How to Help in Prague:
The current global crisis of the coronavirus epidemic has rocked and shocked the world leaving many people wondering how to help others. As COVID-19 grew in its reach and spread from one nation to another, we have all had our lives affected in one way or another. In Prague, the Czech Ministry of Health began to implement restrictions of movement and the Czech government closed many borders. Many of us are now working from home, teachers are teaching their students virtually, and any socializing and communication must be done via video sessions and phone calls.
In this strange and uneasy time, many of us feel helpless since we cannot go out to help our friends and families. But there are many ways how to help our loved ones and our neighbors in this period of time without leaving our house or apartment.
So we’ve put together a list of ways which anyone can help out in their communities, whether here in Prague or from across the world. And if you need some ideas about how to spend your time during this quarantine in Prague, check out some fun ideas here!
1. Stay positive!
There is nothing common about what we are all going through right now. We are all making sacrifices and changes to our lives which can be difficult. The very best thing we can all do is to be positive and try to not let any negative feelings take over our mood or our lives. Our positive attitudes can affect those around us and help to keep us all optimistic. Good feelings means good vibes, keep the happiness alive!
2. Follow the government’s guidelines:
This is the best way that you can help right now. Currently the Czech Republic Ministry of Health, operating out of Prague, in coordination with the government has mandated that all people stay home as much as they can, except for any necessary trips out of the home for work (that cannot be done at home) and food shopping. Other new rules that have come into effect recently include the mandate that all people wear face masks when out on the street, only those 65+ shop at grocery stores between 10 am and 12 pm daily and no travel in or out of the Czech Republic (with the exception of particular people and jobs). And remember that a high level of personal hygiene is essential and necessary throughout this period of time.
3. Make Face Masks
Speaking of face masks, as it is now mandatory for every individual to wear a face mask (or a covering over their mouth and nose) at all times while out in public, the need for them has increased even more so. Despite this fact, the supply remains very low and it is difficult to find face masks so that people who need to leave their houses for work or shopping are able to obey the rules.
Therefore, considering making a face mask for yourself and possibly whoever you are living with so as to decrease the need to go out and buy them.
And if you are able to, you can help even more by making masks for others in Prague, Brno, Ostrava and everywhere in between. This site: damerousky.cz is connecting those who are able to make face masks with those that have the materials to make them and then with those who can help to distribute them to people and places in short supply of masks.
4. Reach out to a friend/family member
While some of you might be spending more time with your family members and flatmates, there are many people here in Prague and the Czech Republic who live alone and depend on leaving their houses daily in order to socialize and have human interactions. This might include your coworker or good friend or your grandparent or elderly neighborhood. Living alone might be ideal if you go to work every day, meet with old friends each afternoon for a coffee or receive the grandkids in house each Sunday for a large family lunch.
But now without that ability to leave our houses whenever we wish, many of those people would most likely appreciate an extra phone call or message asking how they are doing. If you have a grandparent that lives alone, give them a call every day or so to check in and see that they have everything they need. And for your friend without a roommate, arrange a hangout or meetup via a video chat and share a glass of wine and catch up as you would on a normal Friday night.
5. Don’t hoard items
Hoarding and stockpiling materials and products like masks, hand sanitizer or toilet paper has been a global problem in the last month. As people began to panic they flooded the stores and online shops, buying up toilet paper and medical supplies which are essential for medical professionals as well as many citizens as well. Many hospitals do not have the face masks, gowns and gloves that they need in order to safely attend to their patients so they must, unfortunately, turn them down. If doctors do not have the necessary materials to wear or to offer to patients, they cannot administer the coronavirus tests.
So by not hoarding these materials, you will be helping the medical community to attend to many more people who are at risk or already have the coronavirus.
6. Support local businesses:
While many local businesses have closed up shop for the time being, there are many which are still operating, even if you cannot go to enjoy your meal or beer on site. Consider making an online food or beverage order from your favorite local restaurant or cafe. This will keep the local restaurants busy and allow them to pay their staff plus it will allow services like Wolt and UberEats to continue employing their delivery men and women.
Also think about helping some of the smaller breweries who have tanks full of delicious Czech beer that will soon go to waste if not drunk soon. The Chříč Brewery is located in the northern Pilsen region about half way between Prague and Pilsen. Their website is reporting that they have a tap room full of beer but of course no patrons. Consider making an order by phone or email and they will deliver some of their delicious beer. There is even free delivery within the Prague/Pilsen area with a minimum purchase of one case of beer or cider.
7. Make a donation to a local non-profit
There are many organizations that are in need of donations, volunteers and advocates. Slevomat, everyone’s favorite coupon site, allows donors to make 50 CZK donations to making masks here.
The humanitarian organization ADRA has launched a public fundraising project aimed at providing assistance to seniors and people who have been isolated by the current quarantine. All volunteers are carefully selected, insured and trained to minimize the risk of transmission of disease.
This is a site from the magistrate which registers volunteers who want to help the elderly or people in need. Currently they are saying they have enough volunteers to fulfill the demand, but encourage new registrations too. Remember, the current coronavirus epidemic could go on for several weeks or potentially a few months. So while people are very active now, the supply could wane down in the next several weeks but the demand will remain, so keep helping.
Pomahame sousedum -Join with Czech film actor, director and screenwriter, Jiří Mádl with a local initiative: Pomahame sousedum On the site, you can download a leaflet to print out and distribute among your neighborhood offering help with shopping and other errands for those who are unable to go out.
Another excellent initiative is coming from Moravia. t’s not in Prague yet, but hopefully it will arrive soon! In the town of Vyškov, Foodex, a vending machine company, decided to start selling more useful products such as masks and hand sanitizer out of their vending machines. All of the proceeds will be donated to charities, so you can get those needed supplies plus make a donation!
Here you can find a list of some organizations where you can help out some of your neighbors and fellow citizens. These listings include everything from how to help in the Prague area and throughout much of the Czech Republic by walking dogs, volunteering with various organizations, printing 3-D masks.
8. Continue monthly subscriptions
If you’re like many people, you have some monthly subscriptions or payments: the gym, a house cleaner, perhaps a class you’re taking. But now, because many of us have been told to stay at home except for essential trips, we are unable to use some of these services. We can’t go to the gym, we shouldn’t ask our house cleaners to leave their houses and therefore we might feel that we shouldn’t have to continue paying for those monthly or weekly payments. However, we can all help by continuing to pay for these services despite the fact that we won’t be using them for a few weeks. This will help our personal trainer, our child’s tutor or our cleaning woman to continue paying their monthly bills. Hopefully our current situation will not last too long and by helping each other, we can all get through this together.
9. Purchase merchandise from your favorite artist, musician, or band
Another industry that is suffering a lot in Prague right now is the entertainment business. Prague is very lucky to have so many venues where musicians, painters, and photographers can showcase their latest masterpieces. While we can’t go to their openings, their gallery or their performance, there are still ways how to help your favorite artist. Many musicians and bands sell merchandise such as shirts, posters and mugs that can really help them earn some extra money even if they aren’t able to perform or sell directly to the public.
10. Pre-purchase tickets for theater, cinema or shows
Living in Prague means that you’re sure to spend a few nights a month in a kino or theater. With all of these businesses currently closed due to government mandates, that means a lot of them can’t employ their workers. But if you can pay in advance for upcoming shows that will help with some of the cash flow issues that these companies are experiencing.