In Israel, we are in the middle of the Jewish High Holiday season, that began with Rosh Hashana last week, and ends with the 8 day Sukkot holiday beginning next week. This is my favorite time of the year in Israel. The weather is cooling down, the days are beautiful, and the Sukkot holiday is outdoors. It is also a very special social and family time.
We are also in our second lock down that began yesterday due to a spike in the number of new Covid-19 cases. So the holidays this year are not social and family time. My next door neighbor, who has been diagnosed with the virus, went to the hospital yesterday. His family also tested positive, but are hardly symptomatic. All of us on the street see each other every day, masked up and social distancing. Whats-app also keeps us up to date on who needs what and who needs help. The pandemic has brought us all closer as we all have our personal and public struggles.
We Israelis are great in a short term crisis, but we need coherent arguments for continuing the long haul. I know this is also true in the rest of the World. Instead of 100 meter diameter limit, we have a 1000 meter limit. I even found a website that helps me to draw a circle on a Google map to know what 1000 meters from my house looks like. Pathetic. The rest of the rules for public gatherings, like prayer services, require an advanced degree in mathematics to figure out the formulas for what makes a "capsule". Everything is closed and the police are stopping traffic in Jerusalem to keep the socializing to a minimum, unless you are headed to a protest.
As an amateur radio operator, I think that I am in a better position. I tell folks that amateur radio operators are natural social distancers, and we know how to communicate around the world for our social outlet. I am also telling people and believe it myself, that I am doing a "gap year", where I am separated from family and friends, to learn and try new things. The QSO Today Virtual Ham Expo is my example. I would be lying to you and me if I said that I am not anxious for this to be over. I really am a social animal in spite of what I tell others.
I was so glad to meet Jim Heath, W6LG, to do his interview. Jim is just a nice guy. His YouTube videos are just the right length and at the right level for new and returning hams to master new skills or get a refresher on old ones. Jim is the kind of mentor that I had, live and personal many years ago, from the amateur radio club. He also provides wisdom and insight from his personal experience to make his channel a must watch. I hope that you enjoy my QSO Today with Jim as much as I did.
We are lucky as hams to have our hobby and each other during this difficult time. Stay safe and 73, Eric,