My Corona Experience
Hi, my name is Ran. I was born with cerebral palsy. I am 53 years old, and I live in the Talmi – Ruth hostel of Akim in Ramat Hasharon. Because of my illness, my legs don’t obey me so much, but I never give up. I use a wheelchair only for distant places, and every day I use a treadmill. The treadmill gives me a sense of equality and security. As long as I live and breathe, I prefer the treadmill to strengthen my legs and be strong and healthy.
Every morning I wake up alone and organize on my own to go to work at the Herzliya working center for the disabled people. There I count envelopes with greeting cards, divide them into groups of ten, and put them in packing boxes.
Twice a week on Sundays and Wednesdays, I go out for an afternoon activity at the “Rainbow Colors” club in Ramat Hasharon with my other hostel friend. Also, I am active in a Marina Cruise class in Tel Aviv on Fridays from 9 am to 12:00 pm.
Early in February, I realized that there was a virus called Corona. I began to follow the topic daily in the news and newspapers. It amazed me that the disease is spreading elsewhere; I think this is a danger, and I feel I am worried.
My best way to express it is to write. I like to sit down with an instructor and write down what I feel and think. It helps me clear my head and make myself order. I have a special notebook in which I write every time what goes on, and this time I wrote a little about us during the Corona.
During the month, I tracked the Israeli patients who were on the ship in Japan. I saw in the news a special aircraft that brought those patients to Tel Hashomer Hospital in Israel. They were taken in a protected ambulance to an isolated section in the hospital, and they put them in solitary confinement for 14 days. In the news, they said they think they’re okay and check them out. It gives the feeling that matters are in control. There is a couple, husband and wife, from the same ship that got stuck together, but he is in isolation in Japan, and she is here. There is a group of people who are afraid of getting infected, and I have seen in the news that there is a doctor in Tel Hashomer who is responsible for the isolation in the country. In my opinion, it is right and proper that they returned to Israel to be taking care because here, in addition to treatment, there is also family support.
When I get sick, I go back to my parents’ house so as not to transmit the illness to my friends. I think it’s a pretty scary disease, and I hope they will find a vaccine soon. All over the world, scientists are looking for a solution and working on the drug.
During March, we were told that we were not going to work or to the club. We were not allowed to go out, and we’re not allowed to visit us. It’s not pleasant for me. I’ve never felt that way in the past. I miss the family.
It interferes with daily routine very much and makes you not feel good. On TV, they are constantly repeating the same thing. It drives me crazy and annoys me. If there were new things on TV, then I would sit and watch, but no new things. I climb the walls, tired of seeing only news, disasters, wars, and reports on the Corona. They need to bring more interesting stuff or new things. It’s a pity for me. I’m in no mood. I don’t know what to think and what to do, first of all, with myself.
The staff in the hostel talked to me and are trying to explain to me the situation, but I still do not understand, do not know what to expect, do not know what to feel about it, and it makes me restless.
The Purim parties were canceled, but we celebrated at the hostel, even on the eve of Seder (in Pesach), we celebrated far from our families.
I missed my mom’s birthday, and it was very sad for me, I didn’t know what to do, I finally gave her a painting of wildflowers, took a photo with the picture I drew and sent her a blessing.
During April, we prepared for an extended stay at the hostel. We did all kinds of creative, movement, and music sessions and also got online tutorials and sessions through Akim’s Digital Center. During this time, I built two models, both related to the sea that I love, miss, and connect with. The first model of a sailing ship and the second one of the marina with breakwater, pier, and lighthouse.
I see every time in the news safety guidelines. I realized how important it is to wash hands, maintain hygiene, and cleanliness. During the month, we also started measuring heat every day to see if anyone was sick, or was developing symptoms, and we put a lot of safety signs and alcohol in the hostel so that we remember wherever we go about the importance of these things. Later on, the team was also required to change clothes and wear gloves and masks.
I hope it ends as soon as possible. The longing is very difficult for me. Glad the relief has already begun!