When Orwell came knocking

As a caregiver in Jerusalem, I have a lot of long days.  Luckily, the caregiver jobs have kept me employed and I am paying my child support and rent.

Last night, I got in at 8 pm. I had cooked my dinner and opened my cheap 6 shekel bottle of beer.  No sooner had I sat down, I heard knocking on doors at all apartments on my floor.

I heard the knocking on my door and the announcement came that they were police.  I answered the door and they asked me if there was a woman living on the floor.  There had been some women, but there are a lot of transients and tourists in my building, so I asked him for a description.

My major concern was with the Corona virus.  I have three kids who live with my ex and I have four elderly clients that I do not want to expose to the virus.  The cop assured me it had nothing to do with the Corona and he showed me his smartphone.  Instead of a police mug shot, he showed me two shots of the young woman, one with a boyfriend.  These pictures had obviously been harvested from cell phone records or social media.

We have all been assured that the surveillance technology would only be used to track Corona patients.  However, the plain clothes cops that were searching for this lady had another reason, whatever that was.  I do not know if they were undercover cops from the local police, Shabak or Border Police, but I can not help but realize that this is the new normal, despite what you read in the papers about the Shabak being reigned in by the Supreme Court.  Technology is like a genie.  Just like nukes, the possibility for abuse or catastrophe is enormous.  When the genie is out of the bottle, it is hard to put it back in and contain it.  The government is now lawless, from the prime minister on down.  They can not be trusted to follow regulations or laws.

Unfortunately, we have entered a brave new world.  I remember when 9/11 occurred, my best friend called me later on that tragic day to muse about the future of the United States and our lives.  As a historian I said that the events of 9/11/2001 were really not as  important as the America that would come on 9/12 and thereafter.  I think the Corona crisis is similar.  We have given up precious civil rights and I really do not trust the government to protect what little is left of them.

About the Author
Akiva ben Avraham is a former community college adjunct, US Army intelligence analyst and officer, and a caregiver.
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