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  • Glenn Sonnenberg

Musings from the Bunker 3/11/21

Good morning,


Securing herd immunity, at least for the earlier mutations of the virus, is a subject on all of our minds. I have received a lot of correspondence regarding this, virtually all of which questions our government’s inability to convey, on a massive and convincing scale, the importance of vaccinations and their safety.

There have been a number of examples of the inexplicable—almost angry—resistance to vaccination coming from some quarters. I understand that there is pent-up demand for social interaction. But I don’t understand the militant objection to measures to protect the public safety. One anecdote is the parents in Idaho who brought their children to a bonfire to burn their surgical masks. I’m not sure whether I’m disappointed most in the parents subjecting their children to such a display, the government’s failure to educate our citizens so they wouldn’t have these bizarre notions, or the constant, relentless, disinformation of the right-wing media.

It is clear that there has been a profound failure of our government on two fronts: (a) the inability to deliver the vaccines efficiently and get them in arms quickly through a coordinated system (after having over six months to prepare), and (b) the failure to orchestrate a nation-wide effort to raise public awareness of the safety and importance of getting vaccinated. A public service announcement program should have been blanketing the airwaves and social media for months now. Presumably there are many sports figures and celebrities that could endorse a nationwide program, as was done with seatbelts, stopping smoking, etc. Such a public relations program would do a lot to encourage those sitting on the fence regarding vaccination and/or continuing with masks and social distancing to do their part to make us all safer and get past the pandemic.

There has been a reluctance of those in positions of celebrity and opinion leaders to openly embrace the idea of vaccination. In particular, Jeremy Rosen and Ken Millman both point out that at the NBA All-Star game this past week, Lebron James and others have indicated that the decision to get vaccinations is a private family decision “requiring more study.” As Jeremy says, “shame on them.” As Ken says, “He should have given his overwhelming support and encouragement even if he is personally undecided. His voice carries tremendous weight…sorry to say—wrong response, Lebron.”

Jeremy points out that Kareen and older former players are speaking out. They of course are not under the thumb of NBA management—the same folks who didn’t speak out against the gross human rights abuses in China when they had the chance.

Then, of course, there is the intellectual dishonesty of those who question the vaccination program or even the gravity of the Pandemic, yet in the dead of night quietly get their own vaccinations. As Mark Shpall points out, while Donald Trump quietly received his vaccination in January, others either don’t know of his example (since he apparently doesn’t want to be an exemplar) or aren’t following his lead:


Several of you have cited the New York Times article that argues that L.A. bagels have overtaken the quality of the New York originals: The Best Bagels Are in California (Sorry, New York)

As Peter Bain has said, “The paper of record has spoken. Because this has received no small amount of discussion in the Musings, I thought you might want to share it with the group. When the Gray Lady speaks, we must listen...”

Sharon Spira-Cusher confirms this finding: “Got behind on my Musings these past couple weeks and see I missed the great bagel debate! Can’t believe no one mentioned these guys, the absolute best bagel in LA: It was always an extra special shabbat when my dad’s Friday rounds would take him past the factory before their 2pm closing time, which meant their amazing onion stix (available weekends only) would be joining our challah on the table that night…”


Last week I learned that a college friend tragically succumbed to cancer. In these days of COVID we tend to forget that it isn’t the only disease out there. The ravages of cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other maladies take their toll each year. Time doesn’t stand still as these losses mount.

Any loss is a reminder of our mortality, the fragility of life, and the short time we have to embrace our time here and seize the moment. Let’s all stay safe, be productive and make our lives meaningful and worth remembering.

Warm regards,


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