Religion Magazine

Confusing Complicated CoronaVirus Calculations

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
I don't think the government makes any necessarily bad decisions about dealing with the CoronaVirus. Confusing decisions, perhaps. Unenforced decisions, perhaps, Contradictory decisions, perhaps. But I would not blame them for bad decisions. There are still, after several months of dealing with it, so many unknowns about the virus and how to beat it. As I have said before, I don't envy anyone responsible for making these decisions. They all trying their best and trying to find the best way to beat the virus and keep it at bay as much as possible - sometimes a decision made isn't as effective as expected, sometimes it is, sometimes the public refuses to cooperate regarding a specific restriction, and sometimes the public cooperates more. And at the same time the government has, and has to have, other considerations to keep in mind as well, such as not destroying the economy any further, allowing people to make a living, etc.
That being said, and perhaps these will go more into the confusing decisions, while the government is trying to get things under control here, they have just approved allowing 17,000 or so foreign yeshiva and seminary students back in to Israel for the upcoming yeshiva year. I am not opposed, but I am confused. Yes, they will be under tight restrictions, and I am sure some yeshivas and seminaries will keep to the rules strictly while others will be more lax about it. Still - the government is having a hard time keeping the virus under control, and now a sudden influx of 17000 foreign students will be added to the mix.
And what happens if, God forbid, some of the foreign students get sick with the virus? Do they have the necessary insurance to get treated here? They likely won't be able to fly home, and their parents won't be able to come here to take care of them - is a process set in how to deal with that? YWN [by now famously] wrote about how difficult this will be because the yeshiva boys need their falafel (yes, taken out of context), though in my day shawarma was more popular than falafel - whether they need their falafel or not, yeshiva boys and girls can always be seen all over Jerusalem (in addition to other cities) - how is that going to change? Will the seminaries provide their students with Shabbos meals now, or will they still send them out to hosts all around the country?
It might very well work, and maybe a proper system is being put in place and the schools will play along. I hope so. And I hope everybody remains or gets healthy.
The other situation that is somewhat confounding is Uman and the Breslavers. I know it is very important to them from a religious perspective. I know it is very important to Ukraine to have the flow of money coming in with the religious tourism. But is it really smart? Ukraine, according to the graphs I saw, have the Covid spread numbers on the rise, though deaths are relatively low and steady right now. First Ukraine said no, and now they are considering allowing several thousand in with some tight restrictions. And then those several thousand people will want to return home, largely to Israel, but to other places as well. So, if Israel also agrees to this, we'll get several thousand more cross contaminated people coming back and mingling...
What will happen if this or that happens? I don't know but I hope someone is planning for different eventualities.
Again, I hope everyone remains healthy, and I understand the need and desire to return to some level of regular behavior and freedoms, yet it still remains complicates and confusing.
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