From NYT and mostly very good news. Some highlights:
[italic] We, a group that includes more than half of Israel’s nine million people, are getting a taste of a post-pandemic future.
Membership in the class is certified by the Green Pass, a document you can download and carry in your phone. It includes a sort of GIF, a little moving animation of green people walking along, looking like a happy, fully vaccinated family.
Israel’s vaccination program has been remarkably swift and successful.
In recent weeks, new cases of Covid-19 have dropped dramatically, from a peak of 10,000 a day in January to a few hundred by late March. The economy has almost fully reopened. Just as Israel became a real-world laboratory for the efficacy of the vaccine, it is now becoming a test case for a post-lockdown, post-vaccinated society.
The Green Pass is your entry ticket.
Green Pass holders may dine indoors in restaurants, stay in hotels and attend indoor and outdoor cultural, sports and religious gatherings in the thousands. We can go to gyms, swimming pools and the theater. We can get married in wedding halls.
We celebrated the spring holidays of Passover and Easter in the company of family and friends.
Local newspapers and television stations are advertising summer getaways for the fully vaccinated in countries prepared to take them, including Greece, Georgia and the Seychelles.
And when you book a table at a restaurant, they ask, Do you have a Green Pass? Are you vaccinated?
More than 5.2 million Israelis have received at least one shot of the Pfizer vaccine. About four million remain unvaccinated, half of them people under 16 who are not yet eligible to receive the vaccine pending regulatory approvals and further testing on children. Hundreds of thousands of citizens who have recovered from Covid were only recently included in Israel’s vaccination program.
And up to a million people have so far chosen not to get vaccinated, despite Israel’s enviable supply of vaccine doses.
Some oppose taking the shot on ideological grounds while others are said to be anxious and waiting to see the vaccine’s effect on others. They have engendered little public sympathy, and health officials have criticized them for succumbing to what they describe as fake news spread on social media.
The holdouts present tricky moral and legal questions. Should they have the right to rejoin the world too? Is it ethical to discriminate against them? Or is it fair to force those who have done everything they could to protect themselves by getting vaccinated to share space with people who chose not to?
These questions erupted when another artist, Achinoam Nini, a prominent singer-songwriter who goes by the stage name Noa, announced a performance for Green Pass holders only, at a venerable auditorium in Tel Aviv.
A small but vocal minority of anti-vaxxers and others accused her of collaborating with a discriminatory system and supporting medical experimentation and coercion.
“You are collaborating with selection,” wrote one critic, Reut Sorek, borrowing terminology from the Holocaust. “You are cooperating with medical dictatorship and the trampling of individual rights.”
Ms. Nini responded in an impassioned Facebook post that getting vaccinated was for the common good, balancing public health against personal liberty, part of the social contract and a civic duty just like stopping at a red light.
“We have an issue here,” she said in an interview. “The world is paralyzed, people have lost their livelihoods, their health, their hope. When you put all those things on the scale, come on, just get inoculated! And if you really don’t want to, stay home.”