Life Lessons

One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned this year is that good and bad can co-exist. When something’s bad, it’s not all bad, and vice versa.

Take for example my recent battle with Covid-19; I don’t have much good to say about the virus but the experience taught me several important lessons. Among them:
Nurses are remarkable people. Just remarkable. 
Doctors are incredible too. 
We are blessed to have a hospital as good as Bethesda serving our community. 
I have lots and lots of wonderful friends. 
My family is amazing. 
My wife is next level great. And I love her more than I can ever express. 
Prayer is powerful. Very powerful. 
Those are all good lessons to learn or —in my case— relearn. 
 By now, most of us have written off 2020 as a terrible year. 
The virus has robbed us of so much. We are a dangerously divided nation—angry and distrustful of one another. 
It’s sad and depressing. 
And yet..
Some have used the pandemic to reconnect and reinvent. We are talking about important issues and while painful, it’s good that we are having these conversations. 
We have managed to reorder our lives and in some cases our businesses and careers. 
Yes, small businesses are hurting. And it’s tragic and painful to see people’s dreams disintegrate. Yet, amidst the mess, we are reminded  of the importance of small business; not only to our economy but the very character of our communities…we will deeply mourn those who close their doors. And I hope we will appreciate and support local businesses forevermore.

Yes,  we have lost a staggering amount of people to this virulent virus. It pains me to see their loss minimized as we argue over statistics. Death should not be partisan. We need to figure out how to be a more empathetic nation. It starts on the local level.
Kindness matters.
As a recipient of a huge outpouring of love and prayers, I can personally attest to how important love can be. It saved me. And I often thought of people who suffer alone—without family and friends or community. How lonely that must be…
Yes, our children’s education and social lives have been disrupted but we have also seen many families grow closer. I’m hopeful our children will learn from this experience. They will overcome. 
So yes, life is a mixed bag. 
Good and bad can and do co-exist. 
And yes, it’s true that it is always darkest before the dawn which is why I’m confident better days are on the way. 
Update: After 39 days at Bethesda Hospital battling Covid-19, I’m extremely happy to be home. It has been almost three weeks since my homecoming and I’m spending my time in physical and occupational therapy. I have five sessions a week learning to breathe, walk, climb stairs while rebuilding my strength which was completely zapped by the disease and a violent case of double pneumonia. 
I’m still on oxygen but I’ve graduated from a walker and can now walk unassisted around the house. 
My breathing feels labored at times, as if there’s an obstruction somewhere deep. 
I’ve been reading a lot about COVID and the experiences of people who develop conditions such as glaucoma, depression or  lupus after battling the virus. 
To be honest, it’s scary. 
It turns out Covid is a vascular disease and one has to wonder what it does to your system. 
I’m doing my best to focus on the positive and taking it a day at a time. I’m drawing strength and resolve from the many kind people who are in my corner. I remain in awe of them and am deeply grateful for the abundance of love in my life. I’m a lucky man. 


  1. Sharon Sperling says

    You are a awesome person and even better brother
    There are no words to say how I feel about your survival
    You mentioned in another well written article that I choked back tears every time we spoke and that is so true
    But now they are tears of joy!!!!!
    Love you so much

  2. arthur m beckerman says

    Very Nice Jeff; feel better and better

  3. FrancesBourque says

    Not only are you a lucky and very special man, we are blessed and lucky to have you in our lives! I might say “back” in our lives, but we were never going to let you go! HE has other plans and seems they are slowly in place! Yes, you are loved!

  4. Marian Callahan says

    Jeff I do Not know you personally but feel I do after following your Covid battle. As a semiretired nurse it was really an eyeopener to be able to see it from a patients perspective. You did that very well, we all were with you in this journey rooting for you! Thankyou for that! Now for your recovery and again it as if we are there with you! I wish you conintued blessings and yes family is everything & yours sounds remarkable! Keep on swimming buddy!!

  5. Ron Gilinsky says

    Jeff, You’re an inspiration to me & everyone. You’ve endured a Horrible Illness & have overcome this battle to recover. You’re a Very Tough man.
    I’m Very proud to call you my Special Friend. I’m here for you ‼️ 💯👍👌💯‼️

    • Jeff Perlman says

      Thanks Ron. You’ve overcome a whole lot too. So you certainly understand.

    • Joan Senator says

      I remember coming to your house to a support party when Joe Biden first announced his candidacy for president. I just read of your battle with this horrible covid disease and am glad you are recuperating. Just as Joe Biden has been overcoming many doubts about his capability, I am sure both you and he will prevail.
      Best wishes for a speedy and full recovery.
      Joan Senator

  6. Marilyn Schiavo says

    You are a hero in my eyes, Jeff! You never gave up and have such relevant words of wisdom that we all need to pay heed to!!

  7. Jeff, it’s great to listen in on your thinking process as you mull over important issues. I would love to hear your thoughts about post pandemic in Delray. Now thankfully you are back! Congrats to you and everyone who made it happen. I’m looking forward to your thoughts about what all this means to Atlantic Ave, tennis center, Old School Square, Delray Affair, shopping malls. After what you’ve gone through, I’m sure you have a couple of blog posts to share with us!

  8. Jeff – your determination to “make it through” this nightmare is an inspiration to us all and a reminder not to take life’s “off ramps” because they seem easy or expedient . We love you!

  9. As always Jeff,

    Spot on.

    And I always read every word you write.

    So glad to get these updates

    Luv U Man

  10. Dale Morrison says

    Very Happy For You Jeff!!
    Keep up with your recovery going so well.

  11. Stephanie Molyneux says

    Your writing is something else. Very thoughtful and thought provoking. Bernard and I are still in awe of the way you’ve handled coming through such a traumatic experience and the strides you are making to overcome it all both physically and mentally. I definitely agree with you that good and bad can and do co-exist. What’s remarkable to me is that while still going through such a tough life experience you choose to be a champion in looking for the good in and for others! That’s incredibly special and one of the reasons I just KNOW you’ll continue to improve daily! Keep going, Jeff~ Many prayers are still surrounding you.

  12. Dan Andrews says

    I appreciate your candor and grit. We are blessed to be able to write and share our stories. Love is the binding agent in this battle against a virus that has no boundaries. Be safe, stay strong and know you are not alone.

  13. Mariann Gerwig says

    You continue to amaze me by the way you continue to allow people to learn through your experience. If people only listen to the news this pandemic could be minimalized. Finally the President admitted he was not telling us the truth he was trying to “avoid causing panic”, funny how that was not his approach to so many other matters.

    Sorry I wanted this to be about your journey that you allowed so many of us to follow. Thank you again for the first hand narrative of your journey so far.

    • Jeff Perlman says

      Thanks so much for your kind comments.
      My experience continues with physical therapy which I am enjoying. It’s a long way back but I’m determined and I hope others can glean something from my experience.

  14. Gary Broidis says

    Jeff, I am so happy that you are home and on the road to recovery. Your thoughts and incredibly scary and horrific experience that you share with all of us is a tremendous gift and reminder to all of us of the severity and the still unknown about this terrible disease. Hopefully, your words and experience will show so many others who do not take the virus seriously the gravity of despair that it can bring to individuals and families. I have numerous friends and colleagues whose families have been devastated by this virus that has killed their family members that were healthy prior to contracting the virus. You were extremely lucky to survive this ordeal and we, in turn, are now so lucky to have you share your thoughts with us. Best wishes for your continued recovery.

    • Jeff Perlman says

      Thanks for your kind comments Gary.
      I feel a responsibility to share my experiences and I hope they can help in a small way during this difficult time.
      I feel very fortunate to be alive.

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