The Pandemic Tested My Family Relationships. Where Do We Go From Here? | Frimet Goldberger

June 7, 2021 – Vice

I’ve spent a decade caught between the secular world and the Haredi Jewish community. But watching the latter resist COVID-19 restrictions while being decimated by the virus pushed that tension to the brink.

The deaths in my family came fast and early. My first cousin, a 39-year-old Hasidic mother of three, contracted the virus and did not wake up on the morning of April 3, 2020, less than a month into lockdown. The gut punch of her death presaged the painful road ahead. We had grown up next door to each other on Satmar Drive, named for our sect, in the exclusively Hasidic village of Kiryas Joel (now Town of Palm Tree) in Orange County, New York. She would entertain me and my sisters for hours with hilarious stories on our adjacent porches in the town house that our grandfather bought for four of his 13 children. The day she died, my Hasidic brother-in-law, 49 and a father of seven, had improved enough that doctors suggested he might be extubated. The next day, he took his last breath alone in an NYC hospital.”

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