Sunday, April 26, 2020

Seniors, Volunteers, and what's between them

The socially isolated senior citizens get a lot of help from volunteers these days: food boxes, meals, books, games, gym devices etc...It sure helps cope with the situation, and stay optimistic.

I've particularly enjoyed a pack of 21 tiny cards with printed flowers growing in the holy land. It is a good opportunity  to  learn or recall the names (scientific and common ) of each flower, and the major facts about it (origin, shape, color, growing conditions).   

I find it important to know which plants and flowers are poisonous, medicinal, edible, invasive, protected, spicy. I use spices in my kitchen and take herb supplements for medical wellness. So, 'playing' with these cards is definitely time well spent.

The delivered food boxes contain mostly dry and canned food - not ideal for elderly people's daily menu. It's more sort of  food reserve to be stored for the days of food shortage that might come.
On the other hand, frozen meals to be warmed up, are a hit; gourmet quality, well planned, decent quantity and variety.

They say the corona virus attacks animals and crops as well. I sincerely hope that's not true, but then, I read in the news that it has been discovered  back in 1964 by a brilliant scottish female lab worker. So, it had plenty of time  to become The Virus of all times, to emerge as the accomplished  micro-organism ready to face and destroy the vanity of mankind.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

The Herd Immunity

Actually, we should call it  'population immunity'  as we're not livestock, but the term 'herd'  keeps popping up  in  articles or interviews on  covid-19, whether in hebrew or in english.

The theory behind  'herd immunity' is that the virus won't disappear by itself,  and we don't know when there will be a vaccine against it .   So, currently, there are two options to prevent spreading of the infection:

1. isolation, social distancing, quarantine
2.  herd immunity.

The first option usually has good results in a community/region/country where people are disciplined and willing to make  temporary or long-term sacrifices on the economic and social levels. 

The second option ,  that of  'herd immunity' occurs , according to specialists on the matter, when at least 60% of the population (the herd), gets exposed to the virus, contracts the disease, develops anti-bodies, recovers , becomes immune to it, and in this way slows down and eventually stops  spreading of the virus.

The above mentioned exposure is not done as an attempt to get intentionally infected in order to build immunity. 

It is done through  trying to return,  even partially, to the routine of work, shopping, sports, and other life activities which, sadly, carry the risk of infection.

I must confess, it all seems to me rather complicated and risky. 
I don't envy those that have to take and implement decisions regarding easement on coronavirus restrictions,  
It's a terrible responsability.

Anyway ,in my country, we need a miracle, and fast, before things get chaotic.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Behind The Shelves

There's been a lot of talk lately about empty shelves and spaces, shortage of products - all related to the coronavirus crisis.

That reminds me of things about shelves,  going on all the time, not only during a crisis: let's call them War and Science.

1. "War" among manufacturers regarding shelf space,  as there's a multitude of products versus limited shelfing space.

It seems to me the supermarkets favor the big companies; their products stake up the front.. That's not fair for competition. The shopper has a lot to lose this way; competition is of utmost importance, as it influences prices and quality.

When looking for the products I'm used to buy,  I sometimes notice how the bigger companies just 'swallow' the smaller ones and this process starts on the shelf.    Small manufacturers's merchandise gradually disappears ; l
ater on, I find out that the small company has gone out of business or 'persuaded' to merge with the bigger one.

2. "Science" - planogramming - space planning.

A 'planogram' is a diagram showing how and where a product should be placed on shelves in order to increase customer purchase.

Many supermarkets and pharma stores employ experienced people for this specific job.

Planogramming sounds like a nice job to me. I know there's a lot of software products that help building and reading a planogram. I suppose there's also the possibility of formal training somewhere. It's worth it for those already in the retail business or wishing to join this sort of business.


(web picture)

Friday, April 3, 2020

The Over 70s

A popular female astrologer in our country says the coronavirus attack will slow down at the end of this month (25 April, to be exact), and in September scientists will come up with a vaccine and  some efficient anti-viral drug.

On the other hand,  a well-known researcher, Dr. Sharon Moalem (israeli born, lived and worked in Canada  and USA) says in an interview that the corona virus is here to stay with us, and that's good, in his opinion.

 There are two key things that help  lowering numbers of  infected people: testing and lockdown .   
To stop a pandemic there's need to know who's infected, and take drastic measures. 

It seems there are not enough testing kits, testing facilities, testing personnel, so the statistics in most countries is rather inaccurate, and disaster might well be on its way.

As for lockdown- it works where there's discipline only.  So far, we've got over seven (7)thousand cases in Israel. Not surprising, as there is no discipline here.

The over 70s do follow the instructions (I'm in this age group too). They know that it is for their own good. Most of them are frail, vulnerable, with underlying conditions and a weak immune system; thus they are more likely to get seriously ill and spread the virus among family, friends and others.

However, there are many voices out there now stating loud and clear that the beds, ventilators, oxygen, medications and medical staff in the hospitals,  as well as the volunteering activities  are needed for the younger ones who have to work hard  and keep economy going.

I dislike these voices. They sound dangerous and inhumane to me. They present the over 70s as standing in the way of the Health Care System to win the battle against the virus, and of the government to bring about economic recovery.