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Events and Life Mindsets Wellbeing

Tragedy of Normalcy in the Coronavirus Shadow

When I walk around the city, and go for my runs, I see Israeli kids playing in water fountains, while their parents watch on. Few of them are wearing masks, or maintaining a reasonable distance from friends and relatives. Despite that, I empathise with people who lived in the coronavirus shadow during our initial lockdown, wanting to return to some semblance of normalcy.

In the shadow of a looming disaster

Then, I look around again, and I see how only a few wear masks over their mouths and noses, and make an effort to keep a safe distance. I feel like I’m watching a movie scene where people are unaware that their lives are about to be horribly torn apart by some unseen enemy.

Because that’s what seems to be happening here, in Israel, as we increasingly see headlines like this:

Virus infection numbers vault to record-breaking 859 cases in 24 hours

Virus infection numbers vault to record-breaking 859 cases in 24 hours | The Times of Israel

As much as I want everything to go back to how it all was before this virus fractured our society, I don’t think we can ever go back to the freedom we had before. Certainly not unless someone discovers a wondrous vaccine that reduces COVID-19 to a minor cold for the majority of our neighbours.

In the meantime, I see too many families behaving as if wearing masks is just a formality to avoid a fine from the police. Masks have become a fashion accessory for chins, and elbows for most of the people I see around me.

Some wear masks covering their mouths and noses, but not enough. For everyone else, the sun is shining, and there’s no need to keep apart. In the meantime, the virus’ resurgence started in schools, and instead of being horrified, we see school graduation events that cluster kids close together for dances, and photo opportunities.

Outrage doesn’t help. I just feel waves of sadness when I see this, and hope that perhaps there is some sort of magical bubble to protect our friends, and neighbours this time around.

This coronavirus is an insidious thing

This coronavirus is an insidious thing. It separates us at our weakest, and pulls families apart when they desperately need to be together. Parents diagnosed with COVID-19 are sequestered into hospital wards, and isolated from their families, fervently hoping/praying for their recovery, fearing that they may not.

I had a terrible thought: Imagine if a child becomes ill, and is isolated in one of these hospital wards. Will their parents be able to visit them, comfort them, or will their child be forced to face the fear of being sick, in a clinical environment, where they could lose their fight, alone?

It’s a truly awful thought, and yet we’re not doing nearly enough to keep our children, and ourselves safe.

When I look around at the people I pass, they don’t seem to have contemplated the nightmare that this virus could visit on them, and their families. Perhaps they don’t want to contemplate it, and prefer to pretend that everything is ok.

A cliché in Israel is the phrase: “הכל בסדר” – “Everything is ok”. It isn’t, and it won’t be for a while yet.


Photo by Andrew Seaman on Unsplash

Categories
Events and Life

Whether you should bring children into this world

Now and then I hear a couple discussing whether they want to bring children into this world. The world isn’t becoming safer, quite the opposite, and you can understand a couple’s reluctance to have children in these uncertain times.

The thought of our children being exposed to the terrible things in this world is scary but our children also bring so much unanticipated light into our world too. I just read “Margaret Mead’s Beautiful Letter of Advice to Her Younger Sister on Starting a Family in an Uncertain World” on Brain Pickings and this piece of advice seems like great advice for couples in this dilemma:

We can’t know, anymore than the parents of the 1890s knew, what the future of twenty-five years from now holds. Which isn’t an argument for your having children, if you don’t want them, and if Bill doesn’t want them… But don’t dramatize too heavily the evil to come, even as a dark cloud against which the present looks so golden. You may stampede yourself into a position on politics which has actually nothing to do with them at all, but is simply an enriching personal device for living more intensely and doing better work.

Be sure to read the full post, though.

Categories
People

Generations on two park benches

We had a family picnic at Emmarentia Dam recently and I came across these two couples sitting on benches along the shore and had to capture the moment. I see this and I just think about generations of people starting families on one hand and spending their final years together on the other. I also really like this next scene of a toddler sitting beside his sleeping Dad on a picnic blanket while the rest of the family was away walking around in the park.

A little boy sides beside his sleeping Dad on a picnic blanket