Latvian Quarantine 2020

Latvian Quarantine 2020

Latvian Quarantine

March 2020

My birthday is in March. This doesn’t make me special because almost everyone I know has a birthday in March. But this year was special because I feel that my 48th birthday year celebration was the last big bang before the shit hit the fan.

Today, one of my friends in the States asked me what the quarantine was like in Latvia, so I have been inspired to write a quick post discussing the situation.

March 12th

For my birthday, I celebrated with Rita and a small group of ex-pats from the states. We had a beer tasting at a local bar called the Beer Fox or Callous Alus. We kind of joked about how this was the last night before the end of the world because the Latvian parliament was meeting at that very hour to discuss how to handle the Covid-19/Corona Virus situation.

Beer Tasting

Prior to this, I had been reading news updates from around the world. Now, I am sitting here drinking an Italian wine (who knows how much of this is left) and feeling like I noticed how real this situation was when Italy shut down. Then the NBA cancelled their season. It really hit home when Formula 1 announced that they would not race in Australia. Tom Hanks?! Wow… this is serious!

Latvia had about 20 cases at the beginning of the week, and the last count I saw was 71. The official list of quarantine rules can be seen here in English. The tall and short of it is that pretty much every event has been cancelled, any gatherings of 25 or more people are banned, we are supposed to maintain a social distance of 2 meters, and schools are out for a month.

At the beginning of this week, the borders were closed, and now there are some Latvians stranded in other countries who need to get home. This is kind of crazy.

Preparations

Because I have been at home resting and recovering from my back surgery, I feel that I am completely prepared for the Corona Quarantine. I have gotten used to sitting at home doing what I need to do, so I think I am ready for whatever comes next.

The good news is that I have a new job that allows me to work from home. We conducted interviews today using Zoom which worked very well. I highly recommend.

Max is home from school and getting caught up on all the anime in the world. Rita has also been working from home on her projects, so we are pretty much okay.

We did do a few bulk purchases of dry goods to avoid having to go to the market so often. But in all honesty, I think one of us has been to some supermarket every day for the past week. The outside world seems to be carrying on as best it can.

Rita and I went to Jurmala for a weekend birthday getaway. We were the only ones in the restaurant on Friday night, but there were some other guests having breakfast in the morning. The staff said that there were many cancellations.

I visited my physical therapist on Tuesday. She bumped up my appointment by 4 hours because so many people had cancelled.

AirBaltic announced layoffs, and I fear that this is just the tip of the iceberg. The entertainment, travel, and restaurant businesses are going to be hit very hard. I cannot help thinking about the avalanche of economic issues that are going to follow the quarantine.

Personally, I am avoiding public transportation. Luckily, the weather is becoming a bit more spring like, and I have been cleared to ride my bike again. It felt good to get out in the open air. I highly recommend it even if you are supposed to maintain social distance, get out and get some air!

The Animals

I see so many jokes about how happy our pets are to have us around. Coincidentally, Rita decided that we needed to have a dog, so now we have Jacques the cat and Hanna the dog. Hanna is adorable, but very energetic and passionate. I think it is good that we are at home because I believe she has the power and strength to tear apart the very fibers of this Art Nouveau building that we inhabit. As it is now, she and Jacques take their rage out sparring against one another. I think it is all in good fun.

Life Goes On

I am happy to wake up each morning to hear the trams roll by on Miera iela. I see the workers across the street fixing up the old house. There are people walking their dogs and driving their cars. It is not exactly the zombie apocalypse.

I know that the spread of the virus is an impending issue and we do not know how all of this will end, but I am hopeful that people have a way of figuring out how to move forward.

Max and I took a road trip to Saulkrasti and walked on the sunny beach on Sunday. We saw a lot of other people who had the same idea.

Home Office

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