Citizens of the Czech Republic organized a “Farewell Party” for the coronavirus in Prague at the historic Charles Bridge following the ease of lockdown restrictions in the country.
Over a thousand people gathered at the banquet set up with a 500-metre-long (1,640 ft) table along the 600-year-old iconic Charles Bridge in the center of Prague. The guests were encouraged to bring food and drinks from their home, swap and share the items with their neighbors.
The “symbolic” farewell party was organized by a local café owner to mark ‘the end of coronavirus crisis in the country’. He believes society must overcome their fear, otherwise, they are bound to face an economic crisis and a depression harder than that of COVID-19. “We want to celebrate the end of the coronavirus crisis by letting people meet and show they are not afraid to meet, that they are not afraid to take a piece of a sandwich from their neighbour,” the owner told a news agency.
Czechs sang, danced and socialized with each other in close proximity, without retaining the norms of social distancing or wearing a mask. Local musicians performed for the thousands assembled who continued to enjoy the massive dinner party.
According to a statement from the organizer, the party mandated prior reservation which was broadcasted via a Facebook page. Within seconds, the allocated limited number of seats were fully occupied. “Anyone can come, they just have to bring something. Maybe bake a cake, prepare canapes, bring a rose in a vase. Or just buy grapes in the evening. It is an act of trust that everyone will bring something,” it added.
They claimed that the party was possible owing to the lack of tourist in Prague, who typically permeated the bridge, as almost all the countries have shut their international borders. “We are experiencing a unique situation where Charles Bridge is not crowded with people. Maybe we won’t experience it ever again. Together with you, we want to symbolically celebrate the farewell to the past difficult period of the coronavirus crisis,” the statement mentioned.
The event took place in all its grandeur despite the repeated warning from the World Health Organization (WHO). A week before the party, officials from WHO declared that the ‘worst is yet to come’. Many countries have strikingly flattened the curve, hoping to end the pandemic. However, WHO claims “the hard reality is this is not even close to being over.”
The Czech Republic is gradually returning to normalcy. It was one of the first countries in Europe to impose a nation-wide lockdown and seal their international borders. Last month, the country lifted its mandatory indoor face mask rule barring areas such as the Prague underground, medical establishments and in the north-eastern Moravian-Silesian region, where a rise in infections had been reported.
Restaurants, pubs, and bars have eased their restrictions and are now allowed to serve people. Museums, zoos, swimming pools, and castles have also been sanctioned to open without limiting the number of visitors.
The Czech Republic has reported 13,612 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 355 deaths.
Feature Image Via Canva