Perhaps the first move we make towards becoming therapists is when we relinquish our expectations about how people SHOULD behave and learn to accept and understand how people DO behave. Nor is this move distant from the Torah. Most of Bava Metsia is about trying to understand how the average person thinks, understands, is motivated – the key to trying to sort out what behavior and language are expressing. As therapists we begin with our clients as they are, and when they are not alone in this, they gain the possibility to become a bit different.

This has been an intriguing week in the world of Corona. We – our people, Jews – have such a broad range of thinking, understanding and behaving in the Corona-welt. We meet folks who are sure that a raging danger requires strict safety precautions, and that these safety precautions are sure to keep them safe. We meet folks who are sure that a big deal is being made about a flu, that the tests are inaccurate and not worth doing, that life should just go on. What is more confusing is that there are plenty of “scientists” in both camps. And what is worst of all is how folks from the extreme camps treat folks in the opposite camp.

This is how “we” are, far from what we think “we” should be. How shall we treat our clinic? I remind you of the two principles that guide me. The first, I want our clinic to open when it is likely it can stay open. The second, that we decide about opening a week before we do it. Now, do we have any firm basis to think that the clinic can stay open? Not yet, to my mind. Our folks are too varied in their thinking about safety, it is still too likely that someone who can transmit Corona will pass through our doors, make the clinic a place of transmission, and force re-closure. So not yet. As a result, the clinic will remain closed to clinical activity through October 28. By next week, October 22, we will determine what is safe going forward from October 29.

I would encourage our therapists to think forward to the coming months. If you have clients who are “unable” to engage in therapy in any way but in person in the clinic, try to think with them about possible solutions. If you are having trouble finding a way to meet by remote, give some more thought to possible solutions you have not yet tried. Please do not fixate on re-opening. The coming months are not likely as it seems now to have an open clinic become a reliable option for therapy. Instead of attending to how meeting in person is better, see how you can make the remote alternatives work. That is our common “Corona -world” for now, regardless of how any one of you think it should be different. Be creative as possible in making it work.

I recently heard a report about the “wonder – test.” In seconds you know reliably if you have Corona. This, and dreams of the “wonder- vaccine” are related to the world “as it ought to be.” Why should it take so many months to create such a test? You can be assured that if the wonder-test proves both reliable and feasible, we will do it at the front door and open on a dime, because that would give us certainty that we could safely stay open in all circumstances. But in the meantime, patience, creativity, flexibility, -and a sense of humor was never far from Jewish coping.