Corona: Stage 2
We live in Israel. Most of our Corona experiences focus on our own environment. Yes, we communicate with family and friends around the World. We hear their stories, their updates, but they are not our experiences. Slowly but surely, we get used to our daily routine. There are exceptions to the routine. But in general, we are no longer taking this crisis as serious as necessary.
That is understandable; human nature. But it is dangerous. Let’s follow my wandering mind…
This weekend was the Shavuot holiday, celebrating the revelation of the Commandments to Moses. After a horrible week of extremely high temperatures, we were back to nice weather. As in many countries, we are easing the lockdown, which of course means ‘rush to the beach’, ‘invade the parks’ and ‘overflow the coffee houses’.
Our families also fell into the trap of having a picnic in northern Israel. For those of you with Biblical leaning, we were in a hilly region of the lower Galilee at the base of the Carmel Mountains, overlooking the Jezreel Valley.
At least 20 of us, no masks, many hugs, and shared frisbee. We had fallen into the trap of the urge for normality.
Following such a successful fight until now against the virus, Israel is experiencing a spike in cases, and now there are warnings of going back into lockdown.
Hairdressers are open, though many still are afraid of such close contact. Our building, however, does not have the same issue….
Our little ‘centre’ downstairs already has 4 hair salons, the usual supermarket, plus flowers, optician, vet, real estate, 3 fashion boutiques etc., plus 2 restaurants and 4 coffee houses / bakeries etc. The Italian ‘Nono’ with the lights outside was about to open when Corona arrived. What an investment potentially down the drain. But they are a strong and quality chain. They opened up already 3 weeks ago with pizza, bakery and coffee take-out, and now they have been allowed to open the tables outside.
In the background is ‘our local’ Arcaffee, a very popular place for the community. They also opened up now, except for the spacing of their normally squeezed seating area. Lucky for us the new place opened…
Internationally? Every sign that Covid 19 will be with us for a long time, and that it is already causing the financial/economic disaster and the dangerous social unrest long-predicted.
They are all intertwined. Our headlines focus on USA, although it is already becoming so obvious that other parts of the World are only now beginning to suffer, such as countries in Latin America and Africa.
But the US is now in the headlines. The George Floyd saga is a horror. It’s an excuse, the straw on the camel’s back, that exposes so many faults, not only but mostly in US society. Like anti-Semitism, racism is such an intricate part of society (and an almost hidden part of human nature), that it will always be there, ready to flare up when ’needed’.
Like the suicide bomber, the racists only need to succeed once in a while to cause havoc.
The guilty cop and his 3 colleagues need to be fucking hung, drawn and quartered. And then some. But no punishment is sufficient to quench the thirst of a) the protesters and b) the rioters and their extreme colleagues.
In my opinion, Trump is fanning the flames. When he marched into the White House rose garden, flanked by 7-8 smartly-suited penguins gentlemen including Mike Pompeo, he gave a gutsy speech focusing on China and their influence in WHO (he has now cut US funding) and in Hong Kong (he has now cut the special relationship with the once autonomous enclave). He ended his speech, turned round and walked away, followed by the 7-8 smartly-suited penguins gentlemen. No room for questions, no contributions from the actually very impressive entourage, no mention of Minneapolis and ‘America burning’.
Yes, later, Trump covered the troubles, although partly with the whirring of the helicopter blades drowning his words. He was on his way to hopefully witness the launch of the first manned space flight for 11 years. (It did happen). Not sure he has his priorities right.
Yes, he eventually called the Floyd family. But his way of standing up to the rioters is questionable. Yes, be strong, but play the game right. His threats of the power of the Secret Service and their dogs protecting the White House was straight out of a violent video game.
These are dangerous times. We can look back to the economic woes in Germany after WW1, which formed the basis of the Weimar Republic. The people (in the US) have had several severe economical crises, the latest being only 12 years back. The current unemployment figures are horrific. Small and large businesses collapsing. (I know: Trump helped bring back employment and and economic stability, but that’s been defeated by Covid).
The blaming of China may be partially correct, but old wounds don’t heal so quickly. Just as in the Arab World, some are blaming Israel and the Jews for their current woes, in America it is the unfair society of the white man which is to blame.
The gun stores were emptied in March. Be careful.
Now, how to end on a lighter note….
Covid has introduced us to the nicer side of social media. We’ve heard enough about cyber crimes (I recently lost $200 in a scam!!). Look at the new friendly and amusing communities that have sprung through Zoom and Co.
Look at our excitement to see seats at coffee places, parks and beaches. Already, we are watching football and charity golf. By mid-June, the constant repeats on the sports channels will fade away.
We are starting to openly hug our grandparents and grandchildren, although masks may be needed for a while yet. Gotta be seen to be protecting/respecting the other.
Lip-reading will have to be delayed…