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Quarantine Diary Day 12: The final day!

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 12 (final day) – 8:09am (Lisa)

I’ve been trying to place a grocery order since last night, and it feels like deja vu. I never expected that I’d need to place an online order after our bidud was finally over, but the situation has changed so drastically over the past few days. Five days ago there were about 50 cases of Coronavirus in Israel; now there are 200, and I’m sure that number will continue to creep up over the course of the day.

We knew things would be different when we left quarantine, and we even lived with the risk that we’d come into contact with someone with the virus and be required to re-bidud, but both of those outcomes seem irrelevant in light of Israel’s new requirements.

Last night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced new measures that ban gatherings over 10 people, shut down recreational activities (cafes, restaurants, gyms), and ask anyone who can work from home to do so. As we livestreamed Bibi’s speech from our laptop, I tried to place yet another grocery order. As Bibi said that there will be no shortages of food and assured the public that grocery stores and pharmacies would remain open, I imagined the post-Shabbat flooding of our local Shufersal, and the hoarding that would take place between now and when we’re allowed to go shopping ourselves on Monday.

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We were smart enough to have bought some pantry staples during our last order, but we’re running low on certain household items, like paper towels. It’s hard to know how much hoarding is happening outside, or where the line between precaution and frenzy lies, though if I’m being honest, being stuck inside might actually help the situation. I’ve seen pictures of the aisles at New York City Whole Foods and no thank you I can do without seeing the irrationality in each of our minds’ played out on the shelves.

Regardless, I woke up this morning and attempted again to place my grocery store order for a reasonable yet prudent amount of food and supplies. But an hour later and the site still keeps crashing — a sign that hoarding is happening not just on the physical shelves.

I had been preparing myself for a new normal upon leaving isolation, and it seems that the new normal is a lot more isolation for everyone. Zack and I will both be working from home for the foreseeable future, so not a whole lot will change from the past few weeks. Only a lot more walking.


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