Czechia Closed for Six Months

oberwiesenthal
Czech-German border at Oberwiesenthal.

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PRAGUE- Summer travelers thinking of vacationing in Europe (or elsewhere) this summer may want to reconsider in light of the Coronavirus epidemic that has put literally everything on hold.  This includes any travel to Czechia.

In response to the surge in cases in the country, the Czech government has closed down the entire country for six months, effective immediately. This is according to several German news sources, including MDR Aktuell and is based on a speech by Roman Prymula, the head of the Czech Crisis Management, on national TV. Czechia borders the German states of Saxony and Bavaria, as well as the countries of Poland, Austria and Slovakia.  Under the rule, travel into the Czechia is not allowed. Exceptions are commuters working in the country and lorry drivers wishing to deliver goods there. Non-Czech residents can leave the country but will not be allowed to re-enter.

Czechia has been on lockdown since the beginning of the month because of the outbreak.  This includes no travel unless it’s absolutely necessary and all residents are required to wear a mouth mask when outside. Failure to wear a mouth mask means a find of 800 Euros per offense.  At the time of this news release, 904 cases have been reported with no deaths reported. 22,129 cases were reported in Germany with 95 deaths, whereas Austria has 2649 cases with six fatalities. Slovakia has 178 cases.

Czechia became the second country to impose a travel ban of six or more months. On Friday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison issued an executive order banning all non-essential travel within and into Australia for six months. Like in Czechia, the ban may be extended should the outbreak not be stopped. It could lay a precedence that other countries may follow suit, given the current situation.

Analysts are predicting the Corona Virus to linger throughout the entire year, thus putting a halt to many key events, including sports and international conventions that attract thousands of visitors. Even experts in Germany are expecting the soccer season to not take place again for the rest of the year. Officials of the German Football Federation will discuss the future of the 2019/20 season next week.

 

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The Gambler: A Tribute to Kenny Rogers

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There are many cultural aspects that are typical of the US. Country music is one of them. It is not like our German Volksmusik because it talks about love Bavarian style. It’s a type of music where you need a guitar, a road, a set of cards and some love stories of women in the past and present, who put a stamp in the heart of a man, dressed up in a cowboy hat and riding a stallion or a horse.

We’ve had many country music singers come and go in the last 50 years or so, like Wynonna Judd, Glen Campbell and Garth Brooks. But one person left over 40 years of country music on the highway as he left to join the Lord.

Kenny Rogers died on 20 March, 2020 at the age of 81 years. He was a talented singer, who started his career in 1976 and retired in 2017, leaving behind 36 albums with 24 songs receiving national and international accolades. His second, not to mention hardly ingnorable second job was an actor, who made his debut in 1973 but last appeared in 2009. He will be remembered as the rustling cowboy, who was a fast shooter and stole the hearts and minds of many women in the Wild, Wild West.  His most famous role that will be remembered by many is the man who cleaned town, Brady Hawkes, in the Gambler series, five films that were released from 1980 until its last one in 1994. He also played Jack MacShayne in the MacShayne film series in 1994.

As mentioned before, Rogers left a legacy that spanned 40 years in the show business. Many of us grew up listening to his songs and watching him clean town in the Wild West. When asked what country music means to them, seven out of ten will mention Kenny Rogers in one form or another because of his style, his tender heart, and lastly, as a lifelong teacher.  When hearing the news of his passing, one song came to mind that best describes his legacy, which is The Gambler.  Watch the video and ask yourselves these two questions:

  1. What was meant by his lessons brought up in the video in the literal sense? Remember, the song has to do with Poker and other card games that were popular in the Wild West, as much as today.
  2. At the same time, what do these lessons mean in the moral and figurative sense? Each lesson does have an underlying meaning that we can take with.

 

To close with a quote: Life is like a game of cards. How lucky we are depends on what hand we have. Some of us will be lucky, some won’t. Some will keep trying, some won’t. Some will find ways to win, some will find ways to hinder it. And lastly, some will find ways to stop the immorals from ruining their lives, others will simply watch and learn, to be used when the next window of opportunity opens.

RIP, Gambler.

 

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