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Quarantine Diary Day 8: Nearly 100 infected with coronavirus in Israel

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 8: 8AM (Zack) | One Of Us

Text from my co-worker to our work’s group chat— turns out he was shopping in a Max Stock in Kfar Saba at the same time a now-confirmed corona patient was also shopping there.

For every corona case that’s found in the country the government releases a time-stamped list of all the places that patient visited before knowing they were infected. Because there are relatively few cases here (97 as of Wednesday), the government can still put a tight lid on the spread, or at least they can try.

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My co-worker now has to self-quarantine for the next two weeks. Welcome to the club!

To see all current Israel coronavirus patient information in english, visit this government health page.

8:45 AM | Corona Cast Real Life

Listened to “Conan O’Brien Needs a Friend” in the shower this morning — a fantastically funny comedy/interview podcast hosted by Conan.

In the episode, Conan and his two co-hosts casually mentioned that stores in Los Angeles, where they record the show, are beginning to run out of hand sanitizer. This is the first mention I’ve heard on any non-news podcast of anything remotely related to the coronavirus.

Their podcast was probably taped a few weeks ago and is just now being released.

Felt a hint of vertigo as I realized I’d likely hear, over the next few weeks, conversations on all the podcasts I love creep closer and closer towards current events. First hand sanitizer shortages, then small outbreaks, then quarantining, then… who knows?

It’s comforting knowing I’ll have my podcast friends joining us in here soon enough, chatting about how they’re dealing with everything that’s happening out there. But it’s also becoming difficult to imagine a time when we won’t be talking about and living with the effects of COVID-19.

Day 8: 2pm (Lisa) | Stamina

What kind of exercise do you do indoors if you hate yoga, live on the top floor, and think jumping up and down so your neighbors all hear you is out of the question? I’m in an exercise rut and it’s really bugging me.

Quarantine mac and cheese

Quarantine mac and cheese Image by Instagram/lisatauber

In my regular life, I spend many mornings taking exercise classes at Beit Hanna, a white-walled, Equinox-reminiscent studio, cafe, and community center a few blocks from our apartment. I’ve never been good at exercising on my own — I crave the peer pressure of other fit individuals in order to push myself and lift heavier weights, do an extra rep, and not give up.

And let me tell you: there’s no better peer pressure than exercising with a bunch of Israelis. They are tough. (Makes sense when you remember they’ve all been through the army.) I remember thinking I’d really gotten weaker when I started exercising in Israel. Everyone around me could lift such heavy weights and had such incredible stamina. I used to be the person in my workout classes with the stamina! Did I really let go after I got married?

On my first trip back to NY I realized that, nope, I still had stamina— it was just American stamina. Israeli stamina is a whole different beast.

And now, stuck staring at my solitary yoga mat, I’m really missing that peer pressure, those kettle bells, and the class camaraderie. The half-full jar of lentils I’m using as a makeshift weight really isn’t cutting it, though I was recently introduced to the Fitness Marshall, who posts dance routines to pop songs, which has been a real bright spot.

Still, I’m dreading my return to Beit Hanna. How much farther behind I’ll be from even my American stamina. I’m not even sure if my quarantine stamina can get me through a whole class.


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