Br(u)no: Some Perspective. Quarantine Week 6

Any way you look at it, the entire world has changed in less than half a year. Nobody will forget this overall pandemic experience — especially, for the lucky ones, the strangeness of being cooped up for the past month and a half — but many of the details have already been forgotten.

Here is a little bit of perspective. Italicized notes provide the international context. The Czech Republic / Brno items have bold dates.

Do you remember where you were, what you were doing and what you were thinking during each milestone?


December 31 — A dozen cases of pneumonia of an unknown cause are treated in Wuhan, China. Days later, a new virus is identified.


January 11 — China reported its first coronavirus death.

January 30 — The World Health Organization (WHO) declares a global health emergency.


February 7 — Dr. Li Wenliang dies. Dr. Li tried to raise the alarm about the coronavirus, even being reprimanded by the Chinese government, and succumbed to the virus.

February 11 — The WHO names the disease connected to this novel coronavirus: COVID-19.

February 23 — Italy has a major surge in cases and 10 towns near Milan are locked down. Reportedly, five cases mushroomed into more than 150.

MARCH 2020

March 1 — The first case of COVID-19 in the Czech Republic

March 10 — It is announced that schools will be closed and moved to online courses.

March 11 — The World Health Organization officially labels the coronavirus a pandemic.

March 12 — The Czech Republic announces that a State of Emergency will be put in place.

March 13 — No public gatherings of more than 30.

– Hospitals in Brno are victims of a cyberattack.

March 16 — Ban on the free movement of people in the Czech Republic, with exceptions for travel to and from work and necessary travel to ensure basic human needs.

March 18 — Hockey, women’s basketball and both women’s volleyball and men’s volleyball stop playing just before their postseasons. Men’s basketball follows days later. Men’s football and women’s football suspend their seasons and hope to continue in June. The starts to the local baseball and American football seasons are postponed.

March 19 — Face masks become compulsory for everyone outside of their residence.

– China reports zero new local infections for the previous day, an early sign that the epidemic might be slowing.

March 22 — The first COVID-19 related death in the Czech Republic was reported when a 95-year-old man passed away in Prague.

March 24 — The Tokyo Olympics are delayed until 2021; it is one of the last major international sports events to officially react to the pandemic. India orders a lockdown for its 1.3 billion citizens.

March 26 — The United States passes China and Italy to become the country hardest hit by the pandemic.

APRIL 2020

April 2 — Global cases top 1 million people in 171 countries across six continents, killing at least 51,000.

April 6 — Prime Minister Boris Johnson moves into intensive care, 10 days after announcing his coronavirus diagnosis. He is released from the hospital on April 12.

April 7 — The State of Emergency in the Czech Republic is prolonged to the end of April.

April 10 — Global coronavirus deaths surpass 101,000 with at least 1.6 million infected.

April 16 — According to the Ministry of Health, there are 6,303 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the Czech Republic, from over 146,000 tests. A total of 166 people have died since the beginning of the outbreak, with 831 recovered.

* * * * *

Enough of the perspective. Life is filled with personal events.

Saturday, April 18 — Day 36

Mowed the backyard lawn for the first time. Had a bonfire, breaking the law by burning some plants. Roasted špekáčky, little fat sausages.

Sunday, April 19 — Day 37

The first really rainy day of the spring brings clean, fresh air.

Breakfast: The wife cuts hearts into toast and fries an egg inside each. The heart pieces get butter and strawberry jam.

Noon: Shot of slivovice. Then more. Also, lentil soup.

Dinner: Vepřo knedlo zelo, or Roast pork, dumplings and sauerkraut.

Monday, April 20 — Day 38

The country is reopening. The first of the stages started today: Farmers’ markets, skilled craft workshops and professional training areas can resume. Weddings can be held for up 10 people.

Tuesday, April 21 — Day 39

Brno Writers Group Meeting. Entries for the fourth annual Brno Short Story Writing Contest is a May 17. Click here for the Official Rules.

Wednesday, April 22 — Day 40

More home-office work.

Thursday, April 23 — Day 41

Kids did something cute. Then, kids were loud and obnoxious.

Friday, April 24 — Day 42

The news and statistics are positive. The opening of the Czech Republic will continue, although the generally steady response of the government has suddenly become wobbly.

We return to normal on May 25. Or is it June 8? The story is not over.

* * *

To which public space will you go first after the quarantine is lifted? To what public event do you most look forward?

Tell us about it in the comments below or on Facebook.

Be safe. Be well.

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