Like many other nations, Israel is losing control of new corona cases. New cases skyrocket.
If you remember, by the time the corona virus had begun to strike in ernest, back in early May, 2020, some experts speculated that this pandemic might actually evaporate--or, at least become controllable--when hot weather settled in (here). Such experts believed that it was likely that a corona-respiratory virus won't survive in high heat. Instead, they suggested, such viruses thrive in the cold.
Some experts disagreed (ibid). This plague was all new to us. So we all settled back--and hoped or despaired for our future based upon how optimistic or pessimistic we were.
Worldwide corona numbers between May 1, 2020 and September 22,2020 tell us what has really happened to the survivability of corona viruses during hot weather. Worldwide, there were 3,321,771 corona cases on May 1, 2020; by September 22, 2020 (after a summer of heat), that total had grown to 31,808,253. That represents an increase of something like 988%.
This virus didn't slow or die in the heat of summer. It grew.
Israel is warmer than many places on earth, and its corona numbers reflected the new reality (that the corona grows in heat, not recede): on May 1,2020, Israel had a total of 16,004 cases. By September 22, 2020, Israel had 200,041 cases--an increase greater than 12 times. Israel, warmer than many places, had a rate of increase that was more than 20% greater than the world average.
The numbers appear to prove the assertion that, because Israel is warmer than most places, its corona case totals were greater.
This dramatic increase in Israel's new case numbers partially explains the lockdown fever Israeli officials now exhibit. Perhaps six days ago, these officials established a new--but 'partial'--lockdown, one that would carry forward through the holidays (for a total of three weeks). In theory, this 'partial' lockdown would allow some of the economy to remain open while at the same time would create a public environment where the spread of the virus would be reduced--by reducing the opportunities for people to interact with each other.
It didn't appear to convince anyone. Few Israelis liked it. Some in Israel practically howled in protest. Some in the media played up that howling reaction.
Now, just three days after the new lockdown was announced, lsraeli officials report 6,782 new cases (for September 22nd). This was a dramatic increase over past 'new cases' records. It was also a record high.
Officials declared, Things weren't getting better in Israel. Things were getting worse. The virus was spiraling out of control.
There are now rumors of a far more severe--and complete --lockdown. Coming soon! Perhaps Wednesday afternoon (September 23rd)!
Suddenly, Yom Kippur was at risk. Yom Kippur is the Jews' most solemn and serious holiday on the Jewish calendar. In Israel, Jews of all persuasions literally flock to synagogue on Yom Kippur. But, suddenly, there was talk of prohibiting all synagogue prayer for Yom Kippur (Monday, September 28, 2020). Israelis were shocked.
There was a second shock in the news--at the same time synagogues would be shuttered, rumors suggested, public protests would not be touched or limited. Apparently, the government was not afraid to end all public prayer for Jews. Just as apparently, the government seemed afraid to prohibit public protests, especially those against the hated Benjamin Netanyahu.
It seemed madness: Israel was about to impose a massive set of public restrictions--with a loophole. The restriction was, no public prayer for Yom Kippur. The loophole was, a 'yes' for public protests.
In the end, some version of common sense may prevail: indoor pubic prayer may indeed be prohibited. But outdoor public prayer, with social distancing and total number-per-location installed, might be allowed. We'll find out soon enough.
What would happen with public protest? We still wait to see what, if anything, the government will do.
But all of this prayer-protest discussion, serious as it is--especially for religious Jews--is only a distraction. The real madness over corona had to do with an obvious oversight: new case numbers were indeed soaring; but new deaths number were not.
No one has talked about this. No one mentions it.
Again, look at the numbers. Worldwide, on May 1, 2020, total deaths from corona stood at 234,404. Compared to the-then total of new cases (3,321,771), this total death number meant that app 7.06% of those who had contracted corona had died.
By September 22nd, the total worldwide death figure had grown to 975,809. When compared to the updated total case figure for September 22, 2020 (31,808,253), we see that, as of September 22, 2020, a total of only some 3.07% of all cases of corona had resulted in death.
The lesson was clear. Since May 1, 2020, more people worldwide had gotten the corona--a lot more, some 28 million more. But the death rate from these corona cases had been cut by half. Put simply, more were getting the virus. But fewer were dying. By September--the end of summer--the total dead-from-corona had plummeted worldwide by 50%.
That means nothing?
In Israel, the corona numbers tell a similar tale. By May 1, 2020, some 16,004 in Israel had gotten the virus. Of this number, 223 had died (this number is not a misprint). That is, only 1.39% in Israel who had gotten the disease had died.
By September 22, 2020, a total of 200,041 Israelis had gotten the corona. Of this number, 1,313 had died. That is, by the end of summer, 2020, less than .00656 percent (or, app 2/3s of one percent) of Israelis who had gotten corona had died. Israel's deaths vs total cases had also plummeted by half.
Israeli officials are nevertheless freaking out! Too many cases, they cry. Too many are getting the virus, they shout.
But no one is looking at the lethality of this disease--that is, how many deaths there are; and right now, the death rate is half what is was in May, despite the dramatic rise in cases.
This should be reason to celebrate shouldn't it? The effect of the virus is lessening, isn't it?
Yes, finally, we should be able to breath a little easier, right? A less lethal virus means we can be less afraid, right? We can open up the economy a little more, right?
No. That's wrong. We must shut everything down!
This is madness.