What do you do when your wife’s had a baby, but there’s a lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic and no public transport running?
A 22-year-old Romanian man learned on Thursday that his wife had given birth at a hospital in the northeastern city of Iasi.
Eager to see his wife and his newborn son, Sergiu Ion Ciobotariu, who earns 30 lei ($6 a) a day as a labourer, was stuck. Minibuses and trams weren’t running, he didn’t have a car or the money for a taxi. So, after one false start on a bicycle (police turned him back), he mounted his horse and set off.
First he put on a surgical mask and filled in the obligatory form that people are required to carry with them during the lockdown justifying the reason for his journey.
Police stopped him several times during his ride to the hospital.
The first police he encountered “felt sorry for me, so they let me go. Then local police stopped me and they laughed at me and made fun of me. Another team stopped me, and they were nice to me. They didn’t fine me… they understood I had an emergency and didn’t have any other option, “ he told Buna Ziua Iasi.
Spokeswoman for Iasi county police, Ioana Balea, told Mediafax news agency that Ciobotariu’s papers were in order, but it was illegal to ride the horse in the city of 300,000.
Seeing the situation, however, the police let him off with a written warning.
The son is a joy, he says, but also an extra mouth to feed on top of his two daughters.
“It’s hard with three children; the horse is my only source of income, and I work with it every day,” he told Buna Ziua Iasi.
The moral of the story? The virus may have disrupted life as we know it, but the human heart is stronger.