Today in History: 3 Years Since Hatzolah's Emergency Community Announcement on COVID
Three years ago, on March 18, 2020, which came out shortly after Purim, Chevra Hatzolah released its first Emergency Community Announcement on the active spread of COVID in the community.
Reading that declaration now, three years after a particularly dark time in our collective history, brings the fear of the unknown back into sharp focus.
At that time, the Medical Board of Chevra Hatzolah, with the strong endorsement of the Va'ad Horabanim of Chevra Hatzolah, declared "that all of the following be closed immediately and until further notice: All schools, Yeshivos, Men's Mikvaos, Shuls, Minyanim, In-person Shiurim, and any Public Gatherings."
Hatzolah reported on the active spread of COVID in the community, with many infected people on ventilators in the ICU and critically ill. Hatzolah also clarified how the virus can spread by people who do not show any symptoms and how "people are unwittingly infecting others!"
The goal of the Emergency Community Announcement was to "contribute to limiting the further deadly consequences of this virus." The announcement ended with a plea to the public, "We implore you to take this seriously. Failure to do so is Sakana Nefashos...We are sure that Hashem is listening to our tefillos, and we are asking everyone to increase their tefillos to הקב״ה. In this zechus, may we be zoche to return to our shuls, other communal institutions, and our normal lives very soon."
Three short years ago and so many lives irrevocably changed.