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Community spirit in babkes

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As if we didn’t have enough to worry us, there’s genuine concern about diabetes amongst healthcare workers. And if there isn’t, there certainly should be. Because with the goal of doing something to alleviate the stress and exhaustion of the teams, the community has reverted to type. When all else fails, there’s always food. And right now, we have all become Jewish mothers.

Because nothing says that we care quite like babke does. Or quite like carbs do.

On Monday, I received numerous messages from well-intentioned individuals as well as restaurants and caterers asking me for the addresses of some of the frontline workers so that they could send them a “little something” to say thank you. It wasn’t co-ordinated or structured, and yet at the same time, with incredible synchronicity, so many in the community have reached the logical conclusion that everyone needs to eat.

I have seen a list of deliveries of muffins and scones and chocolates and bulkas and bagels and coffee and whisky (probably not the best choice right at this moment). All sent to the offices, wards, and homes of those on the frontline.

As an aside, not for the first time, I have noted that talk-show hosts, columnists, and podcasters aren’t considered frontline workers. But we don’t need to go there, especially considering that some of us are slimming down on the assumption that the beaches will remain open come December.

Ordinarily, eating carbs makes me happy. But in this case, the magnificent behaviour of our community (as it relates to carbs) is doing the job. It says so much about who we are that at a time of extreme anxiety, frustration, and fear, we’re able to look to others and appreciate what they are dealing with.

What’s fascinating is that, according to Malcolm Gladwell in his new book, The Bomber Mafia, as well as Humankind by Rutger Bregman, we shouldn’t be at all surprised. In both these books, they recount a perplexing aspect of human nature as witnessed during the Blitz of London.

Psychologists and politicians alike in Germany and Britain assumed that the constant barrage of bombs would break the spirit of Londoners. They anticipated a flood from the city, and an increase in psychiatric demand. The Germans believed it would lead to surrender. None of this happened. The psychiatric hospitals, prepared in advance, remained empty, and London remained full. People helped each other, looked after each other, and many would recount this as being one of the most meaningful periods in their lives.

No matter what social media and the regular media might have us believe, in times of crises, we’re more likely to come together than we are likely to rip each other apart. We’re more likely to think of our first responders, nurses, and doctors than we are only to think of ourselves and our personal situation. It’s at times of crises that although we might see the worst in some, we often see the best in most.

With each enquiry that I received, and with each gesture of goodwill I have seen this week, I felt more and more blessed and grateful to be part of this community. We are truly magnificent! And I don’t mind being the one to say so.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Wendy Kaplan Lewis

    June 24, 2021 at 9:34 pm

    Beautiful article

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