Corona Chronicle 2

It is Friday, this time the 20th although it feels somewhat like last week’s 13th. The weather is uncertain, very overcast, chilly, scattered rain. Are we moving forward to spring or back to winter?

And that is how the “medical” and the political realms feel as well.

Are we closed down? Last night’s Netanyahu show was cloudy. We are behaving better not not enough. We now need to be controlled, but not really. Stay at home, sort of, with cloudy exceptions. I am ordering you, I am asking you. You should “internalize” something or other and know how to act. Something for everyone’s ears. No mention of bad behavior of Arabs. Of course no mention of some Haredi communities ignoring State rules in favor of Divine rules. There are more tests, but not enough. There are more cases, no one has died yet but they (you!) will. Only one clear message: I-I-I am great and this crisis (entirely due to my greed and incompetence) proves MY leadership. Get in line behind ME. All of this for a week (why?).

Netanyahu even thanked the press, his usual bitter enemy, for letting him perform. And the press responded by praising last night’s sleaze as leadership. They have gotten the message. The crisis in HIS big hands, and so are we all.

This cloudy situation was reflected at the supermarket I went to this afternoon. Every store has its own way of following these cloudy directives. A certain number of people were let in (I was lucky, no line) according to what? Internalization? Some people had masks, some gloves, some both, some neither. At the check out we were asked once to stand apart from each other. No gloves, no masks at this counter, both at the counter next door. When I left, five additional people were admitted from the line. The plague is a flexible one, it keeps making up its own rules (this is rubbish, of course, but that is how the “unfolding enemy” is being portrayed) so we respond by making up our rules “in accord” with rules everyone can interpret their own way. How lucky that the virus has internalized the LEADER.

In the intermediate realm, my wife is now 8 out of 14 days in isolation because she returned last Thursday from the US. The police came to check that she was home. She thought they were coming for me in response to my last blog. Not yet…

In the political realm all is cloudy indeed. Yesterday the police interrupted a perfectly legal protest against the LEADER’s henchman Edelstein’s outrageous closing down the Knesset. Last night apparently the new rules make such protest “illegal” in the sense that there are no more laws, just emergency measures with no political oversight. People now serve the government, not the other way round. Tyranny? In its original Greek meaning, you bet. But words including tyrrany have lost their meaning. Just another day in Corona times.

And Ganz? A grey cloud looking for a place to rain? Netanyahu has succeeded in dividing Blue and White in a machination worthy of his master at this, Ariel Sharon. Divide and Conquer and call it “Making Unity.” Now some people think that if Ganz wants to go along with a unity government, he is a wimp. But what else should he do? Civil war? And some people think that Ganz, a career strategist, must have something up his sleeve in a situation where Netanayu has all the visible cards in his hands including the joker that allows him to change the rules. Generals don’t go into battles they cannot win. Wise or wimp, this Ganz? Choose your cloud, divide down the middle, go fight about it. Checkmate.

So it is a grey Friday here. I personally choose to keep the isolation because I think that is where solidarity is needed. And I am trying hard to choose wise over wimp so there is some cloud I can follow.

But the weather sure is hard to predict.

About the Author
Alan Flashman was born in Foxborough, MA, and gained his BA from Columbia, MD from NYU, Pediatrics, Adult and Child Psychiatry specialties at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, The Bronx, NY. He has practiced in Beer Sheba since 1983, and taught mental health at Hebrew University, Tel Aviv University and Ben Gurion University. He is currently CEO of Family Instiute of Neve Yerushalyim, sponsoring a first fully accredited post-masters training in family therapy for the Haredi community. Alan has edited readers on Therapeutic Communication with Children (2002) and Adolescents (2005) in Hebrew, translated Buber's I and Thou anew into Hebrew, and authored Losing It, an autobiography, and From Protection to Passover.
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