Jam-packed with anger, frustration, and mutual abhorrence avidly cultivated over weeks of closure, the residents of the State of Israel are beginning to resume life, if you can call it that. No one is hopeful. Everyone knows that the next closure is just around the corner since everyone knows that now that the closure has been eased, the number of new confirmed cases will spike again, sparking a third wave of Covid-19 outbreak and a third lockdown, with no end in sight. After all, if no one’s going to stick by the simple rules of social distancing and wearing masks, there’s nothing to stop the virus from returning.
We only have ourselves to blame for the outbreak, but we blame everyone else. You don’t need to read the pandemic statistics to know that Israel is a sick society, but Covid-19 isn’t its worst, or even real illness. The country is riddled with internal loathing on levels we’ve never seen before. It doesn’t even matter if a vaccine or a cure for the coronavirus is found; it’s already clear that such hatred is bound to produce more punishments on all of society.
As I have been warning from the beginning of the outbreak, Covid-19 is not only here to stay, but will become increasingly sinister in sync with our reluctance to change our attitude to one another. In the first wave, it struck mainly the sick and elderly. In the second wave, as I had warned, it is already striking healthy and younger people, as well as children. In the third wave, it will hit even harder, much harder. If we don’t change our attitude and start complying with health instructions out of consideration of each other, we will face mortality rates that will rattle all of society. There will be critically ill patients and deceased relatives in every family. We are in for a trauma inflicted upon us at our own hate-filled hands.
We Israelis think we are above the system, or at least that we can beat it. But hubris doesn’t make you strong; it blinds you. We’re blind to the fact that the virus is defeating us, that we have lost the second round against the virus, yet we’re ignoring it as if the third round will go any better for us. It won’t; it’ll end in tears.
When we surrender, we will understand that all we needed to do to make the virus leave was look out for each other. If we don’t surrender and start looking out for each other, the virus will kill us, or we will kill each other, or some other violent conclusion to our lives will find us. One way or the other, the “play nice” time is over. Either we all act together in concert and unite in order to defeat the invisible bug, or that spiky little thing will give us a final knockout.