I just heard about someone who needed to leave his city to buy fruits & vegetables because it in a nearby city, produce is cheaper and also one spends less time waiting outside in socially distanced lines.
The buses only run once every hour.
What he didn't know before setting out was that the buses are only allowed to hold 20 passengers rather than their normal capacity of twice that amount.
This means that the buses fill up within the first few stops anyone waiting at later stops gets passed by...to wait another hour, hoping that bus won't also be too full to take them.
So when, after waiting 20 minutes, the bus sped by without stopping, he realized he needed a better solution to get home.
So he went bus-hopping within the city until he arrived at the first bus stop, where he was one of the first to get on, and made it home.
The thing is, normally, this type of severe inconvenience would drive a person crazy. Talk about agitation!
However, because there is no one to rant against, the person only spoke about the great Heavenly Assistance he experienced and the gratitude he felt for being able to get home without waiting for hours (and possibly missing the last bus at 8 PM).
Yes, these are government-imposed restrictions.
And at first, some people (me included) were disdainful as to whether these were really necessary. (After all, we don't do this with the flu, chicken pox, or even the measles outbreaks, and these all have specific death rates. But people mostly aren't concerned as they are about coronavirus, a disease from which most people experience only minor symptoms and also recover.)
But with the Gadolim upholding the quarantine restrictions and seeing that even if the coronavirus is "only" around as fatal as the flu (and to the same vulnerable groups as the flu) – and we don't even consider lockdowns in response to the flu – its rate of contagion makes that percentage affect a large group of people.
(Also, in Italy, it seems the death rate is closer to 10% rather than the 3.4% estimated by WHO, although my suspicions are that by rejecting patients based purely on age, the Italians are increasing the death rate, both as a natural outcome and also as an immoral act, which reduces Heavenly Mercy. Rav Moshe Heinemann says that, halachically, you should not only treat patients under the age of 65; it's first come, first served – according to halacha [13 minutes-38 seconds]; after clicking to enter the webinar, you may need to click the side-arrows to arrive at his specific lecture.)
Anyway, this all means that many people are acquiescing to the state of things because there is nothing to rant against.
There is nobody to blame. (No clear blame, anyway. There are theories to its development, but nothing proven yet.)
We can't organize protests, armed partisan groups, hold demonstrations, write heated editorials, stealthily disobey, rebel, or anything else against King Corona closing our yeshivahs, schools, and shuls.
We can't ruminate over how our political choices caused King Corona to interfere with our daily life, our consumerism, or our egg intake. (There is an egg shortage in Eretz Yisrael right now.)
King Corona has limited our celebrations, interfered with the comfort of mourners in shivas, and isolated mothers who've already suffered so much. (Please see this photo of Miriam Peretz's Shabbat table – photographed before Shabbat. Miriam is the widowed mother of 6 children, 2 of whom were killed in IDF service. The rest are married with children. She has all this family, yet King Corona decreed she spend this past Shabbat alone. As usual, she looked on the bright side of things and used that Shabbat to connect more deeply to Hashem and to what Shabbat really means for a Jew.)
And now, King Corona is considering targeting the largest charedi cities with a total lockdown:
Yet no one screams "Erev Rav!" or "Nazi!" or "Antisemite!"
There is no one to blame.
There is no one to fight.
And so it's bringing out a more spiritual response in people.
Gratitude. Prayer. Making do with less. Discovering the ability to fully enjoy a no-frills wedding held in a home or a backyard or a stairwell.
(Of course, this goes hand-in-hand with increased irritability, crying jags, moments of paralyzing fear about the future, all sorts of initially unpleasant adjustments, and the like. As mentioned in the previous post, the positive & negative are growing stronger in parallel paths.)
I think this aspect, plus other aspects of this pandemic (its mysterious and sudden development; its questionable conference of immunity, etc.) can bring out a more spiritual response that leads to teshuvah in a way that a Hamanite human king hasn't since the days of Shushan.
There simply isn't any other choice.
May Hashem please disappear coronavirus from our midst as quickly as it appeared, and bring the Geula in a sweet way with revealed good.