David Wolf

Why Me?

I received special attention from my Kupat Holim – Meuhedet.

I received a phone call — how are you? Any symptoms — cough, fever, breathing trouble…? Have you been abroad in the last two weeks? Do you know whom to call if you do have any symptoms? Do you have people who can buy you food and medicines?

I liked the attention, but then I thought — why me?

And I remembered something that my friend Gary told me about a time, in parachuting course, when on the way to one of the jumps one of the teachers came up to him and said – don’t worry, you’ll be fine…

And Gary felt terribly ashamed — why did he tell me that? Why did he pick on me? Did I look more scared than the others?

And I thought — why did the Kupat Holim pick on me???

And I remembered that other thing… how when an Israeli gets a letter from the army… you curse and fume — again miluim? Not fair! I already did 20 days this year… what about all those who don’t do any miluim? I have an exam coming up… I have a trip planned… my wife is about to have a baby…

And then one day, in your 40s, you receive a letter from the army saying you’ve been released from miluim, you’ll no longer be called up. And you curse and fume — what? You think I’m too old? How dare you dismiss me? I can walk and run and shoot better than most youngsters! I insist on doing miluim!!!

So how dare you phone me now and ask if I’m OK? Of course I’m OK! So what that I’m 71… let me call you and ask you if you’re OK! Chutzpah!!!

Until a week ago, I was just me. Mostly healthy, sometimes sick. I’d go to work, I’d go for walks. I’d be with my family, do my share in taking care of everybody.

And then a week ago they started calling me a “60+”, a “70+”…

Instead of helping me feel healthy and young, they insist on telling me that I’m one of the “aged,” that I’m in danger, that I mustn’t leave home, that people should keep away from me “for my own good”…

If I keep on hearing that for a few more days, I am sure to develop some “symptoms”! After all, it’s expected of me…

David Wolf

Israel, March 2020

P.S. I must have given the wrong answers in that phone call… they didn’t offer me and my family a sweet in Dan Panorama, like they do for people with ‘light symptoms’… Next time I’ll be sure to cough when they phone me…

About the Author
David Wolf writes about his experience of being a second-time husband and father. He has a daughter from his first marriage, and, with his second wife, has accrued three daughters, two sons-in-law, one grandchild and twin 8-year-old sons. He is a social worker in a mental health department and in private practice in Raanana.
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