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Quarantine Diary, Day 5: There’s a 10% chance it’s corona. Should we call a doctor?

Z ack Dinerstein and Lisa Tauber, both 35, moved from Park Slope, Brooklyn, to Tel Aviv a year ago for her job at Fiverr, an online marketplace for freelance services (he is a web developer and former podcast producer). Newlyweds, they recently went for a romantic getaway to Paris — only to find on their return that France had been added to Israel’s list of countries from which travelers must stay in isolation. Now, they are among 80,000 people confined to their homes, and they’re letting us follow along.

Day 5 – 7:50am (Lisa) “The Great Outdoors”

Well, it’s a work day today. Guess we’ll stay at home staring at our laptops for a change! One of the few nice things about staying at home all the time is that you start to notice the world right outside your window. A few days ago while I was sitting on the porch (ya know, my whole world) reading, I saw three beautiful green parrots fly by in an instant. It was so fast I wasn’t even sure what I saw.

The parrots are back!

The parrots are back! Image by Instagram/lisatauber

The next day, Zack pointed to the tree directly outside our window, and there were those same colored green parrots munching on some nuts on the tree. They’ve got orange beaks and a darker green tail. Gorgeous.

Turns out they’re rose-ringed parakeets, but they’ll still be parrots to me. And fun fact: they’re considered an invasive species, taking over nesting sites usually used by hoopoes, Israel’s national bird (and another creature that’s a joy to behold). Maybe we should put the parrots in isolation?

I keep wondering if it’s a fluke and if we’ll ever see the parrots again, but this morning, as I procrastinate my morning exercises, there they are. They fly from branch to branch, giving us a momentary view of their tails in motion, and when they fly away, it’s almost magical to see something so bright green against the baby blue sky. The quarantine has given us these parrots and now we’ll always know they’re there and we’ll always know to look for them. So there’s that.

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Day 5 – 3/8/2020 (Zack) – 9am “But is it doctor house-call worthy?”

Lisa’s cough has still not gone away. She caught a nasty cold a few days before the Paris trip, sneezed the whole way there, and is now, slowly, coming out the other side.

But her hacking cough persists. In some ways, it sounds worse than before. Like it’s coming from her sternum and bringing gravel with it. 10% of me suspects this could be corona. But, corona aside, a lasting cough 10 days in is no bueno.

So much of my brain is consumed by corona, hand sanitizing, staying indoors. I’d kind of forgotten there are other health risks a person needs to watch out for.

Last night, Lisa’s sinus pressure was so bad, we made a DIY neti pot out of an old sugar dispenser we never use. She filled it with warm water and a teaspoon of salt. Then proceeded to tilt that mixture into her nostrils as she angled her neck over our bathroom sink.

Lisa and Zack

Lisa and Zack Image by Instagram/lisatauber

If it was any other day, I’d walk outside and buy a cheap plastic nose cleaning device from the pharmacy, end of story. If that didn’t do the trick, she’d make an appointment and breeze on over to the doctor’s office.

But now, seeing a doctor means weighing if symptoms are severe enough to warrant a medical professional — who’s probably busy with actual emergencies — to breeze on over to us.

Is this ailment doctor-house-call worthy? It’s like we’re living an episode of Seinfeld, where actually nothing happens.

Day 5 – 3/8/2020 (Zack) – 12:22pm “Paranoia hits Manhattan”

Chatted with our friend in the States. She lives in Brooklyn with her fiance and was walking their dog at 6am.

She mentioned how tense riding the subway is right now. No one holds the poles. If someone sneezes, they’re pelted with dirty looks for the duration of the ride. Everyone’s paranoid that their neighbor might be complicit in introducing something dangerous to the world. Very strange being trapped indoors, having a relatively fun experience, while the world outside steadily tilts itself sideways.

Day 5 – 3:02pm (Lisa) “Thank God for delivery”

Oh happy day the groceries have arrived! For the past few days we’ve been eating stir fry, quiche, French toast, cereal, and apples and peanut butter. Here are some things I’m excited to cook and/or snack on:

  • Bamba
  • This Bon Appetit chickpea (to which I add miso and eat as soup)
  • Grapefruits
  • Ben & Jerry’s
  • Mujadara
  • Rice cakes with avocado and lemon (because Israel only has limes in “lime season”)
  • Mac and cheese (the comfort food I crave right now)

I feel like we didn’t buy enough vegetables, but there’s always the next order. I’m trying to use this quarantine as a way to get more comfortable with grocery shopping and cooking everything we have in the fridge. In general, I’m more of a go-to-the-market-to-cook-a-specific-recipe kind of lady, so at the very least maybe I can use this shut-in as a learning experience.

For now, I’ll just eat some Ben & Jerry’s Non-Dairy Peanut Butter Half Baked.

Dive In




    50th meeting of the Yiddish Open Mic Cafe

    Hybrid event in London and online.

    Aug 14, 2022

    1:30 pm ET · 

    Join audiences and participants from across the globe for this live celebration of Yiddish songs, poems, jokes, stories, games, serious and funny - all performed in Yiddish with English translation.

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