In case you missed the announcement which went out Monday evening, please note that our Shabbat morning services this week and next will be held on Zoom only. In view of the rising number of COVID-19 cases throughout the country and in consultation with our medical advisors, we think this is a prudent decision. I can’t tell you at this point when we will return to having in-person Shabbat morning services because I just don’t know. The Delta variant and the Omicron variant are both circulating and no one can say for certain whether the current surge will last for a couple of weeks or a couple of months. We’ll continue to monitor the situation, consult competent medical authorities, and evaluate week by week.
The silver lining in this pandemic cloud is that while even fully-vaxxed and boosted people are starting to test positive for the virus at higher levels than before, serious illness, especially for those without other medical complications, remains quite rare. At this point boosters are available for everyone who is 16 years of age or older and if you have not yet received a booster, I urge you to do so.
Yesterday Israel announced that it is making a fourth shot available to anyone aged 60 and above. As someone who received my booster almost four months ago, I am starting to consider what happens when the protection afforded by the booster starts to wane, as seems likely based on previous vaccination efficacy data. It seems likely that we may have to accustom ourselves to receive a COVID-19 vaccine every six months or so for the next while just like we get a flu shot every year.
Since our office is closed this coming Friday, you will not be receiving a “Rabbi’s Update” that morning. Of course, services on Shabbat, both evening and morning, as well as Havdalah Saturday night, continue as usual.
As always, if I can do anything for you or you need to talk, please contact me at email@example.com or 301-977-0768 rather than through the synagogue office. Although I am working primarily from home, I am happy to meet you at the synagogue by appointment.
Rabbi Charles L. Arian