doric8, I had never heard that story.
It was frightening at first, because the Polish government never used the term "martial law;" they used "stan wojenny" which means "state of war." We were told of the imposition by a woman who dropped by our apartment that morning to drop something off, and announced when we opened the door: "We're at war!" It was scary and confusing for a while, especially since, if I remember correctly (and I may not) this was a Sunday morning, and the US Consulate in Poznań was closed. And we didn't have a phone to get in touch with anyone who might know what was going on. Once things became clear, it was handleable. In fact, it was a lot like what we're going through here, at least on a day to day level: everything was closed, our jobs disappeared (along with our paychecks,) there was pretty much nowhere to go. We could go for walks... And no social distancing, so we could still visit friends. A number of the Americans who were there at the time left; we chose to stay.
Oh, and no international phone calls, so I knew my parents were frantic. Evidently a few places were allowing calls to go through (from post offices) but I couldn't find one. When I went to the neighborhood post office to try, the clerks were saying "No international calls allowed." I called from the back of the line, with my American-accented Polish "But my mother will be worried," at which point everybody in line ahead of me urged the clerk to let me make my call. No luck, but I was touched.
"May you live in interesting times," indeed.