Do elderly people think schools should be closed?
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Post  Sat, Sep 12 2020, 3:55 pm
amother [ Aqua ] wrote:
Why wont they be allowed home to do their bidud at home? Girls frim sherut leumi and boys from the army who need bidud are sent straight home (either parents pick up or army sends special transport. Not on public transport obviously).
I don't think the yeshiva can force people to stay.

It's under army control and is legally classified as a Corona hotel. Getting permission to leave a Corona hotel before your bidud is up is very difficult, and normally takes almost as long as the bidud. And then you have show that you have suitable bidud conditions at home and travel in a privately funded ambulance.

I doubt the boys would be trusted to maintain bidud at home, especially over Sukkot. How many families can provide a spare succah for bidud?
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Post  Sat, Sep 12 2020, 4:05 pm
amother [ Aqua ] wrote:
I live in Israel and most of the grandparents I know are isolating themselves from their grandchildren.
Better to not hug the grandchildren for 6 or 12 months than get sick and risk never hugging them at all.

Maybe you only have 6 months left anyway, maybe your mental health can't survive 6 months - 1 year of isolation without you falling into a permanent depression, maybe Corona will be around much longer than 1 year (in April we thought it would be going 1 month without hugging them), and maybe missing out on even 1 year of your grandchildren's most critical years is unacceptable to you.

I understand why someone might make the decision to isolate, but surely you must understand why someone else would make the decision not to.
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Post  Sat, Sep 12 2020, 5:30 pm
From what I can see, elderly and at-risk people have a wide range of responses. Some are being very careful, some are completely in denial, some just don't care. And of course everything in between.

But it's not their call. It's a decision for society as a whole. And there are a few other issues that are, if not more important, at a minimum equally important:

1. Hospitals.

We need them. That's pretty uncontroversial, yes? For them to keep functioning, they need to have beds, they need to have doctors and nurses and other staff, and they need to be safe.

If there are too many coronavirus cases, then there aren't enough beds, staff are exhausted or out sick (or chv"s worse), and people die of heart attacks at home because they are afraid that if they go to the hospital they'll catch covid.

2. Economy.

Obviously parents need to be able to work to keep the economy going. But also, people need to feel safe going out to shop. So in pure economic terms, at some point it's not worth keeping schools open - especially not older grades. And that's ignoring the potential economic fallout if the virus really does impact some people's long-term health.

3. General virus control.

The Spanish Flu killed mostly elderly and at-risk people. Until it mutated due to wartime conditions, and started killing mostly young, healthy people. Letting viruses spread too quickly is asking for trouble.

4. Everyone else, since we're all at risk.

OK, maybe healthy 15-year-olds are barely at risk. But "at risk," with this particular virus, doesn't mean "80 years old and in a coma," it means "50 and overweight," or "45 and a smoker." And some younger people get more severe cases and end up dead or with permanent damage, and we have no idea why. I'm not saying that everybody should be worried, but many non-elderly people are worried, and they get a voice, too.


I think that keeping schools open should be one of the absolute top priorities. Especially special education classes and lower grades. I'm not saying that the automatic conclusion from the above 4 factors needs to be "shut schools down until there's a cure." Not at all.

But I can also completely understand why Israel is shutting schools down for two weeks, and I think it's a good call. The healthcare system can only take so much.

Hospitals are on the edge of the abyss
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Post  Sat, Sep 12 2020, 8:27 pm
So I don't know what the elderly people are thinking. But, I can tell you what I've heard a few people voice about the way some of the elderly are acting.

Here in Israel, in my neighborhood anyway, it is very commonplace to see elderly people out and about, many without masks or masks pulled down to their chins. And that includes going to shul and indoor places.

So yes, I've been hearing people voice what is a perfectly valid question - is it fair that some of the elderly are disregarding the risks, and then because they're ending up in hospital and making them reach near capacity, the ENTIRE country has to lock down, with all the fallout that entails? However bad we feel for them, doesn't it make more sense for them to be encouraged to stay away from others at all times so that the rest of the population can try and live normally?

I know this may sound inconsiderate and callous, but I think it's just being realistic. Believe me, I'm one of those who keeps shouting here at those who say there's nothing to be concerned about, telling everything that we need to keep to the rules, we don't want to get back to where we were in March. But, on the flip side, I don't think we can keep the entire world locked in when the simpler solution is that just the at-risk people stay in. And the economy will do far better if the government gives full benefits and stimulus packages to those who are no longer able to go to work due to the risks rather than completely shutting down the economy instead.

Obviously, this isn't a foolproof solution since some of the immunocompromised have young children at home and it isn't so simple to say they all need to keep indoors as well. And, there are those who aren't deemed at risk who end up being hospitalized too. But, the fact that it has taken Israel so long to get to this point of needing to lock down again, shows that the fact that many of the elderly are keeping isolated, coupled with mandating quarantine for all those in contact with known Covid patients, is definitely working somewhat. So ensuring that this is kept to fully, together with strong enforcement on masks and other measures (no large gatherings etc.) among the entire population, should be enough to slow down the spread further and it will prevent the hospitals from getting overwhelmed, and in turn the locking down will no longer be necessitated and schools would be able to remain open.
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Post  Sat, Sep 12 2020, 11:20 pm
Elderly people are not all of the same opinion.
No group is.
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Post  Sun, Sep 13 2020, 12:01 am
From Ora-43
3. General virus control.

The Spanish Flu killed mostly elderly and at-risk people. Until it mutated due to wartime conditions, and started killing mostly young, healthy people. Letting viruses spread too quickly is asking for trouble.

The Spanish Flu started in Kansas in a military base. It spread to other bases because the Government did not take it seriously. The Gov. wanted the people to cheer on the soldiers so they had parades. This is how the Flu spread to the general population. When the Americans came to Europe they brought the Flu with them. The Flu spread to the other side in the trenches. The reason it is called Spanish Flu is because Spain was neutral and the only country reporting about it, so the world blamed Spain.
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