By Harvey Tobkes


I was 13 when WWII started and almost 17 when it ended. If we reflect on the mind-set of the people back then and what’s happening now there is one major difference. In my memory the people were all patriotic and behind the war effort, and went about their daily lives as usual with none of the health, social, and financial fears we are experiencing today from the Coronavirus. People today are taking cautionary measures wearing rubber gloves and using soaps and sanitizers like never before. They are stocking up on food and water and other essentials just like they did in WW II. Quite frankly, I think there is more fear now than during wartime because as individuals, we now can face death because of a handshake or someone sneezes in an elevator or even in more trivial circumstances. In WWII, nobody died because of social contact…people died when they were hit by a car or had cancer or a heart attack.

It was announced today that Churches are closing in New York; that is a first in all of history. In no American war did we close churches. Even during the Black Plague in Europe, churches never closed.

Only a Pollyanna would think this will end soon.

In our history there was a famous quote by president F.D.R who said during the first days of WWII, “The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.”

On the present state of the Coronavirus situation, it can be said…Fear generates fear.

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