You know that feeling… You are walking down the street or talking with a friend, and all of a sudden you feel like you have already done this before. You can’t quite remember if it was in a dream, or if you actually experienced it before. That feeling… that sense is commonly referred to as déjà vu.
Well, sadly, I am sad to tell you that no, you are not having a moment of déjà vu. Instead, we are in the midst of what we had hoped we would not have to experience again with COVID. If you were like me, when you heard the word vaccine and found out that people were able to get it, you thought the end of this unbelievable pandemic would quickly approach.
And yet, once again, we find ourselves wearing masks and unsure when this nightmare will end.
For me, the hardest part is the uncertainty and the ever-changing nature of life right now. I was just talking with a colleague about this. If you remember, last year at this time, life was “easier.” There were very clear restrictions and processes in place and we had been living with the pandemic for several months. Plus, since there was no “end” insight, it was very easy to make plans since everything was going virtual.
Unfortunately, a year later, things feel like they are constantly changing. With the High Holy Days approaching, many synagogues had big plans to hold in-person services again. In fact, as you may or may not be aware, many developed elaborate health protocols for this return, spending hours upon hours to discuss, analyze and decide how best to keep people as safe as possible. And there was real excitement about being able to celebrate together again. And then came the Delta variant and once again we are faced with the uncertainty of what lies ahead.
I would encourage everyone to check out a recent article in J Weekly that captures how synagogues are having to pivot their plans and how it is impacting them as leaders, including whether they should implement a vaccination mandate to attend services. Although the article focuses on the Northern California Bay Area, I can assure you, having been in constant contact with our local clergy, the same thoughts and discussions are taking place here as well.
On behalf of our local Jewish Professionals and our organizational lay leaders, I would ask for continued patience and understanding as we ALL struggle to respond to the ever-changing dynamics brought on by the Delta variant.
Even though it may feel like we have been here before, this time it is very different.