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Careful Optimism

March 2021 marks a year of living in the shadow of the pandemic in Israel. This past year has been extraordinarily challenging for many and was characterized by fear and despair. We now (finally) start to see the light at the end of the tunnel and are in the midst of a transition period in which mental fatigue and apprehension are being replaced by hope.

Israel has been outpacing the world in vaccination rates. Encouraging results and research are leading to updated guidelines and careful optimism. However, political chaos, lack of trust in leadership, violations of guidelines, social unrest, mass protests, and the prevalence of conspiracy theories create a very complex reality. In many ways, Israel may serve as a case study to the challenges, processes, and social phenomena that other countries might face in the coming months.

The visual narrative that dominated the past year is clearly changing as Tel Aviv transitions from Israel’s third national lockdown towards a return to normality. Images based on apocalyptic urban landscapes are replaced by busy human situations in an evolving reality.