Love in the time of corona

A letter by a mom of young kids in her ninth bidud.

A HEALTH worker administers a COVID test to a child at a Maccabi HMO clinic.  (photo credit: MICHAEL GILADI/FLASH90)
A HEALTH worker administers a COVID test to a child at a Maccabi HMO clinic.
(photo credit: MICHAEL GILADI/FLASH90)

Dear IDF Homefront Command,

Our love affair has intensified. We have run away to visit you four times in the past week. Brazen, I realized that I can listen to the radio on my way to see you, a whiff of freedom from my simple life stuck at home. I sneak you our phone numbers and health plans, as you tickle our noses the way only you can.

I have already introduced you to my children. I am married. All Shabbat I stayed home to wait for your words - please, do not spurn me. Time has passed since our last rendezvous, more time than usual. Answer me. Please, answer me! Let me taste the freedom and relief that only your response can bring. I ache to hear those poignant words: Not detected!

Your words bring the beginning of healing:

 Children receive their dose of Covid-19 vaccine, at a Clallit vaccine center in Jerusalem on December16, 2021. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) Children receive their dose of Covid-19 vaccine, at a Clallit vaccine center in Jerusalem on December16, 2021. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

• Healing to my two-year-old who kicked and screamed the first time being tested, but has since given up, now simply lifting her nose and bracing as a white-suited stranger pushes a stick up her nose for the eighth time.

• Healing to my three-year-old, too young to understand why he is considered a pariah to his siblings who run away when they see him. He is in bidud (quarantine) because a classmate tested positive and his parents must separate him in order to keep his siblings out of bidud.

• Healing to my four-year-old who is banned from school for a week since she last Tuesday. Her class is in their fifth bidud.

• Healing to my six-year-old who got homework help from an unvaccinated teacher and is now locked in a room alone.

• Healing to the child who struggles to concentrate on his Zoom classes and misses playing with friends.

• Healing to separated siblings, who miss their playmates and best friends.

• Healing to the energetic children without a backyard who cannot leave their small apartments for a week.

• Healing to the mom who works until 1a.m. because her kids are home in bidud all day, while her pregnant body aches for sleep.

• Healing to the dad who cries softly as he misses his two-year-old’s birthday party because he is waiting three hours outside in the cold for a COVID-19 test for another child.

• Healing to the family split into two so that dad can continue to work and the oldest son can continue to learn to read in school.

• Healing to the faithful employee whose manager has lost patience with her frequent quarantines.

• Healing to a family stuck in bidud for almost a month as one person tests positive, and a few days later another, and a week later another.

• Healing to deep friendships fractured by one putting the other in bidud or differences of opinion over vaccinating children or the level of adherence to quarantine rules.

Love,

A mom of young kids in her ninth bidud.

The writer is a healthcare actuary and grateful mom of five children ages seven and under.