Dramatic guidelines announced Wednesday by the Health Ministry are part of a losing battle to contain the spread of the coronavirus in Israel.
People returning from Italy must now be quarantined for 14 days, just like those arriving from Asian destinations.
Non-essential travel should be avoided as well as international events hosting people from all over the world or even mass religious gatherings.
If there is any chance to mitigate the numbers of people that would be infected by the disease it lies in meticulous adherence to these guidelines.
The coronavirus has already been reported on every continent on the planet barring Antarctica and is spreading at an unmatched speed.
In just three months, nearly 100,000 people have been infected worldwide and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
An Israeli man has been confirmed to have been exposed to the virus upon his return from Italy and is being quarantined at the Sheba Medical Center's specially prepared ward - four days after his flight home.
Though we may think we are losing the fight, there is much we can do to minimize the damage and survive the coming months. We must buy time.
With every passing day there is more information available to the scientific community that is hard at work searching for a cure and developing a vaccine which may give humanity the upper hand.
We must buy time by taking all measures possible to stop the spread of the illness to all corners of the country by adhering to strict quarantine instructions, difficult as they may be.
A full quarantine could save the lives of a parent, a grandparent or a neighbor and could be compromised any time someone decides to "just pop out" to give their kid a lift to the mall.
Anyone asked to remain quarantined and allows themselves a quick excursion or two is a ticking time bomb that endangers us all.
Potential carriers of coronavirus, among those returning to Israel from trips overseas in infected areas, who do not stay quarantined are sure to accelerate the spread of the virus.
We must buy time because even in the worst-case scenario, after coronavirus has spread all over the country, it would still be in the hands of citizens to slow further contamination down.
If much of the population falls sick at the same time, hospitals will be unable to provide treatment to all those in need.
A word of praise must be given to Moshe Bar-Siman-Tov, the director general of the Health Ministry.
He has been advancing an aggressive response to this threat to public health and if we heed his words, we may be able to save ourselves.