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  • Writer's pictureViva Sarah Press

Coronavirus in Israel: There aren't six degrees of separation

Updated: Mar 5, 2020

Israel, it is often said, is so small that the oft-cited concept of Six Degrees of Separation doesn’t hold.

This is a country where it really seems that your friends are linked via one or two social connections.

This idea, this familial hug, is a beacon of Israeli culture.

Israelis may voice their ideas. Loudly. They may argue. For argument’s sake.

But the people here can be like a big family. They do care.

And when help is needed, there will be people who rush to help. Especially in times of emergency.

Which is why from the moment the first person in Israel was identified as a carrier of the coronavirus, it was rather obvious to everyone that it was a matter of weeks before it would spread. Around the country.

Today’s headline: all events and gatherings over 5,000 people are cancelled.

Students at my daughter’s high school were told to go into isolation today – following reports that a teenager, who had attended a sporting event last week, tested positive for the coronavirus. Of course, it has been a week since they were in his vicinity, and of course they were at school before being told to quarantine themselves… so, who really knows if this is going to help.

The media has gone whole hog on reporting about coronavirus happenings. It is interesting to note that no one is writing about the regular flu, which kills hundreds every year as well.

Hysteria or epidemic?

Obviously, this is not a joke. And we’re taking precautions. Like washing our hands. Which we do anyway.

No one wants to be infected.

Still, it is a good thing that Israelis have a wicked sense of humor.

My social media feeds are filled – and constantly replenished – with coronavirus memes and jokes.

The goal is to send a new pun before someone in my network shares it first.

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