State of the State 05-15-2020


Good afternoon everybody.



Sorry, I’m having some tech difficulties and I am trying to work them out so that we can get a real nice video going. So yeah, so anyway, so today’s talk, the state of the state inspired by my walk out into the real world earlier today. So earlier today I had to go to I had to go to the drugstore, Dwayne Reed, two blocks from my house, actually one and a half blocks from my house. So the thing about it is that in walking in the street, I saw a tremendous variation in terms of precautions people are taking. So in other words, I see, you know, various variation in terms of are people wearing masks? If they are wearing masks, what kind of masks are they wearing? If they’re wearing masks, how are they wearing them? Because a new trend that I see is that of wearing masks on top of your head.



I see people wearing masks under their nose. I see people wearing masks around their chin. I see people wearing a mask around your eye or ear. Okay. And hanging down. I see people with masks walking closely with people without masks and having a conversation. And I see very little effort to socially distance by six feet, which incidentally, many people don’t even believe that six feet is adequate, what we call socially distancing. Okay. And I, I see some people who quite frankly, it appears as if they might even be trying to purposely not socially distance. In other words, they see you wearing a mask. They’re not wearing a mask, and they kind of want to get closer to you almost as a way to say, Hey you’re going to do this. I’m going to do that. I don’t care. Because, you know, and again, people can say, Oh, I’m cynical.



I’m crazy. I’m paranoid. I’m neither. I’m none of those. I’m not cynical. I’m not paranoid. I’m not crazy. I understand how this works. Okay. And when I speak, I speak about things that I know from a combination of what I learned in school, which is probably not much anymore because I don’t remember even being in school 30 years of experience as a cardiopulmonary therapist almost. You know, 20 years, almost as a, as a New York state EMT working EMS. And the thing is that when I talk to you, I tell you things that I see and I can prove or that I know because I’ve been there and done that. Okay. I’m not saying I’ve been there and done everything, been everywhere, done everything, absolutely not. But when I speak, it’s from experience. Okay. So I went outside. Okay.



Again, varying degrees of precaution and I would say varying degrees of social distancing. But when I talk about precautions, I’m talking about masking. I’m talking about staying far enough away from people that if they had a projectile sneeze or vomit or what have you you know, if you sneeze, like the people in my family, you know, you need to be a good 15, 20 feet away. But the idea is I gotta be honest, I don’t know what to do about this. And in many ways I don’t even know what to think anymore.



And it’s like I asked myself, I look around and I think I’m a fairly analytical person. Okay. I wouldn’t say I’m a stable, I wouldn’t say I’m a very stable genius, but I’m fairly analytical and I say to myself, well what could this mean? So for example for the person that decides, okay, you know what? The scientists, the epidemiologists, the physicians, the health people are saying we should wear a mask. Well screw it. I’m not going to wear a mask. So what kind of thinking goes into that? Right? So there’s the, the line of thought that says, Hey, I don’t wear a mask for me. I wear a mask for you. Right? So I have a cold. So I am definitely going to wear a mask for somebody else. Okay. Not, not firm. I am going to wear a mask for me for sure, but I’m also, even if I wasn’t worried about myself, even if I didn’t give a damn about myself, I’m still going to wear a mask for somebody else. Now I know we hear this over and over again. Okay? And today I saw a sign that said, you know what, I’m not giving up my freedom for your safety.



And again, I just have to ask myself, what is the logic behind that? What is the you know, what is, what is the thought process behind this? Okay. So I know that it’s safe to wear a life preserver when I’m going to be on a boat that looks kind of shoddy. I know it’s safe to put my seatbelt on when I’m going to be driving my car. Okay. So what do you decide? Do you decide it’s okay, I don’t want to be safe? Is it that you have a death wish? Is it that you don’t really care about yourself or don’t like yourself very much and you say, okay, I am not going to take safety perceptions. So when we start to get into things like protecting other people, okay, so the question then becomes, do you care about other people? Okay. The question is, do you care about the elderly grandma? Hey, sorry, these guys are going to get up.



Let’s go, let’s go, let’s go get in there at night. Get in there, let’s go, let’s go get in there.



So then you say to yourself, well, what is this? Okay. So we all at some point at least had a mother, a father, a grandmother, a grandfather. So the question is do you care about them? Then it’s the talk of people who are at higher risk. So the idea is people who maybe are immunocompromised people who maybe have a chronic illness, people who you know are immunocompromised are a greater risk for whatever reason. Do you care about them? Okay. And then the question becomes, okay, so you decided not to wear a mask. So if I am going to make a choice for myself, like I’m not going to wear a mask because I am willing to take that risk for myself as a human being. I at least want to show respect for the people who say, Hey, you know what, I do want to protect myself and wear a mask and why would I try to discourage somebody from wearing a mask?



Why would I try to put myself in a position where I’m close to somebody who’s wearing a mask if I choose not to wear the mask? Right? So there’s that aspect of it. And the other aspect of it is that we get so much conflicting information and we get conflicting information from people who have so many varied degrees of knowledge. Some of them have absolutely zero. Some of them have you know, negative knowledge which is actually their, their information is so bad that it actually could be harmful to us. Some of them have an agenda that is not necessarily to help you, right? So some people have an agenda that is financial in nature or political in nature, or they may be personally deranged or there may be something else that makes them not make good decisions. Okay. Or not want you to make good decisions.



But I gotta tell you, I am gravely concerned and you know, it’s like they say it takes two people to stay together. And it takes one person to end a relationship, right? So it takes two people to stay in a relationship. It takes one person to end a relationship. And the thing is that this is one of those situations where it’s not like if you make a choice to wear a mask, your destiny is only in your own hands. And you have to realize that if you make a decision not to wear a mask, that it is not only your destiny that is in your hands. And what I mean by that is that, you know what, we could do everything right? We could do everything right and we can you know, we can come in contact with somebody who simply doesn’t give a damn and they can disrupt us.



Okay. It’s like, it’s like driving. It’s like when I used to work EMS, I worked in a place where we were surrounded by a number of different highways. So if I were to you know, I used to work Saturday nights 6:00 PM to 6:00 AM on Sunday mornings and if it were raining, I used to go out to work at about four 30, five o’clock. And I knew if it was raining I was going to spend the whole night on the highway. Okay. And people say, be careful when you say, well, I’m a very careful driver. Right? But the thing is that when you’re driving, you can be the most careful driver in the world, but you’re not just in control of everything that’s going on. You’re at the mercy of the really bad drivers that are out there. And I’m going to put the same analogy, okay?



To protection. So you can be you know, you can be the most protected person on earth, then you could still be undone by people who aren’t protected and who don’t give a damn. So what’s my whole point? I’m not here just venting. I’m here kind of expressing a little bit of exasperations not to be confused with exacerbation. But it’s like I ask people and, and you know, I know it’s not you guys like the people that are watching this right now, the people that are attending our meetings, the people that are in our group, those aren’t the ones I’m worried about. Okay. Other than the fact that we’re stuck at home because people and, and you know what? Being stuck at home. There’s, there’s worst things people say stuck at home. I say safe home, okay. But the thing is that we have a serious beast out there.



And the thing is that this beast is relentless and it doesn’t care if you’re Democrat or Republican, rich or poor you know black or white and it, the, the virus doesn’t, okay. Society does. Society will definitely make decisions based on those factors. But the thing is that if you, and I’ve said this all along, if you want to watch how the country should be behaving, watch how the white house behaves and now that it is in the white house, you’re seeing people start to test every day. You’re seeing people wearing masks except for one. Okay? But the idea is we must remain vigilant and I say the same thing again and again. Okay? We must remain vigilant. There are people who are saying that staying home can lower your immunity. It may, but you know what? If you die, your immunity doesn’t matter anymore.



Okay? The key to this is to stay alive, to get through it. To come out on the other side of it and to not knock off any other people. Okay. again, I don’t really know. I don’t know what to make of this. You know, States are opening, I saw on some States last night, they opened like an hour after they were open bars were full, not following any social distancing measures, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. You know, I have, I’ve owned a pulmonary rehabilitation center since 1998 and quite frankly, I don’t even know if we’re going to be able to open. And the reason why I say I don’t know if we’re going to be able to reopen is because I am not confident that I can keep you safe. And if I’m not confident that I can keep you safe, then no, no matter how good the rehab is, it is not worth the risk of you leaving your home, getting in public transportation, getting in a taxi, getting in a bus, getting on the subway, getting in an Uber.



I don’t want to discriminate getting into Lyft and it’s just not worth it. So again, what am I doing right now? Am I venting? I guess I am venting, but I’m really just talking about what I see and you know, I know that I don’t go out that much. The one time I went out a few weeks ago, I went, I went to get antibody tested because I was super sick. I picked up a bug on a flight a few years, a few months ago, and and I thought I might’ve had Corona virus. So I went recently to get tested for antibodies and I got a cold and or coronavirus I don’t know if it is, but I don’t, I don’t suspect it’s Corona virus. But anyway, the point is we have to be careful. Okay. And we have to make our own decisions and we have to make decisions that are right for us.



And for better or for worse, the decisions that are best for our community right now is to stay put. Don’t put yourself in the line of fire. Okay. And this is going to be one of those watch and wait situations where we have to say, Hey, let’s see what happens. Because guess what, we don’t have control over everybody. As a matter of fact, we don’t have control over almost anybody. We do have control over ourselves. And I don’t know what else to say about it. So after that take you on a little tour, me and monk are gonna take you for a little tour around the bonds, that garden, and we’ll show you some Bonzai. It’s very, very sunny here in New York. As you can see, 85 degrees.






This is the Azalea patch. There’s kiddo coming out and this is the enchanted forest right here. Hey, let’s go. Let’s go.



Come on kid.



Alan, my dogs must have known you were watching, kiddo. Let’s go.



Hold on one second. Let’s go



Get in there. All right, so final words, final words. Okay. People, I gotta tell you, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I pray for humanity. You know, I do what I can’t teach and to educate and to help.






But you can’t make people listen and you can’t make people believe something when they absolutely are dead set against believe it. So anyway, stay safe, my friends and,






Stay safe. My friends stay safe. We are here, we are in this together. You know, one other thing I wanted to say is that, you know, when you take a chance and you go out and you, you, you risk things you know, it’s really like a big F you to all these doctors, nurses respiratory therapists, housekeeping staff, people working at the pharmacy you know, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. I don’t know Pell, it’s the sun. I am beautifully golden to him. Anyway. stay safe. My friends. Have a great day. Have a great weekend tomorrow at 2:00 PM Eastern time. There will be a support group meeting. You are all welcome to join and we are shooting some really, really interesting covert videos. Super interesting cobot videos. We shot yesterday with dr Rob caner from Cornell. We shot with a doctor who was an ER doc who is from Kings County hospital in Brooklyn, both who’ve come through Covidien. We shot with some of our patients and that’s it. My friends keep fighting. Don’t give up, let the others do what they’re going to do. You stay safe at home and have a great weekend. Have a great day. Bye bye.