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Week five of the quarantine: an experience

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It doesn’t seem possible that we have been locked down for five weeks but it’s a fact. In fact, spring is now in full swing.

Spring is a time that makes us all go outside and enjoy the longer, warmer and sunnier days. This weekend was no exception as the weather was superb, even a little overnight rain to create that fantastic fresh air we all love. I kept up my running program going out both Saturday and Sunday afternoons. I thought it was supposed to get easier but in fact it is getting harder. I hope I can break out of the warming up time and get into some real running soon!

I also noticed that there were loads of people out, even in big groups, cycling, running, picnicking etc. I thought we were in lock-down, supposed to be wearing masks and not socializing? After my first article about running I received an email from a reader that what I was doing was dangerous and irresponsible for spreading bad behavior (and possibly the virus). The reader was correct and I apologized, but while running (now in my mask) I felt guilty that everyone in Prague was reading my story and had made the same mistake as I. Was it all my fault? There were groups of youth having fun by the river, people visiting the “windows” of prior hangouts, trying to keep their distance but it was impossible. Friends were meeting and hugging. I was shocked and in aww. Has the lock-down ended?

Honestly, I am not even sure what the rules are anymore. I thought we were allowed out for exercise once a day, but that was Boris, not Andrej. Groups of two are not allowed right? I counted one group of twelve, so that must have been a violation. Are people quickly assuming the worst is over? I am not sure.

I also happened to meet a couple of friends along the path, even though I headed towards a less populated area. When meeting we didn’t shake hands, remove masks and kept the mandatory two meter distance. I like when everyone becomes quickly familiar with new protocol, no explanations necessary. The whole experience made me feel that we were getting close to the end of this. There is even a good schedule of how things will return to normal, Prague Monitor has a nice visual on its Facebook pages:

Another thing I accomplished was cutting off my shaggy hair. I came across an article that caught my eye on Friday. It was a picture of Brad Pit, or one of those guys the ladies like, with a “buzz cut” followed by the title “Quarantine bringing back the buzz cut.” That was enough for me. I want to be like the popular kids, and I wanted to do it in time, not four years later like usual. I waited until my wife was out on the terrace with the kids and hide myself in the bathroom. I grabbed my clippers and off to the races! I buzzed and buzzed and let me tell you, it is not nearly as easy as they make it look on “Full Metal Jacket” or “9th Rota” for the Russians reading this. The films show how soldiers were clipped before entering basic training, but I had to continue over and over again, at variable angles to get all the hair the same length. Perhaps the issue was that my clippers were bought during the last crisis, in 2008, and I had used them mainly for shaving other parts of my body. Or perhaps the fact that my arms don’t bend at the necessary angles. Either way, I finished, rejoined the family, and waited for the comments.

My wife has not spoken to me since I cut my hair, but my sons liked it. They asked “why your haircut” which I understood as “you always get a nice haircut when you are going somewhere important, where are you going, you look great?”

Another issue is that we don’t seem to have a portable mirror in the apartment, so I can’t look at the back of my head like I can at the barber’s. After I had done the first over, I took a shower, came out, and then noticed that there was 10cm of hair sticking up at the back of my head. I shaved over and over, so I hope I got it all!

Lastly, the nicely trimmed ears and back are a no go. I tried the ears, which look good from where I am looking, but I didn’t try the back. Hopefully, there are no patches of long hair growing along my neck.

I also noted that I saved CZK400, not bad for a half hour’s work!

So normality, I am ready. Now if I can just find someone to change my tires before the end of summer!

Have a great week.

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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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