Wednesday, 16 September 2020

Week six of the quarantine: an experience

By Paul Lysek | Prague Daily Monitor |
27 April 2020

Week six is here and if things go according to plan this will be my next to last post weekend update. Things have gotten better fast and the pace of change is as unbelievable as the slide into lock-down. Several of my friends have noted that they are planning to return back to work at the beginning of May. We are feeling very encouraged and have even left our house as a family. Taking the right precautions, I feel increasingly comfortable in the outside world again.

It’s as if we are in the final minutes of an American epidemic film. The zombies have all but disappeared, we understand the consequences of the virus more, the information flow is constant, and with the exception of the souls we have lost, the domestic violence so many have endured, and the upcoming millions of divorces that will need to be settled, life for the superstar survivors will slowly return to normal. Please let me highlight that by no means do I think “all is quiet on the western front”, but the feeling in the air, from those speaking to the masses, combined with the statistical data available, we are no longer starring into the abyss.

What did that mean for us?

On Friday I was finishing up a busy work week when I ran out of patience trying to finish a project I was working on. I called my top manager for his advice but finding people on Friday has become as possible as finding people on Saturday was five years ago. So I decided since it was 15:30, it was time to enjoy the wonderful weather! I rallied up the family with one of my animated lectures on how we have overcome the virus and convinced everyone to head out into the forests south of Prague.

We outfitted everyone with face coverings, grabbed the sterilizer, drank some Clorox and off we went! (We did not actually drink Clorox (which is not sold in the CR) and only Mr. Trump is arrogant enough to suggest such a lethal absurdity). We piled into the car and took advantage of the empty roads to head into the country; Karlstejn country! We found a marked path and followed it into paradise. For us it was such a relief to have let the kids run wild for the first time in nearly six weeks. For the children it was like a lion being let out of a cage. The energy, the screams, the throwing of stones and whipping of sticks. We walked and ran and threw and jumped. It seemed like an eternity but when we returned to the car, we noticed that it was less than two hours of activity. We were all totally exhausted.

Saturday morning we did a repeat. The same spot, with the nice winding road along the river, over the bridge and then deep into the forest. This time we brought a picnic, a blanket and made a whole mid-day event of the activity. It felt like the good ole days. Full freedom. The exception was when we met others, we quickly dawned the masks, and for the kids it was even exciting; much like playing cops and robbers. Again we ran and jumped and inhaled the fresh air. We ran through the mud, through the gravel, through the grass and over the bridge. Not only were we out of the cage, but it was spring, and the cold bite of the morning air reminded us that we had months of nice weather ahead of us.

Sunday, we just repeated it all over again. The kids were so happy, we found such a nice spot, with a secret illegal parking spot, nearly no other people, and the perfect mix of forest and sun. The two hour start to the day was perfect for sniping out the energy of the kids and setting a nice pace for the rest of the Sunday afternoon.

By the time Sunday evening came along I was sitting on the couch, dreaming of the fresh air and home cooked feasts we were indulged in all weekend, and hoping that this was a sign of what is coming to all: A return to some normalcy. To think that so many had to sacrifice so much for us to get even to this undefined period in the epidemic. To think how much more work will go into solving the issues around the virus. It is miraculous.

I kept my promise to myself last week and have been busy trying to do a nice deed for someone badly affected by the events of the Covid-19 epidemic each day. Not every day was successful but I am busy trying to set up a double header – one of those feed some medical staff with great food as a thank you to the industry, and help a friend’s devastated restaurant and the same. I will try to open it up to our readers to be able to co-contribute for those interested. Either way, I believe this is a time to be united and lend a helping hand, not look who has profited and who is taking away our freedom. My position is let’s be human and good to each other, the bastards will always be among us.

Have a great week!

Paul Lysek – The idea of writing a daily update came to me by seeing, hearing and trying to understand all the things that are happening around us at this time. This story is a combination of all those sources, including friends, relatives, and experiences with attempts to bring out the satire, emotion and changing environment of the situation. It is entirely fictional, with the exception of my sarcasm.

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