Are Israelis really ready for this global plague?

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I had a call with an Israeli friend last night, he told me he just got a bad fever, fortunately not coronavirus, and I told him that everyone should be very careful because the virulent disease is spreading all the countries including Israel. I became more worried when he told me the daily life there is still the same, people go to cinema and parties like before. The confirmed infected number is increasing day by day in Israel, and the infected number of the world is increasing precipitously. Obviously, Israel is not really ready for the deteriorate plague.

China has been suffering from the virus for almost two months, and now we are welcoming the dawn of restoration after more than 80,800 people infected and 3,100 people died, yesterday the new daily diagnosed cases dropped to 46, compare with 2,310 new daily cases in the rest of the world.

Over the last two months, China has put the most strict quarantining measures all over the country, vast majority of people have been staying at home these days, some people called it “house arrest,” some people called it “keeping Chinese Shabbat,” the fact is that people are not willing to go out even when it’s not forbidden, because people are very careful.

In my city Shanghai, one of the most travelers-visited cities in China, it was very worrisome in the beginning that Shanghai would become the next Wuhan, where there have been nearly 70,000 cases, but so far Shanghai has only 342 diagnosed cases, and it has zero growth these days, thanks to the rather effective quarantining measures. I started to go to office last week, but most of the restaurants and shops are still closed, we expect everything will resume normal next month.

The quarantining measures undoubtedly have tremendous impact on all the people and businesses, I had to cancel my trip to Israel and US, Israel took the protective measure to cancel all the flights with China, and it was quite early restriction, now the direct flights with some European countries were also cancelled, it does help preventing virus transported to Israel to some extent, but virus don’t need a visa or a direct flight, and China is not the only source of the virus, Israelis are travelling all over the world, it can bring huge risks to Israel. The aggressive response taken by the Israeli government looks plausible, and it can disguise the inadequate preparation by the Israeli citizens.

When I send reminder messages to my Israeli friends, some of them replied that “we have the quarantine and technology to prevent it, so don’t worry,” I have to say they are too optimistic, I heard there are many supposedly quarantined people going out without obeying quarantining rules, they will put many people in risk, and most will not realize until it happens to themselves.

I doubt any other country can take the same effective approach like China does, because other countries can’t mobilize such immense personnel and material resources in such a short period, it’s a war but not a military war, the military power cannot help much, and most of the other countries don’t have the culture of respecting government guidance, the virus outbreak in Europe and US was result of lack of attention, Israel should be very careful, especially the people, not just the government.

Moreover, the critical epidemic situation of the world is more dangerous than what’s already known, maybe we just saw the tip of iceberg, yet we don’t know how deeper impact this virus will create, and don’t know how this pandemic will end, and even don’t know where is the original source, now China is the first outbreak country, but no evidence shows that China is the original source, and there are several types COVID-19 virus in different countries, for example, some of the cases in the US had no direct or indirect contact with China or Chinese, and the Virus RNA is different from the Chinese one.


China made lots of mistakes in the beginning, unfortunately now the other countries are replicating those mistakes. The global situation now is much more worrisome than China, it seems out of control in certain way, so Israel must be ready before it’s too late.

It’s time for Israelis to take much more precautious action now, the governmental measures are far from enough, everyone should care more about themselves and family, just be careful as much as you can, you’d better avoid travelling and gathering which you are not 100% sure if the participants are all not carrying virus, try to avoid contacting public facilities, because virus were found on contacted things of the patients, and even the mask cannot grantee the safety.

The Purim is coming, I wish everyone a happy and healthy Purim!

(The Hebrew version is also available, please email me to get it, benjamin{@}israelplan.org)

About the Author
The author is the founder of Israel Plan Organization, the NPO organization supporting and promoting Israel in China. He lived in Israel for two years, and studied MBA at IDC Herzliya.
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