Israel is currently in the midst of its second tiresome and burdensome lockdown.
We’re an absolute mess right now, with shockingly high infection rates and a steadily climbing death rate. And I can’t help but think, we’re getting exactly what we might expect to get.
Lots of Finger Pointing… Not Much Else
The government is pointing fingers at the individuals ignoring the rules. The average citizen on the street is pointing fingers at the government. And the fact is: We’re all to blame. And we need only point fingers right back at ourselves for not creating an environment where this type of situation wasn’t an inevitability.
Just before the lockdown started, I took a trip to the post office. I was appalled by what I saw. The website said one closing time, the door said a different time, and a very under-capable worker who let people in was saying something else entirely.
The lack of information and intelligent systems meant everyone was huddled in one big group, everyone trying to figure out how they could get into the office first. People would gather around, shove, and shout. If they needed a break, they’d stand right outside the crowd… smoking. Every once in a while the worker would open the door to shout something vague and unhelpful.
After twenty minutes of this pure insanity, and making no progress toward accomplishing my simple task, I walked away. It wasn’t worth the tension. It certainly wasn’t worth risking getting a deadly virus.
We Need Intelligence, Not Lockdown
The whole incident made me wonder about many painful things.
This is a country filled with brilliant minds. Why aren’t so many of those glorious brains being put to work to find better solutions to complicated situations?
My mother went to a hospital in America where she sat in her car and waited for them to call to say it was her turn. So simple. So brilliant.
And our moronic post office basically just tells us to huddle outside like street scum, hoping and praying we’re not standing too close to someone with a lethal illness.
Grocery Store Lockdown
When the first lockdown happened, the only real reason we had to leave the home was to go to the grocery store. But even that could be avoided through delivery. Of course, no one wants to do delivery because of the extra expense and the extremely long wait to receive the groceries.
Can no one come up with a solution for these two dilemmas? Can the grocery stores not hire more drivers and do more deliveries? Can the government not purchase more vehicles for the stores to use? Perhaps provide stipends to stores to temporarily reduce or even eliminate the delivery fees?
Where’s the creative problem solving that made Israel the Start-up Nation? Where’s the brilliant ability to handle a crisis we are so famous for? Perhaps rather than focusing on peace deals so Trump can get reelected and patting themselves on the back by citing unreliable studies about how well Israel is handling the situation, they could work hard to actually solve the problem. Perhaps they could pretend that if they don’t, our country might literally be doomed.Perhaps rather than focusing on peace deals so Trump can get reelected and patting themselves on the back by citing unreliable studies about how well Israel is handling the situation, they could work hard to actually solve the problem. Click To Tweet
No Benefit to Compliance
Another thing I learned from these experiences is that there is no reward for working hard to make things better here.
My gym is, once again, closed. They did everything correctly. There was hand sanitizer everywhere. No one was able to go in without arriving in a mask and without having their temperature checked. They clean all the time. They even went above and beyond, purchasing dividers to put between cardio machines.
What’s the reward? The third closure they’ve experienced so far. Yet the aforementioned post office gets to stay open. Synagogues get to stay open, and are largely unmonitored to ensure compliance with the rules. The ridiculous protests get to surge on, despite being mass infection spreaders with minimal to no social distancing.
There is no benefit to compliance, because the rules that are tossed out are haphazard and illogical.
Always Better to Smoke
Before the lockdown, my son was walking 45 minutes to his Jiu Jitsu classes. Why was he walking? He’s afraid to take the bus. It’s a small, enclosed area filled with people who can’t navigate masks. Not to mention the horror stories we keep hearing of violent fights breaking out on buses over whether or not masks should be required.
It was in the middle of a heatwave. He was outdoors. He was walking quite intensely. And there was no one else around him. And my poor kid was threatened by a police officer because he wasn’t wearing his mask!
The running joke in our family is that if he had only been smoking, it would have been OK and he wouldn’t have been stopped. Why? Because somehow or other it’s an unwritten rule in this crazy place that masks are not required if you’re grotesquely ruining your lungs and those of everyone around you.
The Inane Lockdown Policies
No one knows what 500 meters looks like. No one knows the definition of an “essential service”. And for the most part, a quick glance outside shows no one is really interested in paying any attention to this lockdown.
But I’m again prevented from the one activity that keeps me sane. And I’m watching as the economy is rapidly collapsing around all of us.
And again, I’m stuck at home. Listening to construction all day, every day. Because for some bizarre reason, that’s been allowed since day one. Yes, we are not only forced to stay in our homes, but we must do so listening to jackhammers and drills the entire time.
And as I’m writing this very post, I found out that the country just ruled that it is illegal to host people in Sukkot during the upcoming holiday. The penalty for violations is 500 shekels!
Let’s put aside the fact that notifying the public of this new law less than 48 hours before the holiday is nothing short of pure negligence. And I’ll even put aside the fact they let people eat at restaurants next to perfect strangers for months, and now won’t allow you to sit outdoors with close friends and family.
But how exactly do they plan to uphold this law? There really only are two possibilities:
First, the police could patrol neighborhoods and invade people’s sukkot. They will aggressively ask questions, maybe even check IDs. Yes, they will march through the streets of Israel, making sure we have no social interactions outdoors.
Alternatively, they will wait until someone contacts them. “Excuse me, police. My neighbor is having an outdoor meal with what looks like their brother’s family and a couple of single ladies. Can you come here immediately and solve Coronavirus?”
Angry in Lockdown
I’m sorry, but I’m angry. I’m really, really angry. When does someone take responsibility for causing the problems or not doing intelligent things to solve them?
Why are we in this mess right now? We are exactly where any intelligent observer could have predicted us being. Israelis aren’t going to follow rules, our government isn’t going to make calculated decisions, and those of us who try to do the right thing are going to continue to suffer through all the lockdown mayhem.
When are things going to get better?