Clearly, Israel has not solved the horrid spreading of the Corona Virus.
It is quite obvious why. Everyone thinks that they are an exception.
The young feel that they have a right to be “free”, and think that if they get the virus it is “no big problem” as they are healthy and can fight it off easily. The demonstrators feel they have a right to express their political views and that is more important to them than following the rules. The Ultra-religious have proven time and time again that their attendance at a funeral, a wedding , a bar mitzvah . Uman, or a synagogue is more important to them than the following of health guidelines imposed upon them. Almost everyone can think of a reason not to bother putting on a mask in public.
All of these segments of society have one thing in common. They care only about themselves. They do not care if they contact the virus. They do not care if they give the virus to others. They do not care if people die because of their actions… after all, who could trace it back to them? In the large gatherings there is anonymity and a like-minded community to whom the event is more important than the potential to do harm. This kind of arrogance is shocking in its scope. How is it that Torah scholars can philosophize and analyze Gemara tractates and yet not properly analyze the actual harm that their everyday actions can cause? How is it that people feel it is more important to walk with their mask under their chin than to actually protect their fellow citizens by covering up their nose and mouth? When did we become so self-absorbed that we literally do not care about anyone other than ourselves? This egocentricity is costing lives. That has not sunk in.
The irony is of course, that the very people who disobey the rules regarding Covid-19 are the same people who think that they are standing up for values of critical importance… individuality… justice… freedom…tradition… God…. I am quite sure if we took them one by one, they could explain to us why their values are so important to not only themselves, but to mankind. And yet… the theoretical does not translate to the real world. With all of this ideology being spewed, these very same people are incapable of extrapolating that their actions could actually cause someone’s death. In fact, their actions have done just that. As of today=Thursday the 24th of September, 1,325 additional Israelis have died from contracting the virus from another citizen. In the United States 202,000 people have died from this virus. Worldwide-997,000 people have died from Covid-19. Why has this not “sunk in” to certain segments of our societies? When did human life become so expendable?
Today’s citizens have been programmed in a way which actually works… be it unpleasant nonetheless. Fear is the only reason that people obey the laws of their land. Not kindness, or justice, or love… but the fear of authority. The fear of being charged a large sum of money which one can ill afford to lose is more powerful than one’s value system. It is not pleasant…but citizens cannot be told to be considerate and good and kind, when lives are at stake. There needs to be consequences. At the moment, the consequences are “inconsequential” …. No one seems to believe that they will get the virus or admit that they could do harm to others . The existing punishments for abuse of health requirements have not been sufficient. Hence it is time to say “Enough is Enough!”
It is fairly simple. Shut down all group events. If religious parties threaten to leave the coalition…let them. Let the government fall. The positions of power and employment of our elected officials are not more important than the lives of our mothers, fathers, grandparents. Politicians can get other jobs. They can run again for office. We cannot replace those we love.
Next increase the fines to such a level, that people will be afraid to be caught breaking the laws surrounding Covid-19. If fines of 500 shekels are laughable, then a fine of 3,000 shekels won’t be so funny. No one will want that debt… and they will obey.
Last, but certainly not least… is the ultimate solution. The government needs to announce that anyone who comes down with Covid-19 who has attended any illegal group gathering, will quite simply… not be treated. Not them, nor their immediate families who they were quite willing to sacrifice by their disregard. Society cannot foot the bill for those who care not for their fellow citizens and their families.
This approach may seem harsh, but there is a precedent for it. When Israeli Arabs are found to have participated in terrorism, their homes can be destroyed by the government. This is intended to force the perpetrators to consider what they will bring upon their own families, should they “cross the line.” Helping to spread the Coronavirus is a form of domestic terrorism and now must be treated as such.
Civilized societies have stern punishments for those who drive vehicles and put others lives at risk. This is no different. Run through a red light and you will likely smash your car into oncoming traffic. People will die and it will be your fault. The Coronavirus pandemic is the same. People are dying because others don’t care. That is not tolerable. It is not acceptable. Our leaders need to get their heads out of the clouds. The public is not interested in a 10% deduction in the salaries of Knesset members… it accomplishes nothing. What we need, once again, is compelling leadership in a crisis.
Leaders who plead with the public to obey rules are not leaders at all. They are weak and so afraid that they will lose power that they allow their society to implode. Since when should the lust for power trump survival? Enough is Enough!