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The Challenge of Social Distancing in Hasidic Communities | Frimet Goldberger

April 9, 2020 – The New York Times

Hasidic communities are facing a unique challenge when it comes to controlling the spread of the coronavirus. I fear that in these places, highly communal lifestyles combined by skepticism about the need for social distancing ‘” at times promoted by religious leaders ‘” are going to cost more lives. One rabbi I know of mocks the ‘œhysteria’ around the virus and still holds services in his sanctuary.

The main ZIP code in the ultra-Orthodox hub of Borough Park in Brooklyn has the second-highest number of reported positive cases in New York City. Rockland County, N.Y., has the state’s highest rate of Covid-19 infection per capita, and the second-highest in the country. Authorities say the numbers are partly explained by the communities there where Orthodox residents haven’t conformed to social distancing.

Last week, I lost three close Hasidic relatives in three days to the virus.

I believe a lack of information about this unprecedented threat ‘” and what it will take to survive it ‘” is part of the problem.

Read the full article here.