Documentary

COVID Kids

Czech Republic.

COVID-19 has impacted all generations – from the elderly to children. I decided to ask Czech children if they knew what COVID was, and how they were doing during the pandemic and restrictions. Here is what I discovered.

Klarka Pospisilova (7) from Dobrichovice. What is COVID? COVID is a disease that infects people, it’s very, very tiny. If children catch it, nothing will happen to them. But if they infect old people they die. COVID is terrible, it’s a terrible disease, the sick can’t breathe, and because of that they can really die. How has the COVID lock-down affected you? We were just on the computer. After homework Grandma took my brother and me for walks. She has two dogs. I was also sick, I had a cold and cough. But it wasn’t COVID. One boy in the class was positive, but I didn’t go to school that day when they found out. I was lucky. They tested me three times in the nostril and one time from saliva. What was learning online from home like? I didn’t like it. It was awful. I couldn’t be in class with my friends. I had yoga classes on computer too.
Lenka Filipsova (8) from Dobrichovice: What is COVID? It’s just a mini flu – well, not really, COVID is evil, it’s invisible, it’s bacteria. Nobody caught it in our home. My dad bought nano-protective face masks and later respirators. How has the COVID lock-down affected you? I didn’t see my girlfriends, that was hard for me. At the school we see each other, we can play during breaks. I did see my friends only on Teams on-line. You played online but it’s not same as if we were outside together. We have a dog called Charlie, we used to walk him during lockdown. Dad was very strict, he was probably scared of COVID. You see, you can’t go to our house even now. My sister Eliska had a birthday in February, we couldn’t celebrate it that time, a big birthday party for her with her friends will be at the end of April. She will be six year old. What was learning online from home like? It was hard because I was spending too much time on computer. I had classes of Czech, math, English and Prvouka (Fundaments of civ
Jenik (Jan) Vlcek (6) from Pilsen: What is COVID? COVID is an ugly bacteria, because of it we have to wear protective face masks so we don’t get infected. When I breathe, the face mask gets wet and is really yucky. How has the COVID lock-down affected you? It was OK, I did not have to wear a face mask at home. I played with my sister. Her name is Eva, she is five years old. We also used to go for walks, mostly where no one was around. And we looked at many books at home – books with photos or pictures. I saw my friends on the computer. What was learning online from home like? School was fine, we played games, games that teach memory.
Anicka (Anna) Koderova (7) from Pilsen: What is COVID? COVID is a bad disease, it kills people, COVID didn’t kill me, I wore a face mask. How has the COVID lock-down affected you? I couldn’t visit Grandpa, Grandpa is very nice. I couldn’t go shopping with Dad and I didn’t go to school. What was learning online from home like? I had to learn through the computer, and I didn’t like it. I didn’t see my friends. I also had gymnastics and design through the computer. We learned the letters, my dad and mom studied with me. We started school at nine. There were three groups, the best ones were those who started at ten. The worst were those who started at eight, they had to get up early.
Adamek (Adam) Stulik (10) from Ujezd nad Lesy: What is COVID? It’s a disease that was spread by bats in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. There are different COVIDs like African, Belgian and English. They are transmitted through the air. How has the COVID lock-down affected you? The lock-down was good and bad. The good thing was that we didn’t have to get up early for school in the morning. It was also good because we had a garden so we could go out. Also Grandpa and Grandmother live upstairs in our house, so we could visit them. The bad things were that we couldn’t practice football and I did not see my friends. What was learning online from home like? Learning online was good, but the bad part was that I was not with my classmates or with my friends. I had classes on the Internet for an hour and a half.
Amos (10) Glier from Pilsen: What is COVID? It is a microscopic disease, it is dangerous. Many people who got the Corona-virus died. How has the COVID lock-down affected you? I didn’t even notice the first wave, and I think I went to school. I noticed the second wave because distance learning began. What was learning online from home like? Being taught online was harder than studying in school. We were given more assignments; it was difficult to work in groups on-line. At school we helped each other with homework, during lock-down I had to do homework myself.
Agnes (8) Glierova from Pilsen: What is COVID? Coronavirus is a virus that infects people and is spreads through the air. How has the COVID lock-down affected you? I didn’t like it at all, it was terrible, I couldn’t breathe at all with a face mask. I didn’t like it because I couldn’t see my friends “live”. What was learning online from home like? Distance learning started from 9:00 to 10:30. I could wake up at half past eight, normally, if I went to school I would had to get up at half past six in the morning. The school started at 8:00.
Tomas Kral (8) from Pilsen. What is COVID? COVID is a nasty disease, I didn’t have it, I honestly wore a protective face mask. How has the COVID lock-down affected you? Lockdown was bad, I missed school, I missed my friends even though they came to me from time to time, twice a week, and we studied together. Their mothers went to work and so they were to our house. What was learning online from home like? I didn’t like online school at all, I was online for two hours a day, those two hours seemed endless to me, I feel like I didn’t learn anything.
Vojta Kral (7) from Pilsen. What is COVID? I don’t know what it is. I think it’s some bullshit that’s not good at all. It bothered me that I had to wear a protective face mask. How has the COVID lock-down affected you? I didn’t go to school and I didn’t see my friends. My brother saw them twice a week, they studied at our home together. But I only saw my friends online. What was learning online from home like? I was online for an hour every day. I liked it because the teacher couldn’t call me to the blackboard.
Matous Vaculik (12) from Pilsen. What is COVID? COVID is a Sars-19, it looks like a crown under a microscope. There are more different COVIDs, but this one is really deadly. I probably didn’t get COVID, but I lost my taste for a few days. How has the COVID lock-down affected you? Certainly the lockdown was not positive. What was learning online from home like? I was not affected by the distance learning, I already had online education before COVID at Březová school.

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Iva Zimova

Iva Zimova, Czech and Canadian born in 1956

. I first developed my photographic eye in Montreal, where I studied photography at Dawson College. But Dawson Collage teaches commercial photography, and in any case I found that I was more comfortable wandering the streets with my camera than being locked up in a studio.

 Montreal’s streets were not enough for me, however, so I started to travel to different places. I became resolved to document the lives of people who are persecuted or neglected. In 1998, during the war in Kosovo, I encountered the Czech NGO, People in Need, and since then I have contributed to their efforts with my work. It’s very important for me to be involved in the environment that I am photographing. To be accepted by the people I photograph and to become one of them is a part of what I do. This takes time, but it allows me to be a privileged witness of social occasions and rituals that would otherwise be off-limits: births, baptisms, spiritual ceremonies, weddings and funerals. I always carry my cameras (one digital and one film camera) with me in my backpack. The pack becomes a part of my body and if I don't have it on me, I feel like I'm missing something. To have my cameras with me at all times gives me the opportunity to photograph anything that I find interesting, at anytime. I am represented by Panos Pictures.”

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