I have just returned to Israel from the USA. I returned to a country at war. I have been locked in a quarantine hotel because my government doesn’t believe that I am responsible enough to quarantine at home.
Until COVID, I had never been to war. I was too young when US soldiers were fighting in Vietnam. After making Aliyah, I was too old to fight in Gaza during operation Protective Edge. But in this war against the Coronavirus, everyone is enlisted: men; women; children; and the elderly.
But even though I did not fight in operation Protective Edge, I did have to run into bunkers while the missiles were falling. But in the midst of all the danger, there was a feeling that we were all in this together. War used to unite us.
This war against COVID is different then all other wars, but it is definitely a war. And I am locked inside a bunker. And it is not uniting us.
In the beginning of this war, it felt like we were all in it together. Younger people volunteered to bring groceries to the elderly so that they didn’t have to risk exposure by leaving home. Neighbor helped neighbor. We were united. Even though we didn’t understand all the reasons behind all of the restrictions, we trusted our leaders.
Now, over a year into this war against COVID, we are no longer united. It feels like neighbor is against neighbor. We are fighting among ourselves. We blame each other. The secular blames the religious. The elderly blames the youth. The Jews and Arabs blame each other.
And we do not trust our leaders.
The irony is that we are winning. Hospitals are no longer overflowing. Most of the high-risk people have been vaccinated and the vaccines are working. The number of serious cases is steadily decreasing.
But our leaders continue to fail us. They continue to enact rules that punish the innocent and fail to enforce existing rules that could bring a more rapid victory.
I wish that we would realize that we are all in this together. I wish that we had different leadership. Passover is coming. I believe that redemption will follow. I have faith that my wishes will come true.