Marcia and I only recently began to reengage with ordinary life here in Israel, roughly two years after this country began its experiment with Covid-19, its new and highly-regarded therapies and its legion of mutated cousins, the bugs, you’ll remember, that were given Greek names. Our reassimilation into Jerusalem’s recovering commercial scene was, by necessity, lay-AHT, lay-AHT, as they like to say here, “slowly, slowly.” Government lockdowns and restrictions had knocked nearly everyone in the Land out of the habit of coming and going as they pleased. So it took a bit of effort to recapture that old, freedom feeling and begin to circulate again.
Lockdown number one in Jerusalem began for us when the police appeared one evening to roadblock the entrance to our neighborhood. They allowed only emergency vehicles and those with government-issued permits to pass. Late in the first day of that new experience, two officers manning a barricade called out to us, as we returned toward our home from a stroll, “Friends, you must wear your masks,” although there was no one within twenty yards of us.
But all is well that ends, no matter how slowly. Lockdowns, “green passports,” limits on public assembly and mask and vaccine mandates are now fading memories. So, about six weeks ago, Marcia and I tested the water with Covid-free toes and visited a reopened, Jerusalem-area winery with friends, no masks or permits required. Encouraged by how nearly normal that experience seemed, we went out to eat at restaurants two times in the following three weeks.[Read more…]