Monday, November 30, 2020

Exams Postponed Again

I finally got the news today that my Czech citizenship and language exams, that I was supposed to take on Saturday, have been postponed again due to the new state of emergency getting extended.  I had a feeling that this would happen but it wasn't made official until this morning. 

I've already waited an extra seven months since they were postponed the first time.

The new tests are supposed to take place maybe in January or February 2021.  I don't think that's going to happen.  In January there will be another surge following Christmas and New Year's so maybe late February at the earliest.

I was told that priority will be given to those who have had their exams postponed.  I better get extra priority since my exams have been postponed twice.

I paid for the exams back in November 2019.  I was told that if I want I can get a refund.  However, a refund will cause me to forfeit my priority whenever the exams are actually offered.  Also, next year the cost of the exams will increase so I declined the refund option.

Update:  My new exam date is 10.4.2021.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

12th Annual Czechsgiving

The 12th annual Brno Czechsgiving was much smaller than in previous years.  Certainly smaller than last year's fiesta.  Due to COVID-19 and the new state of emergency it just wasn't meant to be this year.

The smallest Turkey ever


On the bright side the cooking didn't take as long.  Last year's bird was 11 kg (24 lbs) while this year I just ordered a turkey breast that was only 600 g (1,3 lb) since it was just going to be for me. Yet I still ended up with leftovers.

Claudia ordered food from a restaurant in Friedrichshagen and her parents come over for dinner.  We then got on Skype and had a virtual Thanksgiving.  

Basically like one of the recent virtual pub nights but with dinner.

It was nice to keep the tradition alive but I did miss all of the madness that goes along with a flat full of people all getting together to celebrate the holiday.  Hopefully we can all get together again next year. 

I have a feeling that it's going be a virtual Christmas as well this year.

Friday, November 20, 2020

PES

The Ministry of Health is now using a colour-coded scale, from 0-100, that corresponds to the current COVID-19 threat level.  Protiepidemický systém, PES, is the anti-epidemic system.  "Pes" is the Czech word for "dog" so there are 5 different coloured dogs.

Green is level 1 (0-20) and equals a state of caution.  

The epidemic is under control, the number of infected people int he entire population is low, the epidemic is not growing significantly, testing and tracing of contacts is effective, low risk of community spread of the disease.

Yellow is level 2 (21-40) and equals a state of attention.

Local outbreaks of the disease appear, which require immediate anti-epidemic intervention with the protection of vulnerable groups, high emphasis on maximum effectiveness of testing and tracing of contacts.

Orange is level 3 (41-60) and equals an emergency.

The spread of the epidemic is growing, the pressure on the health care system is increased, the situation requires intensive monitoring of the number of infected and hospitalised, high emphasis on the maximum effectiveness of testing and tracing of contacts, high risk of community spread of the disease.

Red is level 4 (61-75) and equals a serious condition.

The number of infected people in the population is high, there ism a significant immediate risk of further deterioration of the situation, tracing of contacts is limited, community spread of the disease is taking place.

Purple is level 5 (76-100) and equals a critical condition.

The total capacity of the hospital inpatient and intensive care system is beginning to approach its limit, the number of infected people in the population is high, including the intervention of vulnerable groups population, tracing of contacts is significantly limited, community spread of the disease is taking place.

There are restrictions at each level.  For example, restaurants are closed and only take-out windows open at levels 4 and 5.

The current PES level is published daily on the Ministry of Health website.  The website shows the score for the entire country and for each district.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Another Virtual Pub Night

Thanks to the new state of emergency our regular pub night isn't possible.  So Friday was time for another virtual meet-up.  

I'm starting to lose it a bit I think with all of this virtual-ness.  All of my work meetings are virtual, all of my Czech classes are virtual, and we're back to pub night being virtual.  Even Czechsgiving this year will be virtual.  

As maddening as all of this is, I'm thankful that I'm healthy and that work is fine.  Busy but fine.  All of my friends and family are healthy too.  But I am so looking forward to life getting back to normal.  Whatever that will look like in the future.

Friday, November 6, 2020

eRouška

Another tool to help stop the spread of COVID-19 is eRouška.  It's a mobile application that notifies you anonymously of risky encounters with infected people.



If an eRouška user tests positive for COVID-19 then the public health officer gives him or her a verification SMS code that the user will send anonymously through the application.  People who were closer than 2 metres apart and longer than for 15 minutes will be notified by eRouška to get tested.

The application doesn't collect any personal data or your location.  The application is free and it's available for Apple and Android devices.

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

My Absentee Ballot Finally Arrived

Yesterday, 3 November was the U.S. Presidential election.  Due to the postal delays because of COVID-19 my absentee ballot finally arrived. Today.  It arrived...today.  The day after the election.

Thankfully I was able to submit a write-in ballot and it made it back to Atlanta in time to be counted.