves and be oisek in teshuva, tefilla, and tzedaka like we were at the beginning of this pandemic so that we are zoche to see continued yeshuos from both tzaros.

  24. Many people keeps repeating the same idea that there are few cases in Lakewood now even though everyone is interacting with each other so obviously we are all immune, therefore we should go back to normal. Not everyone has gotten the virus Many people who have gotten it and have had antibody test came back negative so even if there is some immunity not everyone has it.

    The reason it stopped spreading in our community is because most people took the social distancing guidelines seriously for the first few weeks. Once things in the general public open up and people are going to work and stores I think that agrees that we expect some more cases to come up. If we keep ignoring the distancing then those few cases could C”V turn into many cases. That is why the Agudah only recommended shuls opening 2 weeks after everything else because we need to make sure that there is no new outbreak before we take part in activities that can potentially spread it quickly again.

    • Wrong! Its not that social distancing worked – its that we are immune!

      Everyone goes to the grocery stores. Walmart, Target & Home Depot are PACKED.

      If the virus would kill 100% of the people who contacted it – men, women & children, we wouldn’t make exceptions for so called essentials. Everyone would be locked indoors. Perhaps the national guard would drop off food once a week and everyone would leave it outside for a day or 2 before touching it.

      We’re not doing that.

      That’s because society has accepted a certain amount of risk in their daily lives in order to have mobility and freedom. (quality of life) We pay a price for many of our luxuries (electricity-fires, swimming pools, cars, high rise buildings etc, etc)

      The goal here was to prevent hospitals from overcrowding so that no one dies for the lack of care.

      Mission accomplished.

      If there is a resurgence – we can shut down for 30 days again in the fall.

      While it may happen in other towns, its unlikely to happen in Lakewood because we are immune (Dr. Fauci said he’d bet that there’s natural immunity, and if there’s no immunity a vaccine wont help and the problem is indefinite)

      Its time for healthy people to go back to work AND school.

  25. Dear doc, I understand that you’ve been living the worst affects of this virus for the past months but you gotta see the big picture. Yes! We should open up even if there are maybe lives at risk, it’s exactly like driving a car…. (imagine how many lives would be saved if the speed limit would be 10 mph everywhere). Also I’m very confused about this doubt in antibodies and their affect. There are millions of cases in the world so just check if anyone got it twice. (I don’t think anyone did although I can very well be wrong)I think the medical world is to wrapped in medically proven stuff and forgot about basic common sense

  26. At this point the cure is probably worse than the illness.
    Maybe it could get worse, nobody knows, until then we need to act like normal people and If it spikes again then reel it in. Doctors and politicians need to stop acting like they are g-d and the more of them that recognize that, the better off we’ll be.

  27. I am a dentist in Lakewood and have practiced here for the past 24 years; my father, now retired, practiced here since 1972.
    I wish to differ from the respected physician’ s comments.
    It is very easy to look at the world and see which countries have had acceptable outcomes. Sweden stands out. They have encouraged social distancing, closed schools, hand washing, mask wearing, gatherings less than 50 people. They have very few deaths and did not require an economic shutdown or mandatory stay at home orders. The infirmed and older at risk demographics are still encouraged to stay at home, but nothing is mandatory. The United States cannot simply open up and hope its all OK; that will lead to a rapid increase in cases and possibly overwhelming the healthcare system. However, smart, clear advice from government and a wise population willing to make adjustments. would allow us to return to some semblance of normality.

  28. I realize this comment may not be read because it’s way on the bottom by now, assuming it will be posted at all.

    You lost me by you’re mentioning Dr. Fauci and the CDC, which has been proven to be wrong time and time again. I am sure there is also a political agenda to their views and methodologies which are constantly changing. Remember Dr. Fauci worked in the Wuhan lab as far back as 2015. I also believe they are in the pockets of the government and the pharmaceutical companies as well.

    I have close friends in Georgia and Florida where they have pretty much opened up and the lethal and “infected” cases have gone way down. Florida has a bigger population than NY, and both have a larger population than NJ. NY is number one with 26,130 fatalities out of 332,469 cases; NJ is number 2 with 133,677 cases and 8,801 fatalities a lower ratio than NY). Florida is 8 with 338,828 cases but number 10 with 1,539 fatalities Much lower ratio), and Georgia is number 10 with 37,413 cases and not in the top ten with 1,317 fatalities. By comparison, this is almost stunning.

    By this time, we know that many fatalities attributed to COVID-19 were not, which adds another dimension to the statistics. In all honesty, I don’t know what or who to believe but I do think it worthwhile to consider the fact that both Georgia and Florida have opened up and cases keep going down. Could it be they are onto something? Herd immunity, as they call it? I don’t know what to call it but it seems to me that what they’re doing is working better. They quarantine the susceptible, do social distancing, and are open for business.

  29. Just curious, does anyone know what the Rabbanim really hold? We’ve heard the doctors loud and clear-keep social distancing as much as you can do. What about the Rabbbanim? The only thing currently that I’ve seen from the Rabbanim is the (not so clear) letter from the BMG Poskim on ten people minyanim that TLS printed about two weeks ago and that was only halachic guidelines. Other than that, I haven’t heard anything. I reached out to my own Rav about minyanim but he also gave me an unclear answer that the governor allows 10 people now (which was really from mar 21). Why the other communal Rabbanim haven’t written anything is beyond me as they all wrote guidelines at the start of the virus letters shortly after purim.
    Interestingly enough, the Rabbanim were saying before Pesach to follow the doctors.
    Thank you, anonymous medical practitioner for writing this letter as I’ve been trying to figure out why people are getting lax in the social distancing guidelines

  30. I appreciate the writers work in the ER, he is certainly entitled to his point of view, yet, that is not the only point of view, and their is strong data, backing a different approach.

    Additionally, someone working in the ER, is exposed daily to the worst case scenario. It is the equivalent to plumber thinking that everyone has a leaky pipe, because all he sees all day are leaky pipes.

    What he doesn’t see all day are people and families who spent their life building a business only to see it destroyed. Children who’s growth is stunted educationally and socially, perhaps with long term effects. Families who have always been self sufficient, struggling to put food on the table (this creates far more problems than just economic ones).

    I can’t post links, but here are some facts that can be easily researched.

    The government in Spain did a study that showed people who were NOT locked down, had a lower rate of infection

    NYU did a study, that showed Hydroxychloroquine with Zinc Lowered the death rate by 50%

    More than half the deaths in NJ and a similar % in NY where in Nursing Homes that were vulnerable, because of a specific bad policy.

    No one, including Dr. Fauci ever claimed that you can halt the spread of a virus by locking healthy people down. they didn’t make the claim, because it is ridiculous, this all started with one infected person, and theoretically, that is all it would take to start again.

    The goal was to flatten the curve to allow hospitals to handle the load, that has been achieved.

    Governor Cuomo stated last week that 66% of cases were from people who never left their home.

    Sweden never had a lockdown, their death rate was not particularly high, and the entire country is expected to have achieved herd immunity in another week.

    Germany, Taiwan, and Hong Kong, never had the prolonged lockdown that the U.S. had, and had a much lower death rate.

    There is very little chance of contracting this virus outdoors, and rightfully, NJ has no requirement to wear a mask outdoors.

    The Federal Govrnment estimates 80,000 people will die, due to their missing early detection of cancer, by missing regular exams during this crisis.

    If you in fact can get this virus twice, and having it does not provide immunity, than a vaccine would be worthless. Why are billions of dollars being spent to try and develop a vaccine that will not work?

  31. The virus isn’t planed and doesn’t give plans. It doesn’t listen to people’s svoros and lumdus. You can’t state it’s not dangerous by vote . All you need to do is look a Chicago, after the frum community thought it’s over now it’s back! 10 day hatzola had 0 calls now yiden are in critical condition as the virus was still lurking . Now all are saying why didn’t we wait. Learn Hilchos shmiras Haguf vhanefesh
    Wait until it’s over ! 85% isn’t over!

  32. I think we should lift the quarantine, but those who are fearful or vulnerable have the option of staying in isolation if they want voluntarily.

  33. Dr. Zelenko’s protocol prevents 99 percent of covid 19 deaths and hospitalizations.
    Read the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons’ Report on Hydroxychloroquine.
    Also see Dr. Zelenko’s own report which will please G-d come out in 3 weeks.

  34. I have something that puzzles me. On one hand “they”keep telling us we are waiting for a vaccine. On the other hand “they” say having antibodies doesn’t mean anything. So how can a vaccine work. It’s based on the body building antibodies.

  35. Doctor, they are not going to listen to you. Reopening is happening.

    But maybe you can still accomplish much good. How? By teaching about containment and protection.

    What would it take to lower the R0 (rate of contagion) in Lakewood to under 1? What would it take to limit new outbreaks to one or two people (if at all), instead of a whole room full?

    Limiting exposure? No super spreader indoor activities? Masks? Small group sizes? No mingling between groups…?

    What would it take to keep the vulnerable safe? Quarantines?

    This is doable.

  36. Those at risk stay home stay safe.
    No visitors.
    Those that had it and beat it with mild symptoms live life but do all that you can to minimize potentially infecting others.
    Inside minyanim and other high risk gatherings not a good idea even when restrictions allow it. All flattering the curve means is there is now an ICU bed and ventilator available for you if needed.

  37. It seems to me that most people have forgotten that dying is an occupational hazard of being alive. We all hope to live to a ripe old age, but it is only Hashem who knows how and when a person will die.

Comments are closed.