The coronavirus pandemic is already changing our lives. Many everyday activities have moved into the virtual world. This applies especially to our social life but increasingly work and learning as well. Psychologists underline that the key to getting over this difficult time is to stay in touch and not to get into isolation. Vít Pohanka describes how he deals with the problem with his foreign students at the University of Pardubice.
As the Czech Republic continues its struggle to contain the growing number of coronavirus infections, some have pointed to the risks associated with the thousands of drug users and homeless people living on the streets. These may not only be at high risk from the virus, but, if not isolated, could help spread COVID-19 virus in their towns and cities.
The highly successful Czech-born illustrator and author Petr Sís has been resident in New York for several decades. As the city comes under intense pressure from the coronavirus pandemic, he discusses his latest projects and more in this interview from the Czech Center New York series Artists That Never Give Up in the City That Never Sleeps.
Over 4,000 Czechs stranded around the world by the coronavirus crisis have been repatriated this month, many on special government planes. The latest such flight will leave from Chicago on Tuesday evening, taking 170 Czech citizens in difficult situations to Prague. I discussed the special flight and related issues with Zdeněk Beránek, deputy chief of mission at the Czech Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The Czech civic initiative Covid19CZ was formed just a few weeks ago to try to harness technological, medical and engineering know-how to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus and treat patients in critical condition. The volunteer project now looks set to deliver open-sourced ventilators to Prague hospitals in a matter of days.
With New York reeling from the coronavirus pandemic, the city’s Czech Center is now reaching the public online. As part of this new focus, it has created a series of interviews with well-known Czech figures in the city entitled Artists That Never Give Up in the City That Never Sleeps – and those interviews will also be appearing on Radio Prague International’s website in the coming days. I discussed the project with Czech Center New York director Miroslav Konvalina.
To counter the economic impact of the coronavirus, the Czech National Bank has twice this month cut interest rates, which now stand at 1 percent. But it has balked at quantitative easing – even though central bank governor Jiří Rusnok says the most pessimistic economic forecasts are the most realistic.
The economy should be put in neutral gear and people should take a break. That is the key recommendation of Czech economist Tomáš Sedláček for the coming weeks. He is the author of the much-celebrated bestseller Economics of Good and Evil, was the youngest advisor to the former Czech President Václav Havel and is a member of several prestigious international institutions. (Tomáš Sedláček spoke to Vít Pohanka about the impact the crisis has already had on our use of digital technology):
Czech researchers develop top-grade respirator for 3D printing
“I am taking it minute by minute” – Foreigners in the Czech Republic on quarantine and being cut off from their families
Why Chinese masks destined for Italy were seized (not ‘stolen’) by Czech authorities
A mask-tree as a form of solidarity
Coronavirus: Czech scientists focus on role proteins play in spreading COVID-19