Berkeley Hearing Center during the pandemic

How are you doing?

In this unprecedented time of COVID-19, I don’t know how to really answer that question anymore.

There are so many emotions I’m dealing with, along with everyone else.  Naturally, I’m worried for those I love who are being affected by this in different ways.

My daughter, with her school, shut down for the foreseeable future.

My parents, who have non-emergent (but significant) health issues that they can’t get addressed right now because leaving home puts them at greater risk.

My friends who are losing their jobs or businesses, with an uncertain landscape ahead.

Being pretty healthy (finally), I’m not really worried about my own or my family’s health if they/I was to become somehow infected.  But on a personal and professional level, I certainly worry about my patients and my practice, my ability to provide care, and employment for my amazing staff.  Since we can’t see new patients, we’re not able to generate revenue.

But we’re staying open and doing whatever we can to help everyone as much as possible while isolating/distancing to protect our patients and ourselves.

As a nurturer and caregiver, I feel sorrow and pain for all of those people already feeling the effects.

Those infected who are suffering or have succumbed and their families.

The large number of folks whose lives are already economically tenuous, living paycheck to paycheck or with government assistance, who now don’t know if they’ll have a place to live or food to feed their family or themselves.

As a citizen, I feel anger and frustration with how this has been addressed by our Federal government.  How some of my fellow citizens still aren’t thinking of others, only themselves.  This unprecedented event will touch everyone in some way before all’s said and done.

What will it teach us?  What, if anything, will we learn?

We have the capacity for incredible kindness, charity, and beauty.

We also have the capacity for unimaginable cruelty, hatred, and evil.  It is far easier to be selfish and not think of others, to be greedy, or to blame someone else for what we think we deserve but don’t have.

In Judaism, the concept of the covenant between G-d and his people is one of responsibility.

To be “A light among the nations.” To demonstrate how people can live together in peace.  It’s not an easy thing we (humanity) are tasked with!  Responsibility rarely is.

Now is the time for everyone to step up and take responsibility for ourselves while thinking of others and, when possible, to help others who are less fortunate.

All over the world, we are seeing ‘lights’ shining in the darkness of this virus.  Neighbors grocery shopping for older folks who are at greater risk, professional athletes are giving money from their own pockets to arena staff/workers, restaurant owners donating food to hospital staff on the front lines of the fight, even banks willing to forego interest on loans and credit card debt!

We owe it to ourselves, our elderly, and our children to keep bringing this light.  They say, “Every gray cloud has a silver lining.”

Because this virus knows no bounds, no black or white, rich or poor, gay or straight, it highlights that which connects us all.  We are all humans, and we are all in this together.

If we can finally(!) learn that lesson, the price we are currently paying will be worth it.  I wish everyone health and healing!

Do you know somebody that needs to see this? Why not share it?

Jonathan Lipschutz Audiologist, M.S., F-AAA, Owner

Jonathan is the owner of Berkeley Hearing Center. He received his bachelor of science in hearing and speech science and a master of science in audiology from Purdue University. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Audiology and the California Academy of Audiology. Jonathan has over 20 years of audiology and hearing aid experience in both the non-profit and corporate sectors.

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