Sunday, August 2, 2020

Covid-19 Update from the Czech Republic

Hi Everyone,
This post is an update on the situation here with the Covid-19 pandemic. So far, Jiri and I have managed OK. We survived about 3 months of lockdown in our small flat. This was no mean feat, as you can imagine! 

Close quarters for that long can make things a bit challenging. But I’m happy to let you know we made it through relatively OK. I say “relatively,” because you know there are ups and downs with all things. There are disagreements, arguments, etc. That’s normal, especially considering the situation. How often is it that you live through a pandemic like this? 


Rollback of Lockdown Restrictions
The lifting of lockdown restrictions began near the end of May. The Czech government managed the rollback slowly, then stopped to see how things went before moving ahead with the rollback of the next restrictions. From the end of May until almost the end of June, things went pretty well.

As restrictions were lifted, the government worked with other European countries to create agreements on travel requirements for Czechs and citizens of those countries. This took some time, but eventually the Czechs had a broader choice of destinations on the Continent, at least for a time. There have also been some international destinations that allowed Czechs to enter without too many restrictions. 

Me in a Mask my Sister-in-law Made

What About Wearing the Dreaded Masks?
Mask restrictions were also greatly relaxed with the rollback of lockdown restrictions, which was a relief to many people. Wearing a mask is not easy, but it was thought necessary. So, everyone followed the rules; well, at least the vast majority of people followed the rules regarding masks. 

We’ve not seen the huge protests against wearing masks that are currently going on in the US. I’ve been thankful for that. Some people, as the weather warmed up early in the Spring, began to not wear masks, even though there were still requirements for us all to wear them.Mask-wearing has not been a too much of a problem here. 

I’m anxious to see how it will be when we have to all return to masks in the next month or two. The government is predicting we’ll all need to wear masks when the cold and flu season starts in the fall. Will people go back to wearing them without protests? We’ll see how it goes. 


Back to Work
Jiri headed back to work the first week of June. I have to say it was a little scary, but he managed it well. The hardest part of his traveling is the use of public transport. However, it’s been OK to this point. 

For me, life has continued on pretty much like normal. I live and work from home all the time due to my allergies/asthma and other chronic conditions. This is the case even when there is no pandemic. So, not much has changed for me. I do get out and walk, shop, etc. 

Covid Infections on the Rise
Near the end of June and the beginning of this month, more cases of Covid have been erupting here. One of the hardest hit regions for several weeks was Karviná. This area is located in the Moravian-Silesian part of the country, which borders on Poland. 

Karviná is one of the places where mining is big, and at one large mining company many people first became infected with Covid-19. This was the main hotspot for several weeks. That area alone has seen over 2,200 confirmed cases of Covid, and it’s still growing. 

As the infection grew in Karviná, other Covid hotspots of the erupted around the country. There were only a few spots where the infection rate was high, but that’s now changed. New infections are increasing in most parts of the Czech Republic. Moravia-Silesia, Jihlava, the Olomouc region, Prachatice (Southern Bohemia), and Prague are some of the hardest hit now. However, we’re still not seeing the kind of infection rates as seen in the US at this stage. 

How things will develop over the next couple of months, however, is difficult for the experts to predict. If things keep going the way they are, then we’ll have some major problems by September as far as the number of those infected and sick.  


Trying to Live Normal Lives
Many people here, as in other parts of the world, are trying to get on with normal life. Many have gone on vacation to Croatia, which is a top destination for many Czechs in the summer. 

Others have traveled to countries that have no restrictions for Czechs. And a lot of people here have chosen to either vacation in the Czech Republic or enjoy an extended staycation at home or their chatas.
 
People are out hiking and enjoying our nice summer weather. Others are working in the garden, enjoying pivo at the hospoda, etc. 

And the stores have caught up with demand for cleaning products and most foods. There were times during the lockdown when it was almost impossible to get hand sanitizers, disinfectant cleaning products, etc. The stores where we live ran out of meat, flour and sugar a couple of times. A few times there were shortages with OTC at the pharmacies. However, we never did run out of toilet paper! 😊


Nice Summer in Spite of Covid
Our summer has been pretty nice with rain and moderate temperatures on most days. There have been a handful of pretty hot days so far, but I’ve run the air conditioner only 3 times. Last year, it was 2 straight weeks with the air conditioner, so this year is pretty nice!

Before the rains started earlier in the season, the country was dealing with a once in 500-year drought. It was especially dry in Moravia and some parts of south-central Bohemia. We’ve been having regular rain now on and off for the past few weeks, so everything’s been nice and green. Just a pretty summer—you’d never know we’re in the midst of a pandemic when you look out the window or take a nice walk, and enjoy the beautiful nature in this country. 


That’s all for this post! I just wanted to share this update on our life here, in the Czech Republic during the pandemic. 

I hope and pray for each of you every day that you and yours stay safe and stay healthy in these very strange times. 

God bless,
Sherry