On the news this morning, I heard that the government is planning on scrapping most of the remaining COVID restrictions – this, despite the fact that there are still about 20,000 new confirmed cases daily – which is, admittedly, a huge drop from the numbers when the pandemic was at its peak.
According to the Ministry of Health dashboard, last updated at 7:43 a.m. today, there are currently 173,685 “active” cases, 9,630 fewer than yesterday. Over the past seven days, there have been 165,310 new confirmed cases – a drop of 43.2% compared to the previous seven days. So far, so good. But the numbers are still high and one wonders whether it is not still too soon to “get back to normal” (whatever “normal” means nowadays).
Amongst other restrictions to be scrapped is the requirement for unvaccinated children under the age of 12 returning to Israel from a visit abroad to undergo a period of quarantine, as long as their parents are vaccinated.
Yes, you got that right. Apparently, the vaccine is so miraculous that if you were properly vaccinated, your unvaccinated children under the age of 12 are not a danger to others!!!
I am not going to ask the obvious question here. Instead, I shall give free rein to the lawyer in me and ask the following (not entirely tongue-in-cheek):
1. Do both parents need to be vaccinated for the child to enjoy the exemption from quarantine?
2. If so, what happens if the child has only one living parent?
3. What happens if the parents are divorced, or separated? Is it sufficient that the parent having custody is fully vaccinated? And supposing the child travelled abroad with the parent who does not have custody but will be returning to the home of the parent who does? Which of the two parents needs to be vaccinated?
Let me make clear here that I am not expressing an opinion on the efficacy of the vaccine per se – merely on the total lack of logic exercised by the Powers That Be. So why should I not gently mock them – laugh at them, even?
There seems to be little enough to laugh about these days, what with earthquakes in the north of the country, war fever in eastern Europe, a global pandemic which, every time it seems to be dying down, flares up again in a new mutation – not to mention the winter, which appears strangely reluctant to leave us.
Today, however, the sun is shining and it is possible to believe that spring is just around the corner.
So I will leave you with a song by the Gevatron choral ensemble – a setting by the composer Dafna Eilat of lyrics from The Song of Songs 2:11 – 13.
For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; The flowers appear on the earth; the time of singing is come and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land; The fig-tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines in blossom give forth their fragrance.