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Cautiously and hopefully, in the Israeli public, there is now a post-Corona state of being. Most of the population, except for young children have been vaccinated, and the numbers that have refused vaccination is not large. Furthermore, the number of daily cases reported has declined to 20 or 30 a day in the entire country. Because of this, the Israeli Ministry of Health has removed many restrictions, while stubbornly hanging on to the requirement of wearing masks inside businesses, synagogues, and other gathering places. From my personal empiric observation, even this rule regarding masks is mainly honored in the synagogue where I pray, and teachers still rigorously enforce that rule. 

In any event, I certainly feel it is safe to say that for most of Israel and its citizens, the year of Corona has passed. It can very well be that all of us will have to take a booster vaccination in a few months, and that other precautions will remain in place, but generally speaking, the mood of the country and its population is that Corona is behind us. We can now try and get back to what we once thought was normalcy and usual life. However, we are all aware that the year of Corona has left indelible scars on the population of our country, and that these scars are deep and strong, even though they may not all be visible now. People are creatures of habit, and my habits adopted over the past year will not easily be disposed of, ignored, or forgotten.
There undoubtedly will be a great psychological fallout caused by the isolation, trepidation, and anxiety that the Corona epidemic brought upon us. This psychological residue and baggage will reverberate through our society for years to come. In fact, we are all holding our breath to see what the effect of a year without personal schooling will be on our children of school age. Adults will have to learn better social graces, such as they may be in this country, all over again. The question as to whether businesses should operate physical offices or continue to function only on Zoom or the Internet, has yet to be resolved. And how these questions will be resolved will undoubtedly have a great effect on our society, and on the economy of the country as well. 
Speaking of the economy, how will the government attempt to repay its treasury for all the billions of shekels that were printed and distributed during the Corona pandemic? Apparently, sooner or later, someone will have to foot the bill, and there is no doubt that the someone will be the Israeli public through increased taxes and larger fees for services that once were taken for granted as being free. There is no doubt that inflation is already here and will grow. The only question is how great the rate of inflation will be, and whether it will be manageable. In any event, our ship of state is in for a passage through some very dangerous and troubled economic waters.
Overall, I think that most of us can look back with thankfulness and gratitude at having been able to survive a exceedingly difficult Corona year. Tragically, there were many deaths due to the epidemic. Human beings are not easily replaceable, and a certain cloud of sadness still hovers over our society for those who were lost during the Corona pandemic. For the first part of the year, it was the oldest in the community that suffered most and had the highest rate of mortality. However, even more tragically, if one can make any judgment regarding such a matter, the latter part of the year saw large numbers of younger people affected in the second wave of the virus, and even though the pure numbers were not as high, the psychological effects of realizing that even the young are not immune from the virus was, in many cases, disconcerting. 
It is interesting that many people simply do not want to return to what was the pre-Corona years. There are people who treasure their own private outside synagogue services, with all the convenience of not having to go to the synagogue to fulfill one's prayer duties. I also notice that people are not as free as they once were in spending money, going places, or engaging in social gatherings. All of this may yet change as time goes on, as the epidemic hopefully fades away from our consciousness, but its effects are still with us. Nevertheless, we must be grateful for what is today, and for having, somehow, in the main, weathered the storm.
Shabbat shalom
Berel Wein

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