Just when you think we are coming back to our pre-COVID lives, Omicron hits us, and hits us hard. Who could have imagined that just 30 days ago the Chatham County Transmission Index of 111 would go to 2,715 (the number of newly confirmed cases in the last 14 days per 100,000). We thought we had turned the corner.
While most of the people we know are vaccinated, are boosted, and wear masks around others, this version of the virus has such a high transmissibility….
And while the pandemic affects every thing we are doing, each day there are hundreds of people coming to the Alliance for school, afterschool, swimming, exercise, educational classes, meetings, fitness, and more. There are some who are going about their lives (albeit, a little more carefully) in pre-COVID fashion, while others are not going out of their homes for anything other than essential functions. And most people are somewhere in between. There is no right and no wrong, just individual choice. No judgements, no recriminations, just choice, and each individual does what is best for them.
Yet, how could we not be concerned for the emotional wellbeing of our community members. Each time there is a new spike, and this is one heckuva spike, it makes it harder for people to go back to what was. Some people have commented that its like a muscle atrophy...if you don't use it, you lose it.. And at a time when our country is so divided, our physical separation makes connection so much more difficult.
As much as we’d like to snap our fingers and take it back two years ago, it just isn’t going to happen.
Another alternative to setting back the clock is a reversion to what we went through last year—virtual delivery of what we do…but that’s not who we are.
For those that are looking for connection, we are here for you.
For those who are in need, we are here for you.
With appropriate care and following the advice of our county, state, and federal agencies, we continue to take an aspirational approach. That means that while the pandemic may get us down, it doesn’t put us out, and we are furiously planning for events and programs that bring us together. If we didn’t need them back then, we certainly need them now.
Based on much of the feedback we received for the community survey, Jamie Richman, Julie Schwartz, and Audrey Biloon are planning the 2022 Savannah Jewish Cultural Arts Festival. Planned for March, the festival will include the Joan and Murray Gefen Memorial Jewish Film Festival (eight films and six meal opportunities), Konter Weiland Comedy Night, Community Shabbaton, a Young Jewish Savannah Splatter Art Night, PJ Library Kvetch & Sketch, two Jewish cooking classes, Community Purim Festival, a session on Jewish Dance, an Art Gallery exhibit and reception, and the JEA Preschool Art Bash. If that wasn’t enough, Congregation Mickve Israel will be holding their Shalom Y’all Food Festival (details subject to current conditions) and we’ll have a Jazz concert, as well. (Julie Schwartz sent out an email yesterday…if you missed it, click here for the graphic)
Whew…it’s hard to imagine that we’ll be in the place where this is all going to happen, but we have faith that better days are just ahead and that we’ll all be together.
Stay safe, stay healthy and Shabbat Shalom