The Corona Chronicles – The Second Wave

With 288 new cases over the past 24 hours, it seems safe to say that the expected “Second Wave”  has arrived.  In spite of that, the government continues to loosen the restrictions on movement and assembly. The railway is to be opened again, and cultural performances (theatre, etc.) are to be permitted although with an audience of no more than 250 (500, with a special dispensation from the Ministry of Health). I have tickets for the opera in two weeks time, but that just isn’t going to happen. Many theatres, concert halls and places of entertainment have said that opening to only partial capacity is simply not economically viable. I would say this is certainly true of the opera which is, in any case, one of the most expensive forms of entertainment there is. The auditorium of the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Centre, where the operas are staged, seats 1,644 when full – and it usually is full. I just checked their website and it says there that they are excited to be back and are currently working on a new performance schedule. However, I doubt that they will be ready for a full-scale performance in just a fortnight.

The death toll in Israel from COVID – 19 stands at 303. That includes a young man of 26 who died a few days ago – a man with no pre-existing medical conditions, who had previously been treated for the virus and was believed to have recovered. Unfortunately, the virus caused a rare complication leading to an inflammatory disease of the heart muscle which proved fatal.   It is frightening that there is still so much we don’t know about the coronavirus and the complications it can cause, even when the actual symptoms are apparently mild.

On Sunday, we resumed choir practice – sort of.  Instead of meeting twice a week, all together, those of us who were ready to risk meeting at all (about 18, out of 25) were divided up into groups, each group to meet once a week with the conductor. Those of us who preferred to meet out of doors, met on Sunday and the rest met indoors yesterday. There should have been nine of us with the conductor, but in the event, we were only seven – and I was the only soprano. Nevertheless, it was good to sing together with other voices after such a long hiatus.

As far as my field-trips with Yad Ben Zvi go, we were recently notified that they will be resumed next month (for the shorter, half-day trips), while for those of us who prefer to finish the course of archaeological field-trips (of which there are two left), these will take place in September.  It’s not an easy decision to make. It can be pretty hot in September – and these full-day trips involve a considerable amount of travel by coach with all the problems of social distancing and face-masks involved.  In addition to which, there is no telling whether the Second Wave will have passed by then, or got worse, or whether there will be a Third Wave.

As I was writing this post, news came in of the death of World War 2 icon Dame Vera Lynn, the “Sweetheart of the Forces”. I don’t know why this affected me so badly, but I sat and cried for an hour, then put on a playlist of her songs on YouTube – and cried some more. I was born quite a while after the war,  but she’s tied up in my mind with so many things I can’t even begin to express. And, of course, for many who did not know her in her heyday, she will now always be associated with the COVID -19 pandemic, the enforced social distancing and the longing that one day, hopefully not too far away, “We’ll Meet Again”.

I can do no better than to leave you with this, her signature song:



About Shimona from the Palace

Born in London, the UK, I came on Aliyah in my teens and now live in Jerusalem, where I practice law. I am a firm believer in the words of Albert Schweitzer: "There are two means of refuge from the sorrows of this world - Music and Cats." To that, you can add Literature. To curl up on the sofa with a good book, a cat at one's feet and another one on one's lap, with a classical symphony or concerto in the background - what more can a person ask for?
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3 Responses to The Corona Chronicles – The Second Wave

  1. sadly the virus plays by its own rules and takes hold of who ever, when ever. people here are all about ” do as they please” wear masks, don’t, go here and there….and the media reports///speculation is rampant….no one knows who or what to believe

    stay safe and healthy ♥♥♥♥

    • Yes, what with the deniers who insist it’s all a plot to bring down the Trump administration and impose a New World Order, and those who insist it’s a Trump plot to make himself dictator for life, the “conservatives” who say being forced to wear their masks is an unconstitutional infringement of their liberties, the students who are whingeing that they can’t go out partying – it seems to me that people believe what they want to believe and that this is, in no small measure, determined by their political inclinations.

  2. Fergy. says:

    Thanks so much for visiting my Lockdown Diaries, gruesome as they have become. It is interesting to read about how things are in your country and at least you are able to sing albeit under very unusual circumstances.

    I am really in lockdown now, not only due to Chinese virus regulations but also by the fact that I can barely walk after my latest surgery! I have no idea when I can next play a gig, I doubt it will be this year as all the summer festivals are cancelled and you cannot play in the pubs any more.

    On the bright side, I still have both my legs for when I can walk again and I can’t wait for my first gig, it will be emotional for sure. As a performer you know the scene, you know how intense it can get even if we operate in completely different spheres. It is still the same emotion.

    I suppose there is nothing we can realistically do except sit and wait and see what happens.

    Thanks again, stay safe and speak soon,


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