The two looooong weeks of in-house enclosure which has been enforced by the Israeli Health ministry on all in-comers from abroad, finally came to an end today. Being set free from within the confinement walls of the TLV rental unit, though much more spacious than our own, was exhilarating.
Sharp plethora of the ocean and city fragrances, as well as the “new normal” sights of TLV busy streets, were the first intoxicating“senses of freedom” which we inhaled. Although initially many of the city dwellers have not complied with the mandatory decree of wearing face covering in public spaces, the trend to use this new fashionable accessory has been catching up also here.
It has been mainly motivated by the increased fines (500 NIS) being enforced now, by the specially designated inspectors, on all disobedient “refuseniks”, (Ps. the fine given in Miami is only $50
Location wise, we were situated one block away from the beach, which we could see, smell and feel its soothing breeze from our balcony, yet we couldn’t enjoy bathing in it.
We were forewarn not to step a foot outside of the apartment, even not to throw out the garbage, since disobeying any enclosure’s decrees could have yielded fines and even could have activated incarceration.
David's capacity of staying, put, still and under-occupied… was the greatest test of his life.
Seeing our wonderful daughters and grands as well as being helped by them for our daily needs was our essential life line.
In between too frequent visits to the fridge, and hours of binge reading, writing, phoning, and TV watching, ..which had kept our spirits up, the virtual human connection, by those who checked up on us, was the greatest antidote to overcoming the grinding imprisonment and under-stimulus monotony. Strangely, we had been forgotten by the ministry. None Health Inspector came over to check up on us, throughout our entire stay. The ministry ,we were told, has dispatched police inspectors, who during all hours would either call or come by, in surprise check ups, even more than twice on the same day. If one would be reported or found not put at home, legal procedures could be taken against those who violated. Furthermore I couldn’t get through to the Health Ministry on the phone, for an entire week into our confinement, as to get the results of the Corona test we had at the airport, upon arrival. Nor could we get a reply to our request for a special exclusion permit to visit our aging moms in Haifa during these 2 confinement weeks. The pandemic spike in Israel of the past few weeks pushed matters out of control, and was most likely the reason for the ministry’s lack of interest and responsiveness to us. The Coronavirus National Information Center reported 714 new coronavirus cases on July 30th, the highest daily rise since April 2. The number of active patients rose to 7,015 - 5,000 more than at the end of May. 42 people are in serious condition, while 319 people have died. There are 756 active coronavirus patients in Jerusalem, 697 in Tel Aviv, 555 in Bnei Brak, 348 in Ashdod and 253 in Bat Yam. (Ynet News) Yet, the Gov has been reluctant to enforce another total lock down on the entire country, and decided to focus on only the flared up red hot spots in some cities and neighborhoods. Regardless, the country has been adamant to continue with its life, and the good weather has been the main catalyst to ejecting the younger, restless, and stiff necked, into the coffee places, shopping centers and beaches. Foreign workers lacking health insurance and medical treatment, who carry much of the work burden at the service stations and restaurants, have been much more infected, and thus caused, along with youngsters refusing to wear masks, a real fright and reluctance of the more elderly to dine out. We were very eager to continue with life so also booked tickets for few theater plays due to be opening again, finally in mid next month, conditioned upon the pandemic diminishing course. Furthermore, since the European sky has been closed off to flights and vacationing visitors from Israel, we like thousands of other Israelis, booked a short stay at the most southern town of Eilath. This popular vacationing town had been completely emptied out off foreign tourists for the past 4 months, and has become now, dependent for its recitatiatation, on only local tourism. In addition to this summer heat, pandemic contagion rise, and mega unemployment disasters, the controversial public discourse on the Annexation merits and its enforcement timing, backed by this alleged Unity Gov and only by a small endorsing segment of the population, has been dissected ad-nausea.
Furthermore,Israel was also hit in this past week by Islamic Jihad 's rockets fired from Gaza, and by a Palestinian man compelled to swim from Gaza to Israel, as if there is not enough “rocket show excitements” on his own side of the border… He was detained by the navy 200 meters from shore after being seen crossing the maritime border. On the last night of our confinement, prior to our "freedom exit" back to our much smaller, but more hemmish flat, our dear daughter keren unexpectedly and devastatingly, was notified, she too had to enter an enforced quarantine, along with additional 21 co-workers, after a person at a work group meeting she is part of, had diagnosed positively with the virus. So now we pray she will be tested -negative, and that all our family continue staying healthy.
We also hope that this is the last “changing of the guard” in guaranteeing, our family has to experience during these unsettling contagious pandemic times. Stay Healthy , Stay Safe and Stay Connected..
Love from Israel.