Covid-19 Journal #3 (March 22, 2020)

We had another day of shelter-in-place and we limited our movements. Nadia and the kids did not leave the home and our teenagers, would be perfectly happy in their rooms for most of the day. I think they will grow tired of the isolation, but we’ll see.

I did go to school to run around the campus. I rode my bicycle to school and got a flat tire on the way. I ended up running until my knees started feeling creaky (8 kilometers). I am trying to get more exercise during this quarantine. It is a good stress reliever and builds my immune system.

“Don’t be a pig; don’t throw trash” A sign in my mahalla

Things around the city are slowing down as the government is adding restrictions. As of today, public transportation is stopped. Two days ago the government closed the borders to flights, trains and buses, although, as I write this morning, I did hear a plane land or take off. Many of the embassies and international businesses are arranging repatriation of expats this week.

A portable bread oven in my neighborhood

Slowing down has made me appreciate the little things more. While walking my bike back home, I noticed this portable bread oven (above). Bread is hugely important to Uzbeks and a baker is an honored profession here. Many homes have ovens and you see them selling non, a round, flat bread. Even the supermarkets have bread ovens as you can see in the video below. Wheat is originally from south eastern Turkey and the Uzbeks being a Turkic peoples, probably have been baking bread on the grasslands and deserts of Central Asia for a long time.

Yesterday it was the vernal equinox (March 21) and it is the biggest holiday celebration for the Uzbeks. They have celebrated Navruz for over 2,000 years and have large celebrations, concerts, etc. around the city. Unfortunately due to Covid-19, these were cancelled by the government. In keeping with the official beginning of spring, I photographed a blossom on a tree at our school.

Happy Navruz!

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