Home Me picking mushrooms in Belarus in 1987, one year after the Chernobyl...

Me picking mushrooms in Belarus in 1987, one year after the Chernobyl meltdown in neighboring Ukraine

This photo brings back memories of my parents and I picking mushrooms just outside of Minsk when I was a little girl. However, I only have black and white photos. We left Russia in the spring of 1988.

Well, dosimeter became a necessary tool in our household. My uncle was a professor of physics at the Belarusian State University. So we were updated in what is going on. But most of people had no idea. As kids for a while we weren’t allowed to play in the rain or go to the forest for picking up berries or mushrooms. Adults still did wearing heavy military rain ponchos. Everything was checked with dosimeter before we could eat it. There were those who took advantage of the situation, selling stuff like wood and stolen things from radioactive zones. Territory was divided in clean and contaminated. However, a lot of it was corrupted. Like you have to fight to count as contaminated, cause then your district will get aid from state and overseas. Also people were migrating which was not a popular thing.

Chernobyl is just south of Belarus border and most clouds carrying radioactive particles went north after the explosion. At least that’s what they told us. I lived in Kyiv (south of Chernobyl) at the time. If you look at the map you can see a massive radioecological reserve at Belarus’ south border
I’m from south Poland any my mom told me about how they had to take iodide tablets in school when the news broke out. The doctors also believe that my grandmas cancer was caused by the incident.

Those giant mushrooms have absolutely nothing to do with the Chernobyl meltdown… but the meltdown affected the entire world in numerous ways, of course someone living near it was profoundly affected

My dad was stationed in Germany with me when chernobyl went off. I remember not being allowed outside and having to eat only canned food. That’s was in Germany. I could not imagine how the people coped while living closer.

We didn’t know anything. We went on with our normal lives for the first month. My parents only learned about the explosion from listening to American radio.
South-east of Germany:
We were not allowed to play outside for months.
Many playgrounds had their sand replaced.
Mushrooms were taboo for years and even ten years later, you had to check boar and deer meat with a dosimeter before it was allowed for consumption.

In Trøndelag, a council of Norway, it rained a lot of poisonous rain that came from Chernobyl. Luckily no one died from the rain, but it gave us some consequences for the farms, animals, and vegetation that can still be found to this day.

My parents lived in Romania (which was also communist) and they told me that no one told them. They were told to avoid going outside because the rays from the sun were more dangerous than normal and they were given iode pills at school because they were told that there wasn’t enough iode in the river’s water.

Obviously, children didn’t care the sun so they were playing all day long outside and eating the cropses.

Another story involving radiation was when USA used bullets with uranium in Serbia (or a country close, idk remember) and that summer, plants had holes in them and the crops were all small or dead.

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