The Dog Days of Quarantine1 min read

 In Central Europe, COVID-19, Culture, Photography
Because of the pandemic, the government of Poland has set rigid restrictions. We are only allowed to make necessary outings, such as short walks for mental health, or trips to the grocer or pharmacy. Each person must keep a minimum distance of 2 meters apart from each other, even family members. Schools, parks, boulevards and forests are closed; rubber gloves are mandatory in shops and, beginning this Thursday, wearing masks will be mandatory when stepping outdoors. In Krakow, police cars go on patrol every day, blaring out in big speakers that, ‘We are in a pandemic, please stay at home!’

Normally I live for the small moments in life; I’m fuelled by smiles from bypassers, energised by the strangeness of strangers, and intrigued by people’s gestures; it’s all like a piece of real theatre as soon as I walk out the door.

Now this has all changed out of fear, or possibly out of respect for the importance of social distancing; eye contact among humans has become a rare sight, whatever the restrictions.

Luckily, dogs have become a recent substitute for sympathetic looks and street-theatre.

Krakow dogs are special to me; they have always seemed like such characters. By look alone they are often mixed breeds, rescue dogs from shelters as many Polish citizens are fond animal lovers.

My own desire for connection, attention, hope, personal freedom & playfulness – I see it all in the dogs and they make me feel a tiny bit more human in this new reality.

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