During this time of the Wuhan Virus, Israel has, once again, been a light unto the nations. This short essay will take us through the pandemic utilizing the Jewish holidays as markers. According to the Torah, the first month of the calendar is Nissan and, by default, the first holiday is Pesach. Ironically, Nissan was the first full month (began March 26, 2020) when the world had been thoroughly introduced to the various names of this virus.
By Pesach (April 8th), 72 Israelis had succumbed to this virus – while 90,000 had died around the globe (all statistics in this article are from the ncov2019.live website). This placed Israel as one of the least infected first world countries with a rate of one death per 125,000 citizens and one infection per 1,000.
Israel maintained her first place position with the lowest death rate as Shavuot (May 28th) was celebrated. Only 285 (one per 27,000) Israelis had perished while 17,000 (one per 450) had been infected. All European countries and the USA had greater per capita deaths and infections.
The holiday of Tish’a B’Av (July 29th) witnessed Israel maintaining her low death rate as the disease had terminated the lives of 474 people (one per 16,000), while significantly losing her per capita first place infections standing with 64,000 (one per 120) affected. Germany was now the “safest” country…a position she would maintain until the present day.
By, Rosh Hashanah (September 18th) Israel had fallen behind Germany in both metrics with 1,100 dead and 162,000 infected. However, this correlated to a mortality rate per infection of 0.7%. No other modern country had this low mortality rate at that time. Similar figures were maintained through Yom Kippur.
When Sukkot arrived (October 2nd) another 500 Israelis had perished and 100,000 had contracted this Wuhan Virus.
The virus was ravaging the country by Simchat Torah (October 11th) as 2,000 had died and 300,000 had been diagnosed with Covid-19. Israel now had a greater death and infection rate than both Germany and Switzerland, while maintaining a low mortality rate per infected individual.
By the beginning of Chanukah (December 10th) Israel had improved her per capita death rate with 3,000 total deaths (one out of 2,600) while maintaining her 0.7% per infection mortality rate. This per capita death rate was less than half the deaths registered in the European countries, excluding Germany, or the USA (It is likely the German statistics are not accurate as many migrants living in Germany are unaccounted for). During Chanukah only 100 people passed away from the disease and it is likely Israel will soon resume her first place standing regarding per capita death rate and per capita infection rate while maintaining the lowest mortality rate per infection (0.8%). This was also the time Prime Minister Netanyahu received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
By the end of January, approximately 4,800 (one out of 1,600) Israelis had succumbed to the disease. However, over 35% of Israelis had received their first injection. These people are all scheduled to receive their second dose three weeks after the first jab of the needle. No country is close to Israel regarding vaccinations. This is due to a deal negotiated by the Israeli government and Pfizer regarding providing statistical information to the pharmaceutical company. It has also been reported that Israel paid a greater price per vaccine than other countries. The high tech nation is poised to give Pfizer and other countries valuable data regarding the efficacy of the doses, optimal timing between doses, potential allergic reactions and other information. All Israelis over the age of 35 (in addition to 16 – 18 year olds) were eligible for the vaccine by the end of January, and the entire population will have vaccinations available by March. The early mass introduction of the vaccine will save numerous Israeli lives. The information then gained and disseminated by Israel will save countless lives around the globe. Once again, the modern State of Israel is a Light unto the Nations.