Aaron Portman is a rabbinical student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah in New York City. He has spent time doing educational and pastoral work in various settings, including as the head of Camp Stone, as a synagogue youth director in White Plains, and as rabbinic intern at NYU. Last summer, Aaron served as a chaplain at Rikers Island. He is currently quarantining in Pittsburgh, PA, with his partner Dena Edelman.

Self-isolation is the term of the day. Stay away from others! Don’t touch anyone or anything! Six feet of social distancing! In the age of Covid-19, we are encouraged — required…


Sheldon Pickholz and the slippery sock gang (minus Sepha)

For as long as I can remember, Shabbat, more than being a day of rest, has been a time of togetherness. When I was little, my sisters and I used to play a game when my dad came home from work on Fridays where we put on slippery socks, ran for a head start, and then slid towards him across the kitchen — because embracing shabbat began with embracing each other. We gather around the table for meals, pray in shul as part of a congregation, and welcome guests into our families — because just as shabbat is a critical…


Last night’s nation-wide salute to the medical professionals around the world.

Although many of us have returned to the comfortable and supposedly familiar homes where we grew up to ride out corona with family, the warped world we now live in has transformed these spaces to be more foreign and exotic than we could have imagined. The cookie jar has latex gloves beside it, the bathroom is filled with rolls of toilet paper, the front door stays shut, and the TV stays on. The Meyers like food, and food — or at least the people selling it⁠ — like the…


Student in Throw (Blanket)

In my less-than-expert view, there are a number of reasons why a policy aimed at achieving herd immunity in a population is far from scientifically sound. As I mentioned in the last post, one of the best things I gained from our time in Cambridge was the special group of friends we made, and specifically, the opportunity to sit in class each day with some of the most remarkable individuals I have ever met. If even a drop of their brilliance somehow diffused into me over the past few months, I would consider my time there a success. On that…


“Making plans for what you are going to be doing in six months when you have a catastrophe awaiting you in three weeks is just stupid.” -Ed Yong (The Atlantic)

Google Hangout Happy Hour was lit

Humans of Quarantine was meant to be a way for people to connect to our own story — the very ordinary story of two people whose lives got rerouted by an invisible turnpike that we could not see coming and whose exit may take us to a place we had no intention of going. To hold up a mirror for all of us in these crazy times, allowing ourselves and…


Eliana’s Aliyah Lift

I am sitting on the plane leaving England to go to Israel because, as much as Sam and I tried to ride it out and hold on to the last vestiges of our great adventure, the Coronavirus outbreak has basically taken over the entire world and completely hijacked life as we know it. In the last few weeks, and even over the past few days, things we were once afraid of now seem relatively trivial, and the things we had planned for the future seem ridden with uncertainty. …


In the past 48 hours, since we sat on the couch (well, the two armchairs we squished together and treated like a couch) in the tiny apartment we made into a home in Cambridge, England over the last year, I keep coming back to the last scene in Fiddler on the Roof. We know, comparing Tevya fleeing pogroms in Anatevka to the Meyers running away from the deplorable public health policies recently undertaken by the UK may be a stretch, but nonetheless, packing up our first married home in a moment’s notice and heading east has been a transcending experience.

Humans of Quarantine by J.Sam and Eliana Meyer

Sam and Eliana are postgraduates in Health Policy and Economics at the London School of Economics, and Therapeutic Sciences at the University of Cambridge.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store