The Corona Chronicles: Tikkun Olam

News, facts, thoughts, and advice from Dr. Maurice Beer and the IMNY Team.


I hold on to the possibility that the pandemic will raise our collective consciousness about the fragility of life and the planet.


It’s been fairly obvious that we are failing in the efforts to deal with climate change. We see the icebergs melting, catastrophic fires, and unprecedented weather phenomena causing damage in so many places around the world.


Will the direct threat of COVID-19 move people to focus on the responsibility we each have to make the world a better place? That is the basic idea behind tikkun olam, a Jewish concept about personal responsibility to make the world better. The Hebrew phrase tikkun olam (pronounced tee-KOON oh-LUHM) means "world repair." In modern Jewish circles, tikkun olam has become synonymous with the notion of social action and the pursuit of social justice




Health care workers are being infected and many requiring medical care. Thus, the pool of front-line providers is decreasing as the need increases.


Famed neurosurgeon Richard Goodrich has died of COVID illness.


Tests for COVID are still in short supply so that testing is still limited to situations where the information will impact management of patients who are ill.


Mortality rate worldwide is close to 5% while the rate in the US is now up to 2%




Daily increase in rate of infections in NYC may be slowing. Rates have decreased from 17% in the past seven days down from 58% in the previous seven days. This may be a function of recent increase in testing, but we need to focus on whatever good news we can find.


The Navy hospital ship Comfort will start accepting patients today and the field hospitals in Central Park and the Javits Center will be operational by the end of the week.


I agree with the new idea that everyone should be wearing masks in public to prevent possible spread of the infection.


The medical messaging and the political messaging are aligning. The more consistent and honest messaging will help us cope.




Time to prepare emotionally for a long siege of social distancing with current predictions that this will last to the end of May.


The predictions of the number of deaths expected is shocking, but rather than focusing on the numbers think and act in any way you can to help others. You can provide moral support to people in need.


Coping with stress:


  1. Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, well-balanced meals, exercise.
  2. Maintain healthy sleep patterns. It’s more than the number of hours you sleep. Get to sleep by 10 and wake up at dawn. This supports adrenal function and your capacity to manage stress.
  3. Talk to others. Share your problems and how you are feeling and coping with a parent, friend, counselor, doctor, or pastor.
  4. Avoid drugs and alcohol.
  5. Take a break. Spend time in nature.
  6. Recognize when you need more help
  7. Keep a positive attitude.
  8. Accept that events are out of your control and that your power resides with you and the choices you make.




A lesson in coping:


"This Is the Funniest and Most Talented Family on the Internet"