Born in Colombia, Carlos Acevedo moved to Prague, Czech Republic 12 years ago. To this day, he continues to be amazed at Czech society which has proven to be educated, empathetic and apparently effective in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.
Throughout Prague’s neighborhoods, he says, there is an alarm system that goes off once a month as a drill and is prepared at all times in case of emergency.
“[Czechs] are very disciplined,” said Acevedo, “they are prepared for critical situations.”
The people of Prague reacted smartly and calmly even though there was a common feeling of uncertainty about the outbreak among the Czechs. Now, as America ramps up, the Czech Republic is easing restrictions after a relatively minor COVID-19 outbreak.
Acevedo is studying at “Univerzita Karlova”, Charles University, where he is pursuing a master’s degree in education. While studying, he worked two jobs until he was asked to stop working one of them due to the outbreak. However, he goes into work for the other.
“When I go to work I have to wear a face mask and just go outside. I was nervous the first week and I thought to myself ‘I hop on a trolley, I hop on the Prague Metro, I can get [COVID-19].’ I was scared,” he shared.
Acevedo also told the story of Czechs putting in effort amid the outbreak.
“[Students] who do not have formal jobs yet volunteered to take care of the doctors’ kids,” he explained. “Others volunteered to make face masks, people donated fabric; many also volunteered to visit old people who are alone and even help them with their grocery shopping. There is a database to locate volunteers for this.”
Acevedo feels the Czech Republic’s reaction to the outbreak gives people hope, especially as some nearby nations have not had the same story to tell.
“Everyone saw what was happening in Italy and Spain,” he explained. “The people here were mindful. We just went inside.”