In Jerusalem, Israel, during this time of isolation from COVID-19, as the novel coronavirus spreads around the world, it is not business as usual.
Now that the sun has finally come out and the rain stopped I have moved my office outside.
Cafes are shut. Malls are basically shut. Food shopping is allowed.
The Machane Yehuda Market shuk with its open markets is closed.
However, as the coronavirus continues to spread and despite the difficulties, Israeli farmers produced 90 million pounds of fruits and vegetables, last week.
Avshalom Vilan, Secretary-General of The Israel Farmer’s Federation, spoke to journalists on a conference phone call about the successes and challenges of work amidst the pandemic, plans for the coming months and cooperation with Palestinian farmers.
Vilan assured food for Passover will not be a problem. The 50 million eggs for Passover already arrived from Portugal!
Yoel Zilberman is the Founder and CEO of HaShomer HaChadashan and Chairman of SunDo, a start-up that connects farmers with volunteers.
For those wanting to do something in this time of increasing shutdown, SunDo is an App to volunteer to work in agriculture.
The museums are closed. However, the Israel Museum has had virtual tours available with a phone app for several years. Now those guided tours are being offered to people on the other side of the world, not just those wandering the vast galleries. The Tower of David Museum was to show off its latest virtual reality offering yesterday. Now it will really be just virtual for some time.
It is a time when apps and online classes and webinars can keep us busy 24/7. ZOOM, and Facebook Live, and Netflix offerings seem endless.
I have not left the house, but keep up to date through Whatsapp groups, from MDA and United Hatzalah.
MDA has opened four drive-thru coronavirus test centers, with the first test site in Tel Aviv.
All sports events have been canceled. Near Teddy Stadium, on Monday night, March 22, the parking lot of Jerusalem’s Pais Arena a drive-thru COVID-19 test center for the Jerusalem area was opened. Hundreds of families may be in for a pleasant surprise to receive at Magen David Adom’s and Health Ministry’s “Drive and Test” compounds – a gift set, donated by Intel, in order to ease the isolation period.
These are family quality time game sets, to raise morale and relieve boredom. The gifts set produced by “Tsumi – The Israeli Center for Attention,” and donated by Intel; include variety of table – box games.
My neighbor took advantage of the improved weather to work outside. I decided not to share the image of other neighbors exercising on the roof.
Cars are out. Jerusalem is not yet on shutdown. Jerusalem has a large part of its economy based on tourism. With no tourists, the businesses that work with them and hotels suffer which exasperates the problem of families on poverty levels in serious ways. Deputy Mayor Fleur Nassan-Hahoum said retraining unemployed workers for positions in demand, like work in a mask factory in Talpiot is a priority.
Meanwhile, the Jerusalem Municipality posted signs to clean up for picking up large items before Passover. I admit the sounds of the sanitation workers are comforting.
What’s happening (or not happening) in the Knesset is a whole other story, not for now.
I have a list of topics I had wanted to share, but there was no time. I hope to keep these posts coming of what is really happening on and off the Jerusalem streets during COVID-19 isolation time.
In the ‘you can learn something new everyday’ department, from friends I learned of Beer Bread.
So I made Corona Bread.
Mix – 3 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar and one bottle of warm Corona Beer.
Bake in a moderate oven, 350 F – 175 C degrees for almost an hour.
Best warm from the oven, but not so bad the next day either.
Something pre-Passover to do, easy, tasty and makes the houses smell good.
Smell is a powerful trigger for memory – may your memories of these crazy days be good ones.