Anonymous 3m 681 #covid19
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Believe it or not, social distancing and self-isolation is not something exotic for Israelis. There`s a holiday in Jewish culture called Yom Kippur (The Judgment day). It is believed that this is the day when God writes a new chapter in the book of your life, so you are supposed to stop everything and give a good thought to all the actions that you took during the previous year. Even non-religious people take this day quite seriously in Israel. Those who don`t spend this day in abstinence and praying, also don`t drive or turn on the TV, give up all the gadgets and try to concentrate all energy on family, friends, beloved ones, or simply themselves. The streets become empty and quiet and only traffic lights continue working stubbornly on deserted crossroads.
More or less this is how Israel looked during COVID-19 Quarantine in March-April 2020. The only difference – instead of being calm and relaxed, people were extremely tensed and nervous in the beginning. Some were scared they would lose their jobs and businesses, some were upset because all the social life stopped at once (all the restaurants, gyms, shops and hairsalons closed for an undefined period), some got shivers from the thought that now when the schools and kindergartens closed, they have to entertain a bunch of kids at home (preventing them from destroying the house and killing each other mostly).
But I think that people were affected by the quarantine even less than their pets. I know what I am talking about – I have two Labradors and for the first several days my dogs were just staring at me asking, “What the Hell are you doing home, humans?” Their traditional daily 8 hours of peace and quiet were replaced by constant running up and down the stairs after (or mostly – from) the little human – this 5-year-old vet with a tiny plastic stethoscope and a huge professional enthusiasm. And those walks of course! Since it was allowed for the dog owners to get out of the house at least twice a day, our furry friends became our guides to the outer world. It seems like it was the time when stray cats had a more calm and relaxed life than our dogs.
As I said before, schools and kindergartens were closed. I have a five-year-old daughter. Do you know how to make origami, homemade slime, and plasticine, how to collect Rubik`s Cube, and make papier-mâché? I do now! And all this in addition to kisses and hugs unlimited. I believe, that this month and a half was the best thing that could have happened to me as a parent.
Of course, work was the aspect most influenced by quarantine. I don`t think there is a point to talk on and on about economic consequences for the country, people, and businesses. I would like to point out some positive tendencies that became possible because of this enforced workplace reformation. All the employees that could work distantly were moved to work from home. After about a month, many companies concluded that this style of working benefits both the companies and their employees. Apparently, businesses don`t have to spend a lot of money on renting and handling huge offices in cities. And their employees, who don`t have to spend hours in traffic and public transportation on the way to work don`t start their working day being stressed out. Calm and relaxed employees perform much better.
As a bonus, a remote working style leads to a significant reduction in traffic, which is good for the environment.
Israel has already started the process of getting out of quarantine. Looking back I can say that many habits and tendencies that appeared during those several weeks are here to stay. Many say, “The World will never be the same”. Maybe that’s the whole point?
As I said in the beginning, Israelis are being given a formal chance to revise their life choices once a year. I guess this quarantine was a good chance to actually do it.