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Strangest of Times, Best of Times

Selfie of the two masketeers ... Lawrence and Glenis Bertfield

 It's been the strangest of times and the best of times and in some cases the loneliest of times. We've been working on jigsaw puzzles, we've been Zooming like crazy (a funny new word entered our lexicon: oyskizoomed) and watching crazy funny videos which were very cleverly put together.

Through ESRA, we have been watching so many interesting lectures, Zumba with Stacey, our fantastic Zumba teacher, and we even had two great Quizzes all organised by ESRA with quizmaster Emma Blackman. During the month of May, all events were without a charge. Many of us have been speaking to our ESRA members, making sure that they are well and coping with the situation.

On Pesach Seder night, which was really so strange not being with our families, with many people on their own, we had an "only in Israel" situation, in which people stood on their balconies and read the "Mah nishtana". On Yom Haatzmaut, we watched the air show over Meir Hospital to salute our amazing doctors and nurses and finally sang "Hatikva" with tears in our eyes and emotion in our voices.

We have been taking regular exercise by walking in our area, discovering pretty walks, wild flowers and we could even hear the birds singing instead of the noise of traffic. Trying to recognize neighbors behind their colorful masks was quite a challenge.

Children and grandchildren, neighbors and friends have been doing our shopping. This was our main connection to the outside world. Funnily enough, they seem to spend less than we usually do. There are advantages to every situation. These situations always bring out the best in people. We were inundated with phone calls from Raanana Municipality, ESRA, and other organisations to ask if we were coping and if we needed anything. This made us feel we were all in this together.

We have all been worrying about our friends and family in other parts of the world. But really, has it been so terrible for us the older generation? We would say it has been more of an inconvenience than anything else. We have relaxed, no running around to meetings, no schlepping to the supermarket to do our shopping, no deciding whom we should invite for dinner. All we have had to do is speak to our family and friends and chill. The occasional happy hour became a regular happy hour sharing a bottle of wine, which definitely helped.

Then came the great release.Family members have been to visit and now we can do our own shopping, go for long walks and even travel to the beach. We can finally have our hair cut and take away the grey that has suddenly appeared. Many people don't recognize themselves in the mirror.

Let's hope all the good will towards each other that has built up over the last three months will continue into the future and that we will all have become better people because of the hopeful defeat of the pandemic. 

The Bertfields’ home overlooks road 4 in Raanana, and Lawrence took this photo on the eve of Seder Night showing no traffic in either direction. “An amazing sight,” he said


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Monday, 22 July 2024

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