A new October essay in the Forward

A new October essay in the Forward

Happy October!

I am happy to share a new essay of mine that was published yesterday in the Forward. It covers the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Hasidic communities and the government’s ensuing—and misplaced—threats. If you’ve enjoyed any of the recent posts on translated COVID-19 signs around the community, or are just curious why cases are spiking now, after an uneventful summer following the same protocols, then this piece is for you. You can read the essay here.

  • Laura
    Posted at 11:16h, 03 October Reply

    Frieda dear! Congratulations on your publication; keep that CV up to date! I’m impressed with your ability to so clearly and quickly provide this analysis.
    Sometimes I feel we live in polar opposite worlds, but I think it’s true that the level and tactics of risk-management are very different in more isolated/insular communities. Where I live, we are a town of 1200; there are fewer than 90 children in the elementary school. Many families are tied to this place by work (cows don’t get furloughed) and so scarcely travel. It’s hard to make the case to everyone that the children should all be home, not playing with each other; while we have Netflix/Zoom, we don’t actually have enough internet capacity in the town for lots of people to be inside, online. The argument is if the kids are in school, their contacts are actually more limited than if they’re being bounced between relatives, informal daycares, etc. We do have a lot of out-of-town visitors for work (from upstate NY across the lake) or for leisure; I think it’s for that that our state showed such extreme caution. And we did have some cases, but overall Vermont is doing quite well – it is a community that is small enough to know other people, and want to protect them. Still, there is tension when the science and reality of daily life don’t necessarily jive.
    All this is to say – I don’t think there’s a one-size-fits-all quarantine solution, especially for unique communities. The best solution is the one that the most people can abide by, and the fewest get sick. Thanks for writing and sharing.

    • Frieda Vizel
      Posted at 12:14h, 03 October Reply

      It’s so nice to hear about your community! I enjoyed reading – thanks for sharing! I’m hoping holidays here go by without too much heartache!

  • Laura
    Posted at 12:44h, 04 October Reply

    Happy to share! You’re a very thought-provoking writer, all the more so because of the echo-chamber the internet is these days. But yes, Vermont is a very special place – be sure to include it in your eventual book tour!

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