Silver Linings: Covid Edition

I’m collecting inspirational stories of how people the world over are dealing with being quarantined, what they’ve experienced and how this crisis is changing them. I will add them here to my blog as I find them.

Sarah Coffey, a British expat in Prague, Czech Republic, in her own words:

‘FULL DISCLOSURE: I’ve drank a bottle of red wine (Rosso Di Montepulciano—very nice!) before writing this…BUT…

‘Me wearing a mask that my neighbour’s mum made for me (after she saw a joke facebook post i made of me wearing a bra on my face as a mask’ )

2019 was a f*cking tough year for me. I was ill for most of it, and in September had a major operation and a nightmare experience while in hospital. While I was recovering, my beloved cats of 18 and 20 years died within weeks of each other. I had to put them both down. My heart is still utterly broken. For the past couple of years I’ve been deeply unhappy here, and this past year with all of the doctor and hospital visits has been so hard; I’ve hated this city. I’ve been wanting out for some time.

Isolation has been hard. I live alone so it’s a bit boring and lonely sometimes (we’ve been on lockdown for about 3 weeks). But I have my dog and she’s amazing. I’ve been able to take her on very long walks (avoiding public transportation), and seeing an empty city. Walking in places which are usually swarming with tourists, Beethoven on my headphones…

Spending this time in a completely empty city, amongst blossoming trees, fresh air, silence, sunshine and completely devoid of tourists has allowed me to reconnect with Prague, as cheesy as that sounds, but I felt real love for the city. I live close to the castle so I’m able to walk down Petrin hill and then back up through Mala strana, the oldest part of the city. And it’s empty and so beautiful, and the architecture is breathtaking, and you see the centuries of history, and Prague castle is deserted and free of people.

I’m really grateful to be here right now. The government took swift and strict action and it’s been for the better. Comparatively, we have a low death rate, and low number of confirmed cases. It’s the law that we wear masks any time we’re outside, and since masks are sold out people all over the city have been making them at home. You can buy or get them for free on Facebook, now there are even vending machines with homemade masks. I have been given 6 masks by various people. Someone in my neighbourhood sews them and leaves them in a tree in the park for people to take. The technical university is 3D printing ventilators! There are signs in almost every business window for ways you can helps seniors during this, restaurants are delivering for the first time, breweries are delivering their beer because it will go to waste, people are queuing up standing 2-3 metres apart. I’ve skyped more than ever, my friend hosted a Netflix watch party and we all watched a movie together, tonight another friend hosted a dance party on zoom.

I’m taking charge of my health and recovery and using time to exercise and strengthen my body every day.

I know I’m super privileged to be having an isolation like this, and that added to everything, I have made peace with Prague. It doesn’t mean that I’m here to stay, but, I’m really proud of the way this country has handled everything. Some photos below to see what life has been like in Prague. I hope you all are safe and well!’

Masks outside a restaurant
An empty city .. and river!
Wine to go

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