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Israelis Stranded Abroad

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Last Updated on July 6, 2021


Week Four

Day 14 – February 5th

I search for the latest corona news in Israel but there is not much I can put together without having all my usual resources on hand. I promise myself not to neglect my work and do whatever I can to keep the website up-to-date which proves to be easier said than done.

Day 15 – February 6th

My family tell me that an announcement was made to the effect that Ben Gurion Airport would remain shuttered until February 21st. My planned return on February 15th is no longer.

Day 16 – February 7th

I receive official notification from the airline that my flight has been cancelled.

The next few days are spent doing the usual daily household stuff and having long and meaningful conversations with my brother.

Day 21 – February 12th

It’s our 32nd wedding anniversary and its the first time my husband and I have spent it apart. My family are upset that I am not at home and my children are beginning to take strain.

Intermittently, I am reading and hearing bits of news from Israel. There is nothing I can do, it’s not in my hands. I am grateful for the extra week with my brother.  It means we have more time together to sort things out. Work will have to wait which means a significant loss of income.

Day 24 – February 15th

My travel insurance runs out .  They will extend it for another week but no more than that.  Apparently it’s their policy. The cost of my travel insurance is high due to the chronic condition I have. I pay for the extra week. My travel insurance now almost the same as the cost of my plane ticket.

Day 27 – February 18th

Thinking that the airport will re-open, as previously announced, on February 21st, I arrange and pay the equivalent of 400NIS for the covid test which I need in order to board my flight. I decide to book the flight after I have the official negative result of the Covid test.  Just in case. Wise decision.

Day 28 – February 19th

The latest news from Israel is that the closure has be extended until March 6th. I explain the situation to the Covid testing laboratory and the young girl says they will delay my test until I need it.  I send an email confirmation so that I have written proof of our conversation.

Day 29 – February 20th

Luckily I had the foresight to bring some extra meds with me – just in case but I won’t have enough if the airport remains closed for much longer.

My brother’s doctor agrees to see me privately if necessary and if I can show him my medical history, he will write a prescription for me. While a private doctor’s visit in South Africa is cheaper than one in Israel, it is still another unforeseen expense.

I access an English version of my medical file online (thank you Maccabi) and get it printed out.

I wonder if my specific meds are even available in South Africa or will I have to settle for a generic substitute?  Another sleepless night follows – one of many and instead of ‘counting sheep’ I start researching the meds market in South Africa. I find that I can get my meds for the equivalent of 200NIS or a generic version for about 100NIS. These are not huge amounts but as I have no income this month and maybe even longer, I do not want to squander what I have left on unnecessary expenses. One of my mottos in life is “Why pay more if you can pay less”. This discipline helped me get through a major financial crisis.

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