To lift lockdown gloom, Israelis keep calm and carry on screaming

·1-min read

HERZLIYA, Israel (Reuters) - Tired of COVID-19 confinement and seeking both communion and emotional release, some Israelis have taken to group screaming.

A record vaccine rollout has done little to ease Israel's pandemic curbs. Next month's election - the fourth in two years, due to coalition infighting and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's legal woes - has many complaining of malaise.

While some Israelis take part in street demonstrations, others take to nature and shout to the heavens.

"We decided to meet, our group together, in order to take the group screaming so that we can release our bad energies," said Mary Peery, leading 10 mostly elderly companions on a yell-punctuated hike through an orange orchard and over a hilltop.

"When we do it in a group it's like a prayer ... and maybe God will hear us and release us from this COVID-19 curse."

To scream, the group stood in choric proximity and removed their masks, drawing looks from passersby. One of the organisers played down any health risk, however, saying everyone in the group had either recovered from COVID-19 or been vaccinated.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Mike Collett-White)