Sunday, March 15, 2020

Drastic Measures

With the closure of all restaurants and stores here in the Czech Republic, with the exception of food and vital necessities, life as we've known it is coming to a halt in light of the impact of COVID-19.

Like many other churches in Europe on this Sunday, ours took to streaming live on FB this morning.

Our pastor and one of our worship leaders and his daughter, bravely met at our church this morning to lead the service, without anyone else there to participate...

...except for one of our elders who preached, his translator, and those who were running the production of putting on a live streamed broadcast.

So thankful for all of them, being willing to serve so that the rest of us could have church this morning.

As the morning moved on, news came that some even tighter restrictions might be put into place as of midnight tonight, so Caleb and I braved going out for groceries so we'd be stocked up. No worries about toilet paper here!

Apparently people are buying out all the toilet paper in the US!

We came to one of the bigger stores in our area, as I thought that was perhaps safer than the small ones in our town (to avoid close contact with people).

We really didn't have to worry about social distancing here.

I can't tell you how much I appreciated "business as usual" on this slow Sunday here at the grocery store. No one seems to be in panic mode about what's happening around us. They're just getting what they need.

We enjoyed another sweet evening at home with Caleb, Haley, Charlie and Jenna.

She's filling out every day and looking more like a baby than just a newborn!

Charlie spends all day bringing smiles to our faces, and reminding us that life as a child is so good!!

Dave met online with all of our country leaders tonight to talk about the steps JV is taking in light of the coronavirus. More will come out tomorrow about that.

In the meantime, it was sweet to see Jenna noticing the balloons that have been hanging in the kitchen for her, ever since she came home from the hospital!

As I finish writing this, the news we've been wondering about all day has just come in.

We are on full, nationwide quarantine until March 24th. It goes into effect at midnight tonight. What does this mean?
  • Anyone living in the Czech Republic is prohibited from traveling outside their residence except under certain circumstances - to travel to work, and to buy necessary food and supplies. 
  • We are to limit contact with other to the lowest degree possible, and use non-cash payments.
  • The sale of unwrapped bread is now restricted (it's common in grocery stores here to have self serve bread).
  • All accommodation services are prohibited - hotels, Air B-n-B's, etc.
  • Taxi service is suspended.
  • 2500 members of the Czech military and customs officers have been recalled to assist Czech police in ensuring the rules of quarantine are adhered to.

Today, sadly, was the record high for deaths by COVID-19 in the EU. Italy, Spain and France all saw high death rates today.

There are 253 cases here in the Czech Republic, but no deaths yet, praise the Lord. May it stay that way because of these drastic measures over the coming days.

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