Last Saturday evening, the mask mandate has been lifted in Israel. Although enforcement of the mandate had been lax for the past several months, if not longer, now that it is official, people say they can breathe freely. But can we? We wish! We can bid farewell to the mask mandate, but other mandates will replace it because we have more lessons to learn.
We learned a lot over the past two years of mask mandates and vaccines. The virus engulfed all of humanity and turned us into one mass. At work, on the street, on public transportation, on planes, in public places, we have begun to feel how interdependent we are. Nothing accomplished it prior to the corona virus.
However, its work of welding us together is not over; it has just begun. I have no doubt that in the near future, we will see the sequel.
The thing is that it is time for us to fuse ourselves together, to start becoming one. If we do not do it voluntarily, reality will impel us to do it nonetheless.
Perhaps it is indeed time to take off the masks. We used to say that we should wear masks not to avoid being infected, but to avoid infecting others, especially the elderly and the physically vulnerable. But since no one minds that argument anymore, it seems as though the social benefit of masks has run its course, and we need a new whip to force us to connect.
Besides, there are many entities that want the mandate stopped. The Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, and other government agencies want the masks off in order to gain popularity. The fact that a few months from now, we will pay for it with our health is irrelevant.
Regrettably, we are not coming out of the pandemic as we should. I had hoped that we would emerge from it united, but we are emerging from it more divided than ever. Therefore, I have no doubt that a new, more violent plague will come and mandate our unity nonetheless.
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