‘Al Cheit’ for the State

In the name of fighting coronavirus, the government of Israel, like too many others across the globe, has wrought immeasurable damage to the economic, physical, psychological, mental, educational, spiritual, and civic health of its population.  Even were our so-called leaders to one day acknowledge the error of their ways, they could not possibly achieve forgiveness from all the tens of thousands who have been harmed, and as G-d does not absolve for interpersonal wrongs, these will remain on their heavenly balance sheet.

     For inciting mass hysteria.

     For crushing the economy, putting millions out of work, and strangling small businesses whose owners had invested everything.

     For causing widespread hunger and survival insecurity.

     For repeatedly moving the goalpoasts and lowering the threshold for designations like “serious condition” and “red city” so as to continually create the appearance of calamity and justify imposing harmful closures.

     For basing drastic policy moves on “the numbers,” knowing full well that those numbers lie in myriad ways and are based on a lab test which was never meant to and cannot by its nature diagnose illness or distinguish between active and old (i.e., not contagious) virus.

     For making a religion out of testing – including of healthy individuals – and then calling all of them “sick,” “patients,” and “cases.”

     For perpetuating the myth that asymptomatic spread is a major driver of the virus, when evidence has shown it is not.[1]

     For reducing and implicitly discouraging access to health care for non-coronavirus issues.

     For preventing people from receiving screening and treatment for life-threatening diseases they actually have in the name of protecting them from a virus which they might catch and which could possibly, but is unlikely to, make them seriously ill.

     For depriving infertile couples – including those whose window of hope was closing – of last-chance treatments to achieve pregnancy.

     For casting thousands into loneliness, despair, and depression, leading many into a downward spiral of addiction, family violence, even suicide.

     For robbing children, especially older children, of their education – a real education, in school with teachers and peers, moving and interacting and experiencing more than the cheerless solitude of being glued to a screen.

     For falsely labeling young people as super-spreaders, persisting in this libel even after study after study proved otherwise, and using it to justify shutting them up at home like (but not with) their grandparents.

     For causing many of these children to act out, regress, gain weight, suffer anxiety, and become less healthy and more at risk overall.

     For infantilizing seniors, treating them as incompetent to decide for themselves the level of risk they are comfortable assuming and how they wish to live the time they have.

     For constantly blaming the public for the spread of a virus which they did not cause and which they cannot – indeed, no one can – stop.

     For punishing the majority who heed the rules for the mistakes of the minority who don’t.

     For making a mockery of personal rights and freedoms and the ability of individuals to make appropriate decisions for themselves and their families.

     For tracking citizens like criminals, and needlessly sending thousands upon thousands, including babies and toddlers, into punishing isolation.

     For ordering soul-sapping movement restrictions which are antithetical to mental and physical well-being.

     For ignoring that psychological and financial woes link inevitably to physical health problems.

     For making rules that they themselves violate at will.

     For ignoring the mountain of evidence that has accumulated since the start of the pandemic demonstrating the harm and ineffectiveness of “lockdowns.”[2]

     For all these and more, for the suffering now and the suffering which will unfold for years to come,

Guilty, guilty, guilty.

[1] See https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-020-19802-w.

[2] See, for example, http://ssbhalla.org/paper/lockdowns-vs-covid19-covid-wins/; https://www.thelancet.com/journals/eclinm/article/PIIS2589-5370%2820%2930208-X/fulltext; https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpubh.2020.604339/full#SM6; https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-failed-experiment-of-covid-lockdowns-11599000890.

About the Author
Ziona Greenwald, J.D., is a contributing editor for The Jewish Press and a freelance writer and editor. Her second children's book, Tzippi Inside/Out, will be published soon by Targum Press. She feels grateful to be living with her husband and children in Jerusalem.
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