Are you having a happy holiday season? Trying valiantly to cast aside your typical day-in, day-out worries and fears?
Here are some big scares to keep you occupied and filled with anxiety, because why should you take a vacation from fears?
There are run of the mill woes with which you could vex yourself, such as untimely death, house fires and floods, job loss and mentally unhinged people who go ballistic on your bus or train. You could worry about your children being victims of drastic bullying, racial profiling, and gang violence. You or your spouse could have reduced work hours, crucial cuts to your medical benefits, exposure of your confidential emails and social media posts.
Here is a list of 10 things that could particularly lay you low in 2015.
1. Credit card fraud.
Heck, I had three cards compromised in the past six years.
2. Identity theft in all its many manifestations and varieties.
Someone apparently opened up a wireless account with my name and address, but no other data, and also had an I-pad delivered to my home without my knowledge. Of course I have to clean up this.
3. Failing infrastructure such as collapsing bridges.
Years ago my parents missed driving on such a bridge, by a few hours.
4. Drivers distracted while texting.
Have you seen the videos that warn about this? They are horrific.
5. Super-storms, hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires and other natural disasters.
6. Compromised and tainted medicines.
What should heal you instead ends up harming you.
7. Growing heroin epidemic.
New York City’s Staten Island is one of many places hit with this.
8. Cars with faulty breaks and air bags.
Even if your car is safe, you could be the other driver or the pedestrian that comes into contact with such a car. Takata Brakes in your car?
9. The closing and merging of social service institutions such as hospitals, medical clinics and fire houses.
Or hospitals in limbo.
10. Growing numbers of serious sports-related injuries among youth such as concussions and damaged joints.
Adults are afflicted with these as well.
Some of these horrors are modern, some are age-old. All can have serious consequences. And this is but 10 such things to fear; there are many more. Stay as safe as you can, people, and hopefully your new year will be relatively safe. Remember to change your passwords frequently, put out all cigarettes carefully, look both ways before crossing the street, and don’t give out your social security number to just any pretty face. Happy 2015!
Ellen Levitt is the author of The Lost Synagogues of Brooklyn (2009), The Lost Synagogues of the Bronx and Queens (2011) and The Lost Synagogues of Manhattan (2013). (And hopefully a book about NJ one day, if her publisher gives the green light.)