Coronavirus unites Jerusalem at the "Hotel Corona" One hundred and eighty recovering COVID-19 patients. One Jerusalem hotel. Secular, religious, Arabs, Jews, old, young. Their phones are out, they're recording. And the rest of Israel is... tuning in.
NPR logo

Listen:

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/855237010/855793935" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Hotel Corona

Hotel Corona

Listen:

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/855237010/855793935" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

When the Dan Hotel in Jerusalem was leased by the government to house recovering COVID-19 patients, the new guests gave it the nickname, "Hotel Corona." The nearly 200 patients inside already had the coronavirus; and so, unlike the outside world on strict lockdown, they could give each other high fives and hugs and hang out together.

What was even more surprising than what they could do was what they were doing. Patients from all walks of life - Israelis, Palestinians, religious, secular, groups that don't normally mix - were getting along and having fun. They were eating together, sharing jokes, even doing Zumba. And because they were documenting themselves on social media, the whole country was tuning in to watch, like a real life reality TV show.

Join Rough Translation as we follow an Israeli comedian, a Bedouin hospital worker and a hotel manager in Hotel Corona, asking is this unlikely togetherness a one-off? Or a new reality?

Further Context: