We are just like you

By Diana Petrank Peledd

Like most of you here in Israel, we are trying our best to live with Corona (sounds nicer than Covid-19). But it is tough.  

Since its outbreak and the mandatory lockdowns and health regulations, we have all had to adapt to a new reality. If there is anything positive about the Corona pandemic and there really isn’t much, the long days in lockdown insolation and the imposed social distancing provided us with ample time to take stock of our lives – to re-evaluate what really matters.

So many of us began seeing things differently, leading us back to the basics. Suddenly, we had time to revisit long filed away memories; nostalgia; stored away items came back to life, filling us with so many deep hidden feelings; the values we were brought up upon – things we usually take for granted. i.e.  family, friends, compassion, kindness. We rediscovered the joy of cooking, baking, knitting, reading a book and when possible walking around the block – simply taking in what nature has to offer.

Private Lives. Residents stand on their balcony as they watch Israeli soldiers assisting civilians observing government stay-at-home orders to help fight the spread of the coronavirus disease in Tel Aviv, Israel April 7, 2020.(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

Corona affects all aspects of our life. No one is exempt.  It not only affects our health, but is detrimental to our finances, our social life and our mental and emotional frames of mind. For some, it is easier than for others, as this brief encounter will reveal.

While at the supermarket, as always, I stopped to chat with the chief cashier. She tried hard to hide it, but she wasn’t her usual chirpy self.  This is what she told me.

I am worried about my children and grandchildren. They are on furlough. Even worse, they  don’ t know if they will have a job to go back to or if they will have to make a total change in occupation. The uncertainty is terrible. I try and help as much as I can. I am especially worried about my eldest daughter. She is at home with her kids and lately she is showing signs of depression.  She is worried about the kids, the cut in income, expenses, the future. I do my best to raise her spirits and help, but it doesn’t. I am really worried“.

I told her to speak to her GP who could probably provide her with hot-lines or a list of relevant councillors. She said she planned to and thanked me for listening.

Market is Down. A message of hope decorates the empty Carmel Market in Tel Aviv. (Tomer Neuberg/Flash90)

I am sure her story sounds familiar.

There are currently many people all over the world, experiencing various levels of depression or Coranatitis (ok – so I just made it up), due to the Corona fallout. The elderly, self-employed and small businesses are the most vulnerable

Here in Israel, there is never a dull moment, the events (the good, the bad, the amazing, the miraculous), the pace of life here, is sometimes mindboggling. Now, while we can’t all be politicians, diplomats, scientists, researchers, doctors etc.. and reach great achievements, we can all be a BA – Ben Adam – a human being.

“Just the Two of Us”. An Israeli couple gets married without guests due to coronavirus restrictions (Photo: Reuters)

At the end of the day, we are like everyone else in the global village, pursuing happiness, a decent livelihood, comfort, and a good future for our kids. Simple, mundane, uncomplicated.

Play Nice. Intel donates game sets to families coming to drive-through coronavirus testing centers in Israel. (Photo Magen David Adom)

Nonetheless, we still need human interaction – a smile; a kind word; a simple act of kindness.  Moreover, granting someone else a simple gesture can make our day that much brighter, and us better people and that leads to a healthier society – and that even Corona cannot contaminate.  Helping an elderly person reach a shelf in the supermarket or use the ATM; listening to someone in despair, smiling at someone who may be lonely, does more for their state-of-mind that you can imagine – it costs nothing, just a little compassion, a small act of kindness and guess what, we profit as well : “Those who are happiest are those who do the most for others.” Booker T. Washington

So next time you read about Israel, remember also, that its citizens are just like you – no more, no less.

Yarden Saxophone Rooftop Quarantine Performance

About the writer:

Diana Petrank Peledd  is an Executive Bilingual Secretary and Translator. Over the years, professional and creative correspondence and writing has been a major part of her work. Born in England, Diana is an Anglo-Israeli (10th generation Israeli on her paternal side) and has spent most of her life in Israel.

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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