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Israel: Next Lockdown Hanukah
By Micah Halpern

Wednesday October 21, 2020

I've Been Thinking:

It has been a difficult month for Israelis. The month of the High Holidays and Sukkot are normally a time for family and fun even some relaxation.

This year it was spent in lockdown.

Now, slowly, Israel is opening up. Kindergartens and nursery schools. Essential businesses. Public transport is operating and people are permitted to visit family. Within a week or two, life should be back in full swing.

The contagion rate is 3% and the situation is looking very good. But if the contagion rate increases, Israel will snap back the restrictions.

Now the big challenge is Hanukah. What happens during Hanukah? Hanukah, like the High Holidays and Sukkot is a two week celebratory period (even though Hanukah itself is only 8 days) when Israelis travel, have family events and party.

As you read this, Israelís decision makers are discussing how to lock Israel down during Hanukah to prevent a COVID spike.

If they asked, I would say the best way is to keep those people who are high risk away from everyone else. It sounds awful. It sounds heartless. But the best way to save those who are most likely to suffer is to make certain that the older people you love do not come into contact with potential carriers.

As a policy it sounds discriminatory. It is.

But de facto, this how people behave to protect themselves. People knew that when they were not feeling well, they did not go out. So, too, now.

Unfortunately, this season, flu shots are not readily available for the entire population in Israel. What would be a second line of health defense is not there.

An educational campaign should be launched to protect the vulnerable and remind young and old alike how to convey their love at a safe distance.

Go out only when necessary and properly protected. Wash hands and keep safe distance. It should be rote for all of us by now.

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22 October 2020 10:17 AM in Thoughts

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