Braving Bidud

My ‘bidud diary’ or exasperated rant!

By Martine Maron Alperstein

Day 11 of bidud (isolation due to exposure to a positive covid-19 person) and I’m tearing my hair out. The level of irritation, impatience, anger and frustration is through the roof. I don’t know what to do with myself. 

I had seen friends who had been in bidud and were traumatised, doing everything they could to avoid repeating the situation. I did not understand. What is the big deal? It is no different from lockdown.

Oh boy, was I mistaken! 

I am fully aware that things could be so much worse. Thank G-d our bidud is just precautionary and that nobody is sick. I appreciate that we have a garden and a mirpeset (balcony), which so many don’t. I am beyond blessed with my incredible network of friends and family who have gone out of their way to help. I have WhatsApp and Zoom and online shopping. Yeh, I know.  But for now I just want to allow myself to feel, to be in the moment and to let it all out. Because until now, I have been numb.

Ice cold, stoney, brick wall numb. 

In Bidud. Staring out the window. (Photo: d3sign/Moment/Getty Images)

I have not been able to focus on the job search. I have not been able to work on my CV, my branding, my elevator pitch or my LinkedIn. It has been almost two months and no sign of Dmei Avtala (Unemployment payments). I am unable to continue with any of the courses to improve my skill set. I cannot reach out and network. I cannot pick up the phone and connect with the amutot (Israeli charities) that I am planning to donate my time to. I am not able to work on our current proposal.  I am not able to be there fully for my kids who are both anxious at the best of times, levels of which are currently through the roof. Their need to be close and for attention is on a whole new level. I haven’t cooked a meal in two weeks (and I love to cook). I cannot support my husband who is in the middle of his annual stress – US tax season. And I am not answering the phone. You want to connect with me – send me a WhatsApp or an email. I cannot sit through a conversation. I have not had what it takes to get off my butt and exercise (yes, I know it probably would have made the world of difference to my mood). And I have zero patience for teachers right now – the most engaged, involved and connected parent always – leave me the $#(@ alone.

I am disconnected. I have not been present. I have not been living in the moment. I have been numb. Numb. Numb. Numb. The only way I could cope was to be numb. Totally numb.

But really I am angry. I am pissed. I am hurt. I am frustrated. I want to scream and swear and stamp my feet. I want to punch the wall. But most of all…. I want to cry.

Big Brother is Watching. Mobile data allows authorities to know where users are at any time

In two weeks I have not seen my parents, and at this stage of life, every minute counts. I have not been able to see and connect with my dearest friends who are like family. I am such a social person. I am so happy surrounded by my peeps. I have had to watch the world continue around us while we sit still. I have had to watch my child breaking down because her class is carrying on without her – my child who was so badly bullied in elementary school, who has struggled and fought so hard to find her place, who is finally thriving (she was voted onto the Moetset Talmidot – Student Council) – down and miserable because she is being left behind.

But the real volcano in me is pushed to the limit, to the point where the lava is starting to shoot out with force, is when I see, read and hear the stupid, selfish, arrogant and irresponsible actions of so many. We are in the middle of a global pandemic. The numbers are increasing again worldwide. We have not come close to containing, controlling or eradicating this revolting virus. Get a grip! Follow the guidelines! Be super responsible – go above and beyond. You are not G-d and you are not above it all. You are a person with a head and a heart. Use it properly.

Those who know me are very aware that I am normally with a smile on my face, I tend to look for the silver lining and the pot at the end of the rainbow. But this time, it was beyond me.

Yes, my faith is rock solid. Yes, I believe the universe has my back. Yes, I know everything happens for a reason. Today, I choose to stay authentic and let the anger and frustration have a voice. I still believe and I still trust.

Maybe next time I’m in bidud (based on what I see around me the probability is high) I will choose gratitude; I will write a gratitude diary and change my perspective.

But for today I am pissed.

(The song that has gotten me through this time)

Martine Maron Alperstein made aliyah from Cape Town 21yrs ago. She currently resides in Modiin with her husband, kids and kitty cats.

While the mission of Lay of the Land (LotL) is to provide a wide and diverse perspective of affairs in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world, the opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by its various writers are not necessarily ones of the owners and management of LOTL but of the writers themselves.  LotL endeavours to the best of its ability to credit the use of all known photographs to the photographer and/or owner of such photographs

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