Lithuania is surviving COVID-19 — in style

Vilnius, Lithuania. (Photo credit: Kevin Dooley / Flickr Creative Commons)
Vilnius, Lithuania. (Photo credit: Kevin Dooley / Flickr Creative Commons)

As of May 2020, the Baltic nation of Lithuania has 2.9 million citizens, less than 1,500 coronavirus cases, around 50 deaths — and an excess of style, culture and good eating.

The country has distinguished itself by being able to combine the best practices of pandemic mitigation — social distancing, for example — with innovative measures that allow the citizenry to enjoy modified forms of pre-pandemic social culture.

They may even save the national economy along the way.

“Mask Fashon Week

With pre-pandemic fashion events out, Vilnius turned to the modelling of masks. Specifically, masks used to protect Lithuanians from the virus.

Thus, “Mask Fashion Week” was born.

The medium is the billboard, and 21 of the best designs are on display in this historic capital.

One even has the model Sandra Bruzaite wearing a medieval beaked mask, once used by plague doctors.

Going al fresco

Vilnius is to become a “vast open-air cafe” in a bold move to rescue the economy, based largely on gastronomy and tourism.

Maintaining stringent health measures is tricky, since restaurants don’t have the space to keep people apart inside.

Thus, the idea of letting eating establishments spill into the streets — all over the streets — was born.

Table will be spaced two meters apart, masks will be mandatory, and shops, which will also be allowed to open, will be limited to a single customer at a time.

But who will have the cash to eat out?

Local officials have that covered, as well — they gave hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of restaurant vouchers to health workers as a token of appreciation.

Movies on the runway

With Lithuania’s international airport all but shut down, what better use for it than as a drive-in movie theater?

150 cars arrived for the first flick, Parasite, the class war comedy-shocker from South Korean director Bong Joon Ho.

The movie was the unexpected Best Picture winner at the 2020 Academy Awards, and screened on the airport runway as part of the Vilnius International Film Festival.

Cars maintained two meters of distance from each other, and no more than two people were allowed per vehicle.

The festival will continue at the airport with films from every continent.

Sources: Reuters, The Guardian, Euro News

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