Self-isolation for the over-70s for 12 weeks. How about the over 87s? Yes, the government means me and I’ll tell you, it’s better than being bombed by the Luftwaffe every night. I also only just avoided the V2 rocket which fell a couple of streets away in 1944. Then I had to worry for donkey’s years about the Russians and the IRA, so a virus from which almost everybody recovers is no big deal.
The isolation brings out the best in the grandchildren. They may be busy with their own lives normally, but we now have positive proof that they really rally round in an emergency. It isn’t the help; it’s the love with which it’s offered.
I also know there are a lot finding it tougher than me. An in-law who can’t visit her husband of 50 years, suffering from Alzheimers in a home. The widower who lacks a family to support him. They may be too proud to ask for help, so we need to ask them if they need any.
A lot of people are pitching in. The local newsagent is delivering milk with the morning papers. The Charedim are coming to their doors to have street services instead of synagogue. You may find the 18th century Polish noblemen uniforms a bit outré, but they will tell you they don’t have to face the problems of the world by themselves.
So what to do for 12 weeks? I have a 1,500 piece jigsaw with no picture and I doubt whether three months will be long enough to finish it. There is also You Tube on the television which will show you all your favourites from the past, including Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes. Sorry about the London theatre, but Holmes and Watson is an acceptable alternative.
We Jews are well accustomed to medical disasters;, We avoided the 10 plagues of Egypt and we got clobbered for not suffering as badly as the neighbours when the Black Death arrived. Nobody knew what caused that either, until the 20th century. They could have found out it was the rats, of course, by reading their Bible; Samuel, Chapter VI, Verse V. The rats didn’t like clean houses and this Passover will find the diligent scrubbing being carried out all over again. We have a very intelligent religion.
We’re also a very modest lot, but we do have nearly 60 Nobel prizes for medicine. So what’s keeping the Israelis from finding a vaccine for Coronavirus?