Israel is taking drastic measures to combat Coronavirus. In a nutshell:
Ban on gatherings of over 10 people. All schools, malls, gyms, and restaurants are closed. Workplaces are opting to work from home. And quarantined corona patients are being tracked by some device that we all knew Israel already had. Violators may face prison.
It’s eerie enough as it is, but if these measures were not for the sake of our health, this would be some seriously scary Handmaid’s Tale sh*t.
Most would agree that Israel is ahead of the game in prevention and I don’t think too many people are complaining. Everyone just wants this virus gone and over with so we can resume normal life. No one wants to be the next Italy or the new Spain.
Life all around us has halted as we know it. Although to be honest, my maternity leave remains relatively unchanged. Zvi works for himself so there is no ban on him working, and sweet little Ami and I are hanging out as per usual. Playing, reading, eating, napping and going for long walks during the day. On the small scale, my looming uncertainty is my job search which is likely on hold given that companies are scaling back on new hires (if not laying people off) and even if I got a job I’d be stranded without childcare (all centres are closed for the next several weeks).
The bigger picture is far scarier, the economy is taking a hit, people around the world are falling ill and we are essentially living in a movie, one that we don’t know how it ends, what the final impact will be and how this new reality will change us and the way we behave. Takeaway is – living in the 21st century apparently doesn’t preclude us from experiencing a pandemic.
On a personal note, I’m no germaphobe but I’ve been sensitive to the idea of germs and viruses spreading for almost a year now. When Ami was 13 days old, he was hospitalized with what turned out to be viral meningitis. It was the scariest few days of our lives and what he caught was an adult’s common cold that manifested dangerously in his tiny, little, but resilient body. After that I pretty much viewed the whole world as one giant germ to be reckoned with. When we got back from the hospital, we self-quarantined for two weeks (not the doctors’ orders, our own doing). We barely left the house, made special visitation hours, hosed down all visitors with sanitizer and restricted touch. I’m pretty sure everyone thought we were nuts. When we finally ventured to the mall after Ami got his vaccinations, we heard someone cough in a store and I ran out screaming “START THE CAR!” Not really, but sort of. I never thought for a moment that one day the whole world would be just as terrified of such a sound.
It’s been almost a year now and I’ve gotten used to the idea that viruses are all around us and that building immunity is a healthy, natural, part of life. But I also learned that when it comes to germs, the world is not an even playing field. Not all immune systems can withstand a virus that for the majority of people would appear mild, if at all symptomatic. I saw that firsthand with my newborn and I don’t wish it on anyone. And so, wash those hands with soap people (apparently sanitizers are overrated and not as effective), stay home if you need to and if you’re not afraid for yourself, think about the vulnerable. Life is what this world is all about. Every system we adhere to (i.e. education, economy, politics) becomes meaningless without it, I’m pretty sure the author of Sapiens will have something to say about that.
Stay safe and healthy everyone!