Covid-19 Journal #12: May 9, 2020

I am still healthy and looking for the positive aspects of quarantine. Spending lots of time at home with my wife and children is just incredible. We are getting closer to one another and I think we will all look back at this time as special. My children\ are teenagers and friends are becoming more important, but being stuck at home with us has been such a gift. Today for example, I helped Owen with filling in recommendation forms and we are talking about universities and careers, Ocean and I went for a bike ride this afternoon along the Ankhor Canal and Oliver was such a firecracker last night, helping us with the TIS Zoom Quiz Night. He is so funny!

The merchants of the Alay Bazaar (market) are taking hygeinic measures to stop the spread of the virus through the handling of fruits and vegetables.

The Special Commission of the Government is loosening restrictions slowly. People can drive from 7:00 – 10:00 AM and 5:00 – 8:00 PM without the special permits. They declared Tashkent a “yellow” zone so more stores and businesses are opening but not all of them. They cancelled May 9 “Victory in Europe” day celebrations here, which is a big deal in the former Soviet Republics. After a hailstorm last night, they did have fireworks downtown. I could see them on the far horizon from our second floor balcony.

Schools are still closed, mass gatherings of over 15 people are banned, you still have to wear a mask and there are police everywhere through the city. Ocean and I got our temperature checked before we went into the Makro supermarket and they gave us plastic gloves to wear.

Korzinka, a big supermarket chain, is enforcing physical distance laws and limiting the number of people in their stores at one time.

My early morning bicycle rides have been so therapeutic for me. Before around 7:30 AM, I have the city to myself. I’ve been able to access formerly busy highways and cross intersections easily, that before the quarantine, I never would have been able to. The 30 kilometers of exertion daily have calmed by psyche.

Normally this highway would have high traffic, but mostly open roads

My bike rides are also allowing me to discover more areas of the city. I had to stop and photograph the Suzuk Ota Mosque and Mausoleum Complex . The government recently restored the 14th century complex that was built for madrassa founder Suzuk Ota, who in the 13th century, founded a school and mosque that focused on teaching woodworking and other crafts. It is a huge area with parks, school buildings, etc.

Entrance to the Suzuk Ota Complex

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