Looking around at everyone, from spending about 95% of my day at home, or going out in a mask with latex gloves in my pockets to do daily errands, I cannot help but feel that we’re all living in an exceedingly long episode of either “Black Mirror” or “The Twilight Zone”.
I know that people chuckle at this, but I don’t see anything funny about it. Our entire generation never experienced anything like this. To cope, people need to be patient, understanding as well as helpful. Things we have taken for granted for years are now no longer accessible. Until yesterday, we tried to keep shuls open and, well, now all have been closed until further notice. Schools closed and people are homeschooling their kids or their teachers are giving lessons from home via ZOOM or Skype. People took home their equipment from their offices and now their dining room tables look like they could pass for a messy conference room. Even more so, conference meetings are being interrupted by children arguing, a baby crying or a dog’s reaction to an ambulance outside. Normally, none of this would be at all acceptable, yet under the circumstances, this is our new normal. Our new normal is, as of today, 19 March 2020, only 4 days since restrictions began creeping up upon us.
This could last for at least 5 weeks we were told. Wow, Pesach is going to be a joyride this year! Just under 3 weeks away and nobody I know wants to even think about it. With the statistics changing on less than a daily basis, we really don’t have much of a choice. Thus far, as of this moment, there are 529 recorded cases of Coronavirus and 2 are listed in very serious condition. 12 have since recovered. However, it is predicted that the numbers will climb and that by the end of the month 529 could reach 10,000 very easily. It is also predicted by the Prime Minister’s office that indeed there will be fatalities. Yet the reason for the restrictions is to keep these numbers as low as possible. Rumors of a total country-wide shutdown have been flying and could actually come to fruition within the coming days.
Personally, I’ve been trying to keep a level head. Not easy for somebody with an anxious and very serious and sensitive personality like mine.
I cannot help but lose my patience when people start behaving like immature, pathetic a.holes. At a local supermarket this morning, people were holding up lines at the checkout counter, and I could tell that the store was getting more and more crowded. We’re constantly being reminded about the “2 meters apart rule”, and although I was masked and wearing latex gloves, I started getting a bit ansy. I moved about 3 shopping lines to the one where they said, “We only take credit cards”. I responded, “this is the 3rd line I’m on because the other ones are not moving. Since I’m in a nice mood, I’ll pay you exact change”. The boy seemed confused and the woman in the next aisle tried to back him up, with a bit of authority mind you. I retorted, “lady, your line and the others are not moving. You just mind your own business as I’m giving him exact change”. She repeated herself. I ignored her. I paid the exact change and I left.
Feeling a bit guilty, I realize that these people are putting themselves at risk by working there all day, especially during these turbulent times. But, stores need to organize and ensure that things go swiftly and smoothly because people need to isolate as much as possible. This store, in particular, is notorious for being disorganized. Yeah, I should’ve gone to another store, I guess. However, it was closest to where I was and I wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible.
Okay. I’ll admit it. This thing is scaring the living crap out of me. From no matter where we fall in the political or religious spectrum, whether we like it or not, we’re all in this together. Let’s just try to get through this together.
All the best to all of you. Be healthy. Be safe. Be smart. #coronastrong