‘Ring Around the Rosie…’

You know the children’s rhyme, “Ring around the rosie.” You played it as a toddler at preschool. Holding hands with your little friends, you circled round, giggling, chanting together, “Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.” How fun, to all collapse together to the ground. 

And then you grew out of diapers. Learned some more stuff. Started circling around your classes and homework and after-school jobs and parties. Maybe it didn’t exactly happen like this for you, so let’s say “a friend of mine” was out past curfew in high school, eating some special brownies with her friends and someone told her: “You know that song with the rosies and posies…that Mother Goose rhyme…it’s about death. You all fall down, cause you died. You died from a plague. That’s some seriously dark twisted sh*t, right?”

RIGHT????

I was shocked — I mean, she was shocked — to find out that the sweet song from childhood was really just a history lesson of our dark and dirty past. The one where a sneeze led you to the graveyard.

And I am not saying the coronavirus is the Black Plague. But I am saying there is something dark and dirty going on with our pandemic right now. Only it’s not bacteria and germs; it’s our government and the lack of leadership. Ask yourself if you know anyone who believes in this government? Their leadership? Or that this Lockdown, better known to most as a Meltdown, will have any real effect on slowing down the coronavirus? 

Back in March the government already forewarned of a second wave to come in September, so why did the politicians sit idle and watch the numbers increase, people die and let the public get out of hand with rule-breaking? It’s like we are all watching that crap horror movie, where the girl doesn’t run fast enough and you tell her to keep going, don’t turn around, don’t do it…and of course, what does she do…she turns and before you can call her a moron, she is squirting ketchup. 

And I write you this in between zooming, freaking out (me or the kids or both), trying to find the WhatsApp group (I have four for each kid) so I can get the link for the next lesson, and if it works, and if the kid has the right notebook, will pay attention or….actually learn anything. The baby started eating solids so the poops come faster than the links, the toddler is somewhere between Peppa Pig and throwing puzzle pieces out of the window. The dog waits by the door, hoping to be let out of the looney bin. And who could blame him.

Does this sound like your day? Did you cry to a bear? Or write in the wrong WhatsApp group about the parent that seems to know everything you don’t? Are you still in pajamas? Did you run out of food, or worse out of wine? Did your kids watch everything possible on Netflix? 

I am so anxious, I have to remind myself to breathe. And yet, I give my friends pep talks about taking it easy, let go, and forget the lesson they missed, there will be another. But the next one is what I am afraid of. How many of these days are ahead of us? For how long will the government string us along and string us together? 

There is no vaccine and no leadership in sight. 

The economy continues to tank. We are mentally checking out.

Hospitals and the medical teams are overworked and overflowing. 

And the numbers keep going up. 

And so do the rules and guidelines for this ineffective shutdown. 

Protesters marched on the beaches calling it a workout or blowing a shofar, because you can do that according to the restrictions. Tel Aviv bars rebranded as synagogues, finding the loophole there too. And there is no end to the Startup Nation’s ingenuity when it comes to blurring the lines and creating new ones, or just not standing in them. 

Rant over, here are some of my suggestions for a better future. One that allows for our sanity. For outdoors. For friends to still meet in person. For our kids to learn. And if you don’t like my ideas, I am okay with that, ’cause at least I tried to implement something, rather than leave us with nothing. But I do say, if you are going to throw shade, then also pitch me what you think works better. 

My ideas come from a Facebook post I wrote about a week ago, before the handcuffs were locked on. Back when I was a bit optimistic that change could still happen. Before our prime minister took a flight to sign a peace treaty with a country we are not at war with. Standing in a room with 700 people and no quarantine for him, just a quick coronavirus test and then on his way. While my 7-year-old stays trapped in his room for 14 days.

The double standards, the hypocrisy, the secrets…as I said, it is the dark and dirty that goes beyond the pandemic and has become its own disease. Is there a cure for that, or is it “ashes to ashes, we all fall down”?

Facebook Post:
Before I turn #Lockdown bitter (I know some might say…before?), I want to put it out there and create the opportunity for change. If there is a Law of Attraction, then please let it be stronger than Dumb Governments and Pandemics. I would like you to post your suggestions for better Corona Practices. What can we do as a society, community, innovative group of people, to make the world better, people healthier and actually take care of each other?

I will start the discussion:
I suggest elderly and high-risk people stay at home, while we create a system to volunteer, buy them necessities, provide activities and visits (obviously at corona respected distances). 

I suggest positive reinforcement on mask-wearing, social distancing and stores and restaurants that adhere to good Corona practices. Incentives would include receiving money, gift-cards and food baskets. Big companies and the government would fund this program. 

Education would be a mix of experiential learning and outdoors, letting kids choose their adventures and allowing for those that have lost their jobs to become educators in their fields. Go for a hike with a tour guide, learn to cook with a chef, theater with an actor, and so on. School should be outdoors as much as possible and if indoors, small groups with masks as much as possible.  

Parents who work should be allowed to schedule their days according to their children’s needs and cut down on hours if needed. The government should provide a supplement payment, like that of maternity leave for these parents. 

Healthcare Officials should be rewarded with free trips to spas, or on-site massages or loads of chocolates…whatever way we can do to show our appreciation and support for their endless work and putting themselves in risky situations.

Government Officials should be on house arrest (believe me, their houses aren’t like ours…we are doing them a favor). Their salaries should be frozen, even retroactively and given to those most in need at this time. They can continue working as volunteers or interns and when the mess they created is fixed they will have a sliding scale salary.

The Big huge stores and supermarkets should have a Corona Mashgiach (supervisor) that checks that big businesses are keeping to social distancing rules. Yep…fine them for breaking the rules and you will find how easily Corona stops in its track. And yes, use that money to give those above incentives. 

Tech- Dude, get any of these start ups to create a simple app that allows us to make appointments for supermarkets, shops and cafes. This way we don’t have to stress about going out, and can easily track who we were near. Forget your need for privacy, that died a long time ago. The app can even give discounts to stores or tell you about more options of fun places or things you might like. 

Us. Don’t give up on us. We can overcome this. We can believe in a better future for our kids. We have the power to create and make real change. There are many suffering right now because of financial loss, personal loss, depression and loneliness. Reach out to someone who you haven’t spoken to in a while and ask how they are. Smile under your mask at a stranger. Help a friend out who is in quarantine, with a treat at their door.  

Do you have an idea too? Some of us feel we are at the end, but maybe, just maybe this is the start of a new beginning.
The Hallmark card is over. Your turn.

About the Author
Larry David once said, 'I'm not an inventor. I'm an improver. I improve things that are broken.' Whether it’s improvisation, comedy sketch, or stand up, Molly Livingstone is improving life in Israel one chuckle at a time, with an honest and hilarious view of the Holy Land.
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