6 Apr 2020

Israel and the Plague

As of this writing, Israel has 7,500 cases of Coronavirus, and 44 people have died. These numbers don’t seem particularly high, but we must remember that this is a small country, with only several million citizens.

(I do find it moving and amazing that this week, the very secular city of Tel Aviv “boasted” one tower building illuminated at night by the famous “Hear O Israel” verse. I think soon and very soon the Israelis will return to their God.)

Evidently several haredi communities are being watched closely, with even IDF paratroopers deployed to Bnei Brak.

Jerusalem, with one million residents, has 1,132 cases.

On a side note, having been in the Old City many times, I’m struck by the fact that China is taking severe (and deserved) criticism for its “wet markets,” where people buy animals to eat. Jerusalem’s Old City has several vendors in the Arab sections that sell meat hanging on hooks, with flies all over it. Gross liquids run down the narrow alleyways and streets. I’m sure the Israelis are locking-down the Old City.

But I digress.

To me, the weirdest aspect of this virus pandemic is that the projected numbers seem way off, so far. In the U.S., a week ago we heard that catastrophic deaths were coming. We’ve had this week a few thousand added deaths. Each death is tragic of course, but something seems off.

Israel is well-equipped to deal with this crisis, and I’m confident they will weather the health storm. Other cities, like Tel Aviv and Petah Tikvah, have a few hundred cases at most.

To me, the larger issue is how this will damage economies. There seems to be an agenda to do that, frankly. No one knows how this will pan out, but if the deaths are drastically less than have been predicted, many more people will distrust their governments and media.

Meanwhile, the scare tactics continue. From a Jerusalem Post report:

“Speaking at a press briefing Friday, WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom called on all countries ‘to ensure core public health measures are fully funded, including case-finding, testing, contact tracing, collecting data and communication and information campaigns.’

“He acknowledged that the world is ‘in a shared struggle to protect both lives and livelihoods,’ but confirmed that ‘the best way for countries to end restrictions and ease their economic effects is to attack the virus, with the aggressive and comprehensive package of measures that we have spoken about many times before: find, test, isolate and treat every case and trace every contact.’

“’If countries rush to lift restrictions too quickly,’ he cautioned, ‘the virus could resurge, and the economic impact could be even more severe and prolonged.’”

We are being controlled by the powers-that-be on an unprecedented scale. Individuals are less able to make their own decisions due to this outbreak. In any event, as with other global issues, I expect that Israel will come out of this ahead of the game, ahead of other countries. More from the Post:

“Today, European countries, the US, and Russia are using Israel as a barometer of what to do and how to manage the crisis. Even the UK, which dangerously toyed with the idea of herd immunity, had to abandon their initial response when it became apparent that the National Health Service were going to have to be making life or death decisions and face hundreds of thousands of deaths. While cynics in Israel were still touting the notion that Netanyahu was creating directives to serve his political interests, close friends from abroad were flying in as soon as they could, before the country closed its doors to noncitizens, as they knew they were safer here.”

I look forward to visiting that wonderful place again.