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Don’t Touch Your Face

Don’t Touch Your Face: Israel

An Israeli police officer speaks to an ultra-Orthodox Jewish student at a Yeshiva in Bnei Barak, a city east of Tel Aviv with a large ultra-Orthodox Jewish population, on April 2.
An Israeli police officer speaks to an ultra-Orthodox Jewish student at a Yeshiva in Bnei Barak, a city east of Tel Aviv with a large ultra-Orthodox Jewish population, on April 2. JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

On today’s podcast: The ultra-Orthodox challenge to Israel’s coronavirus response.

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Israel’s swift and decisive response slowed the rate of infection, preventing the health care system from becoming lethally overwhelmed. 

But social distancing guidelines are not being observed everywhere in the country, as members of Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community continue to gather in groups for prayer and celebrations. Last week, the ultra-Orthodox city of Bnei Brak was placed on a strict lockdown, and one expert estimated that as many as 40 percent of residents may already have the virus. 

Don’t Touch Your Face host Amy Mackinnon is joined by Anshel Pfeffer, a writer for Haaretz and the Economist’s Jerusalem correspondent, to discuss Israel’s response to the pandemic. 

Further Reading:

Israel’s War Footing Against the Coronavirus,”Foreign Policy

Coronavirus, the Greatest Challenge to ultra-Orthodox Jewish Life Since the Holocaust,” Haaretz

To Track Coronavirus, Israel Moves to Tap Secret Trove of Cellphone Data,” The New York Times

Why covid-19 has spread among Israel’s ultra-Orthodox,” The Economist

About Don’t Touch Your Face:  On the last day of 2019, China reported an unusual outbreak in Wuhan, a port city with a population of 11 million. Within two months, the disease would spread to almost every continent on the globe and kill thousands of people. From Foreign Policy, a podcast about the extent of the COVID-19 contagion, the threat it poses, and what countries are doing to contain it. Join FP’s James Palmer and Amy Mackinnon as they track the spread of the virus and explore what it means for people’s everyday lives. Have a coronavirus question for us to explore? Email it to donttouchyourface@foreignpolicy.com.  See All Episodes

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Don’t Touch Your Face: Dating During Covid-19

On this week’s episode: How the pandemic is changing the way we meet people.

Don’t Touch Your Face: Pandemic Within a Pandemic

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