IVF During Coronavirus in Israel

What IVF During Coronavirus in Israel Could Look Like

I go to my morning tests. The security guard asks me if I have a cough or a fever. In the waiting room, everyone is spaced out and wearing masks that cover their noses and mouths.

I know that Ministry of Health quarantine guidelines say that anyone inside who is within 2 meters of someone diagnosed with Coronavirus, for 15 minutes, must be quarantined. So I am careful to not be within 2 meters of anyone.

Effective contact tracing means that when I’m waiting for a blood test, I’m confident that nobody else in the waiting room has Coronavirus -if they did, they’d be in quarantine.

In the afternoon, I meet friends outside, or go to get a takeaway coffee if I’ll only be inside the store for 10 minutes, because these activities do not fall within quarantine parameters.

I get my results and hear from the doctor. I read the news. I’m nervous that Coronavirus rates are high, but know that the government is working to come up with guidelines meant to lower the number of cases.

Before I go to sleep, somebody sends me a message telling me not to feel stressed out -it’s harder to get pregnant that way. I take a deep breath and remind myself that although pandemics are scary, our government is doing what they can, and God willing, this too shall pass.

What IVF During Coronavirus in Israel Actually Looks Like

I go to my morning tests. The security guard asks me if I have a cough or a fever. I notice that his mask doesn’t cover his nose. In the waiting room, people are not always good at spacing out. Some people wear masks that don’t cover their noses. Others wear masks around their chins.

I know that Ministry of Health quarantine guidelines say that anyone who is inside, within 2 meters of someone diagnosed with Coronavirus, for 15 minutes, must be quarantined. So I am careful to not be within 2 meters of anyone. But I also know that the government is using a Shabak phone tracking system which has mistakenly put tens of thousands of Israelis in quarantine, even when they did not fit the official Ministry of Health quarantine criteria. So I make sure to turn off my phone whenever I’m outside. This means that I can’t go outside anytime when I’m waiting for a test result or for a phone call from the doctor.

Ineffective contact tracing means that when I’m waiting for a blood test, I’m not confident that nobody else in the waiting room has Coronavirus. I jump whenever someone coughs -especially if they’re not wearing a mask around their nose and mouth.

Because of the way Shabak tracing works, I’m afraid of getting quarantined from meeting friends outside or getting takeaway coffee, even though these activities do not fall within quarantine parameters. That would mean losing an entire cycle of treatment, an entire month’s worth of injecting hormones with painful side effects into my body. So I decide not to risk it.

I get my results and hear from the doctor. I read the news. I’m nervous that Coronavirus rates are high. I have  no faith that the government is working to come up with guidelines meant to lower the number of cases. It has failed to vote on the Gamzu traffic light plan. It has failed to vote on authorizing extra funding to help schools reopen according to updated safety guidelines. The only thing it’s done recently is to create a special committee to look into allowing Israelis to fly to Uman for Rosh Hashana, despite Coronavirus concerns.

I’m worried that if Coronavirus numbers continue to climb, they’ll have to shut down fertility treatments again. Last time, the primary motivation was lack of research about the impact of Coronavirus on pregnancy and on the fetus. This time, it will be because we will need all of the medical resources at our disposal to deal with the virus. But I guess if we get to that level of Coronavirus infections, halted fertility treatments will be the least of my concerns -which is hardly a comforting thought.

Before I go to sleep, somebody sends me a message telling me not to feel stressed out -it’s harder to get pregnant that way. I laugh.

About the Author
Shayna Abramson, a part-Brazilian native Manhattanite, studied History and Jewish Studies at Johns Hopkins University before moving to Jerusalem. She has also spent some time studying Torah at the Drisha Institute in Manhattan, and has a passion for soccer and poetry. She is currently pursuing an M.A. in Political Science from Hebrew University, and is a rabbinic fellow at Beit Midrash Har'el.
Related Topics
Related Posts
Comments