Corona? So what?

Even with 2,000 new infections per day, Israelis are trying their best to return to life as normal

Photo: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

A week ago we were still worried whether our eldest son from Tel Aviv could come visit us in Modi’in, or if a new weekend curfew would prevent this. But after all the confusion resulting from the back-and-forth over coronavirus restrictions, the government and the the Knesset’s “Corona Committee” decided against shutting down the country, for now.

Just before Shabbat began, I got the following push notification from one of the Israeli news portal apps installed on my phone?

“The weekend restrictions will come into effect at 5 p.m. Beaches and swimming pools remain open, as do all parks and other attractions such as zoos and museums. The restaurants can also continue to receive guests with limitations. Shopping centers and hairdressers will be closed.”

I couldn’t help but grin.

As expected, the parks and beaches were packed. One could be forgiven for thinking there were no crisis or health-related restrictions at all.

At the beach in Tel Aviv.

Another place Israelis have been gathering in large numbers is at the anti-Netanyahu demonstrations taking place every couple days in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. After all, with the clubs and bars currently closed, where else can young people gather in the evening without a 30-person limit?

The only way to gather in groups larger than 30 at the moment.

But I don’t mean to downplay the situation. Nearly a million people remain unemployed due to the economic fallout from the Corona crisis, and promises of government aid are not being fulfilled. Something is indeed wrong here.

As of this week, we have a new “Corona commander” in charge of leading us through this crisis. But, in typical chaotic Israeli fashion, no one yet knows what authority he will really have, or if the appointment will make any real difference.

With nearly 2,000 new confirmed infections every day, it seems we have a long time still until life can truly return to normal.


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