A long, long, time ago – that’s back in 2020 – we put our trust in our leaders. Political leaders, medical leaders, financial leaders, religious leaders were all there to tell us what to do, how to behave. As good citizens we accepted their superior wisdom without question.
But the coronavirus has destroyed our faith in these false gods. When we need them the most, they are nowhere to be seen, or finding many creative ways to say – we don’t know.
Our political leaders are unable to agree on anything. A new bill designed to ensure enforcement of the nationwide coronavirus lockdown was held victim to infighting among the coalition members. This attempt to increase the fines for institutions that violate the rules was finally passed with ultra-Orthodox parties boycotting the vote.
Our medical leaders are giving us mixed messages. A global movement that warns of “grave concerns” about Covid-19 lockdown policies has gained the support of many scientists and health experts. They suggest that the repeated lockdowns may have a limited effect on infections while being devastating for people’s physical and mental health. Maintaining the lockdown until a vaccine is available would cause “irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed”. So, should we lockdown or not? No problem, just decide what you want to do and then look for the medical “expert” who supports your choice.
I check my bank account to see how my investments are doing. Run by a leading investment house, for some time these have been going up nicely as the stock market has risen. However, today I see large losses. The last several months “profits” wiped out. It seems that our financial leaders know how to make money when the markets are going up but are not smart enough to save these profits when the market is falling. Their secret formula – buy low sell high, for which they charge me a large commission, does not seem to be working under the coronavirus.
How can we believe a word spoken by the ultra-Orthodox leaders? They tell us that the sanctity of life is at the center of Judaism. That any Torah law, with just one or two exceptions, can and must be broken if life is in danger. And yet the Haredim, the ultra-Orthodox, have come out as the leading opponents of the restrictions that are intended to minimize the loss of life from the pandemic. Vacillate, not vaccinate, is their cry.
It will be interesting to see, when the pandemic is over and life returns to normal, if our leaders can regain our trust. Perhaps we are on the brink of a new world order where the blog writer is king.