Bondage and Freedom
The opportunity for self-reflection, productive use of downtime, and the counting of the passage of time in isolation has derailed us from life’s treadmill. Clever jokes abound, like the one about Publix in Florida having special senior hours resulting in “the remaining 10 people having the store to themselves all day.” And what about revealing our natural hair roots? In the next minute, we field a call from a friend whose relative was put on a ventilator.
Who would have believed that we would be washing cardboard boxes in Clorox or assessing food scarcity by cataloging what we have at home to survive? Taking on and off gloves, have I then infected my phone or car keys? This hyper-consciousness is outright stressful.
Passover references to the plagues are tongue and cheek as the obituaries come rolling in. A Zoom seder, matzo ball soup for one.
When we settle into what holds as the “new normal” at the end of this tunnel, what good can devolve? Will we more highly value health care workers? Work remotely and lose peer interaction? Show more kindness? A condo neighbor eblasted that since his office was closed, he would provide free printing.
Freedom has been lost; emotional depth has been gained. How would we have fared without cell phones and internet?
What will we tell our grandchildren? “I remember a time when we actually shook hands and hugged!” Maybe we will bow as is the Japanese custom.
However the dust and salt water settle, Passover 2020 has rocked our universal souls.
Marcia Caller Jaffe is a regular AJT contributor.