Monday, 22 March will mark exactly one year since the death of the first person in the Czech Republic from COVID-19. A 95-year-old man in the Bulovka hospital in Prague was the first to succumb to the disease here.
On the occasion of that sad anniversary, the church bells of all the religious organizations involved in the “Minute of Silence” initiative will ring on Monday, 22 March at noon.
According to the event’s organizers, it has been organized in response to the fact that the Czech public debate about the pandemic has primarily been conceived of as an organizational or technical discussion.
“The human dimension of the spread of this disease and its destructive influence on our society has been quite forgotten. The grief and the death have, therefore, just remained statistics; it is as if we have forgotten that death on this scale impacts the state of our society as a whole and its ability to cope with the current situation,” the initiators of the event say in their announcement.
The event is the initiative of the human rights activist Jana Hradílková, the environmental activist and journalist who has been reporting on the pandemic Jan Kašpárek, and former communist-era dissident and political prisoner Petr Pospíchal.
“Every seven minutes and five seconds one of us dies of coronavirus. The data from recent days, during which the number of deaths rose, are actually that tragic. More deaths will show up in the statistics on excess deaths that will be calculated with a delay of several weeks,” Pospíchal says on the website of the initiative.
As of 22 March, 24,667 people have died in the Czech Republic alone during the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 2 700 000 people worldwide have died during the pandemic during the course of more than a year.