Keith Brooks
International Business Executive Living and Working in Israel

Tales from Quarantine Queith

My family renamed me, Queith because I am the only one in quarantine and Quarantine Queith sounded better to their alliterative minds.

Was it worth it? That last jaunt out to the world? Hell yeah! Business wise at least.

Of course, if I came home 1 day earlier, none of this would have happened, and this is the key issue, government chaos.

No, I am not talking about our aborted third attempt of a Knesset, but the change-the-rules-every-eight-hours one. I understand this is unprecedented (I wish multiple voting efforts was also unprecedented, but alas, it is common here), but either you want us to be safe, or sorry, not both at the same time.

I know, why look for logic from people that would be actors if they looked better.

Sorry that might offend actors, well, too bad, I don’t care about your opinions, you act, I manage people and IT solutions and equipment, it doesn’t make me an expert on airborne viruses, and neither are you.

People ask me what it is like in quarantine and am I okay. To be honest, it is like any other day of my life, I work from home. Okay, so normally I would walk our dog maybe walk into town and get some bread or lunch, but it does not really affect me, and I get paid to stay home.

You know who it affects?

My family.

Not my dog, she loves me and can’t catch the virus, so she hangs out with me.

Even the little things I normally do, I can’t do, can’t even take out the garbage.

My wife is doing everything, literally everything because I can’t do anything for anyone else. I am supposed to make my own meals and do my own laundry. All the driving kids to/from places, getting gas for the car (usually my job), cleaning up from all meals (also usually my job) and then there was Purim.

And, my in-laws are in from London and they are limited in where to go and what to do. Should they have come? They arrived the day before I came home and that was last Wednesday when all was normal, so to speak. Since then we have just been spiraling down and they got stuck in it. They go back home Monday, presuming the airport is still open and the UK is letting any planes in from Israel. I saw President Trump is locking down the US from Europe flights as of tomorrow. When 9/11 happened and all flights stopped, I thought I would never see that happen again in my lifetime. Yet almost 19 years later, here we are on the precipice of a movie/video game scenario playing out in real life.

Purim, probably my favorite holiday, but reading megillah for one, twice, is not that exciting, even when I do all the voices and sounds and groans (you know the tax line). I needed to anoint my kids as shalichim to deliver my mishloach manot and had to read Parshat Zachor from a chumash, I don’t have a sefer torah at home. And of course, had to miss the various parties and Purim seudot, plus a bat mitzva and who knows what else.

My kids are all walking the dog when they can and we still have a week to go of this, providing I don’t end up with it or they all don’t end up in quarantine.

Friends have sent me messages or called, special shalach manot packages and gifts to be enjoyed while hanging out in quarantine.

Meuhedet calls me every other day to check on me, nice of them, not sure what they expect me to say on the phone, will they send the hazmat suited people after me if I say I feel sick? Who knows, Hatzolah would probably get to me first anyway.

I already caught up with the few shows I watch and started looking for the longer editions of movies to watch in my evening.

I feel bad for the people in service industries, especially hospitality, tourism, airports and hotels. In a country where tourism is the main industry, this will hurt many, many families.

And then teachers and medical staff, are next in line to get it and once they close schools….

Those of us in the high-tech sector or more business side of work, probably are told to work from home now. Some of you will be elated at the idea, the rest of you will be depressed. Welcome to the introvert vs extrovert show, not to mention you may also have your kids home with you soon, if not already.

This too will pass, like any other event in history, but with all of the technology we have and advancements in life, the world still fights back. It is what it does, it keeps spinning and making us realize there is a higher authority that occasionally, comes down to remind us we are living a life of illusion.

I should tell you to go pray but even davening may be with too many people and we will end up with building to building (block to block?) shtiebel minyans.

As long as the online alcohol deliveries continue, we will be fine, we could use more meat before shechita stops and deliveries from Argentina stop (too late I hear). For those of you stocking up on toilet paper, there is not enough vitamins in it so when you starve you may want to rethink your hoarding.

Hang in there people, keep your sanity and sense of humor and remember we are all in this together, that is until the zombies come, then you are all on your own.

About the Author
Keith Brooks made Aliyah in 2014 with his wife, 3 kids, and their dog. Keith writes about his Aliyah, Israel and Jewish life in general. Keith advises B2B companies on how to approach their potential clients regarding pricing, marketing and sales pitches. Keith is a MassChallenge Israel mentor, an HCL Master and an IBM Champion.
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