Fifty thousand infected a day, no, already one hundred thousand, from two to three million cases, that is, every third, up to two thousand seriously ill patients … Such a bright future promises us “ crown '' in two to three weeks, when the fifth wave of the epidemic reaches its peak. However, experts warn, we will not see the true picture, since the scale of testing is limited by a recent government decision. In addition, the 'traffic light' has been canceled. in schools, reduced quarantine for those who came and came into contact with patients, eliminated the list of “ red '' countries, Israel is completely open to vaccinated tourists.
What is the logic of such indulgences? “ Barn burned down, burn down and hut ''? They say that people still get sick, with or without quarantine, so let at least tourism revive and the economy not suffer. Or did the authorities simply wash their hands, sign their powerlessness to influence the course of the pandemic and surrender to the mercy of the virus? The fifth wave will decline sooner or later, so why waste money on useless preventive measures?
With tourism, everything is more or less clear; more precisely, this logic was explained to us with the help of strange arithmetic. Previously, those who came from abroad brought ten percent of the disease level, and this was dangerous for the country, but now & ndash; less than five, which is insignificant. But the point is not that tourists have become less infectious, but simply that the level of “ internal '' has increased. Omicron. For some reason, the authorities did not think that at any moment some other strain with unknown properties might appear (in fact, it has already been found in Cyprus), and they will instantly deliver it to our house across the open border.
Or maybe the government just decided to close its eyes to what is happening? Therefore, the testing policy has been changed: fewer tests & ndash; less rate of infected & ndash; less media panic and less management headaches? Although in reality everything is simpler. The problem of huge queues at testing centers and a possible shortage of tests was solved radically: they allowed vaccinated citizens who had contact with sick people, with the exception of certain categories, to do express tests at home. True, quick tests may also end, but this will already be the next problem – hands will reach it later or not at all. This raises an interesting question: why in our civilized country with well-equipped medicine and pharmaceuticals there is always a lack of exactly those medicines, resources and equipment that are needed at the moment? Why are we not ready every time even for a new and familiar situation?
“We are adapting to avoid a shutdown of the economy,” the head of the Ministry of Health, Nitzan Horowitz, frankly explained what was happening. As usual, this happens at the expense of citizens, because self-testing kits must be bought for their own money. As they say, testing, like saving drowning people, is the work of the drowning people themselves. Of course, especially cunning Israelis will also try to “ adapt '' and will ignore or tamper with self-testing. Needless to say, how many cases of 'crown' will increase thanks to this “ adaptation. ''
It is possible that hand washing authorities before the crown is intended to arouse fear among the population and convince people to get the next vaccine as soon as it becomes available to the general public. It was not for nothing that Prime Minister Bennett authoritatively stated that the fourth dose of the vaccine increased the number of antibodies by five times.
Perhaps there is even some element of punishment for undisciplined citizens in the current strategy. Like, you yourself are to blame for what is happening: you did not get vaccinated on time, did not wear masks, gathered in large groups, despite the prohibitions, so pay for your unreasonable behavior. The pay, of course, will be just those who honestly followed all the rules & ndash; people of the older generation and risk groups most susceptible to infection and complications.
Or maybe we are trying to revive the concept of herd immunity, which has long since failed in Sweden? Like, let everyone get sick, “ Omicron '' not so dangerous, the healthcare system can handle it. But this means that about 800 thousand people who did not receive a booster (not counting risk groups) can suffer the disease seriously or very seriously. It turns out that politicians are ready to sacrifice these people? And all this & ndash; to save the economy?
Alas, even this lofty goal may not be achievable, as the optimistic projections for the crown are usually not justified. It is highly likely that we will lose on both fronts: we will lose control over the infection rate, but we will not save the economy. Paying sick and isolated people will completely ruin the business. According to the Association of Industrialists, these payments could reach five billion shekels in a month, not counting the loss of millions of working hours. Even if everything is left to chance and quarantine is completely abolished, the number of sick people leaving their jobs can paralyze entire industries. This is already underway, for example, on the Israel Railways, where they recently had to change the schedule due to the illness of the drivers.
And if Omicron will turn out to be more dangerous and more durable than we expected, if a more resistant strain comes to replace it (all this is quite likely), then the government will still have to introduce Seger, which it is trying to avoid at such a high cost. Only this will happen in conditions of a completely drained of blood economy and complete disbelief of society in all directives issued from the “ top ''. Israel may not get out of such an abyss & ndash; he does not have enough material or moral resources for this.
Alas, today's stubbornness with which the government is retreating before the “ crown '' is somewhat reminiscent of the era of the Oslo agreements with its persistent movement towards concessions on background of the growth of terrorist attacks. And it threatens with no less sad consequences.
However, during the pandemic, Israel is used to carrying out all sorts of experiments, taking comfort in the fact that we are paving the way for the rest of the world. True, this does not lead to anything good: we are increasingly failing, and the rest of the world is successfully learning from our mistakes.
Author //: Irina Petrova