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Coronavirus: Let’s Infect the Whole World!

Thursday, 13 February, 2020 - 8:49 pm

As I took the NYC subway this week, I noticed multiple people wearing masks, presumably in response to the coronavirus, and I thought to myself, “I should get one of those too!”

By now scientists are pretty sure the coronavirus originated with a single person who ate pangolin meat in Wuhan, China. Currently, 60,000 people are infected and 1,370 have died. 

Think about it: One individual, whose name we do not know, in a province in China that most of us had never heard of, eats meat from the pangolin—a mammal that is also unfamiliar to most of us—creating mass hysteria and a new disease termed COVID-19 with which we are ALL now very familiar. 

The actions of this single person have rippled across the entire world, creating massive waves of fear and panic. In Japan, 3000 people are stuck on a cruise, forced to spend 23 hours per day inside their rooms. Tens of thousands are stuck in makeshift hospitals in China without adequate medical care. Millions are afraid to travel by airplane, and dozens of countries have limited or entirely refused to accept flights originating from China. Almost every country in the world is feeling the impact. The coronavirus has already caused billions of dollars in damage and has the potential to reach trillions. 

Our sages teach that the power of goodness and kindness is infinitely stronger than the power of evil. “A little light dispels much darkness” is not merely an adage, it is the starting point from which we can transform the entire world. 

And so, I ask you: 

If one anonymous individual eating pangolin meat can unintentionally cause so much fear and panic across the world, can you imagine how much intentional love you and I can spread across the world by doing one mitzvah—eating kosher meat?

Just like patient zero in Wuhan, nobody knows our names and nobody sees us doing the mitzvot, but we can still have a massive effect on the rest of the world. Our mitzvot—eating kosher meat, or anything else—spread out into the world creating ripple effects whose end result we ourselves may never know.   

The coronavirus may be an invisible monster, but our sages tell us that when we do mitzvot, we create invisible angels that fan out across the universe. So let’s get out there and start infecting the world with goodness and kindness. There is no place for quarantine here!

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