Day 12 of lock down in Italy

Day 12 of lock down in Italy: It's Saturday and the sun was hidden behind clouds for the first time in ages today. It's 7:45pm and I'm so tired I'm sure I could lie down and go straight to sleep.

This morning's joy was a video conference with two of my AFS besties that didn't go to Thailand on exchange with me Kylie-Ann and Antonia aka KA and Tone. They listened to me complain and regale boring stories of teaching Skype English lessons and it was good to laugh.

I then ventured out with a shopping list and backpack heading to one of the little supermarkets out of the historical centre. I strode all the way there only to find a group of masked Italians at the front. Claiming my place in a 'queue' of locals is one of my least favourite things to do, especially in these circumstances. So, I abandoned that plan and walked around the block and across the bridge back into the historical centre.

Alfonso, one of the local policemen, eyed me as he drove past in the cop car with the loud speakers blaring telling everyone to stay inside their homes.

Before I left home I'd downloaded the new version of the self certification form which now includes a statement that you haven't tested positive for COVID-19.

I spoke to my parents as I headed into the historical centre. They are leaving Tasmania tomorrow.

I bought some fruit and veg from the fruit and veg producers, and pasta, bocconcini and UHT milk at the local salumeria. The staff seemed less gloomy today.

Back at home the tension escalated as we are trying to find a balance between my desire to have some sort of routine for Miss S at this time and Gigi's more relaxed approach. It's inevitable that we are going to have to work through a number of new issues as we both find ourselves parenting Miss S 24 hours a day.

I took my frustrations out on the kitchen. I cleaned the whole kitchen today. Fridge, cupboards, drawers, stove, spice rack, bins. Nothing was safe. The floors got swept (how is that even when we don't go outside for days at a time there is still crap to be swept up) and laundry got done.

I think one of the keys for me is to keep busy, doing things that feel productive. I've got a list of things I want to do while we wait for freedom, but up until now I've only had time to focus on teaching, home schooling and doing house stuff. Today I started to tackle the 'One Drive filing' task on my list. Imagine how much better my life will be when my One Drive is completely organised and clutter free!

Milan has sent in the army to help control the lock down as the city continues to experience the spreading of COVID-19. Let's just hope that they don't need to do the same anywhere else. We've also received news that the lock down is definitely going to extend beyond the original 3 April date.

Fifty-nine nuns have tested positive for COVID-19 in two convents in or near Rome. Apparently 19 out of 21 nuns in one convent have teste positive. So much for being cloistered away from the world.

Three of Sydney's most popular beaches, including the famous Bondi, has closed as restrictions were introduced as the public ignore the requirement to have less than 500 people at a public gathering. New York has closed down with reports of more than 10 000 infections in the city. Papua New Guinea has reported its first infection.

Italy reported 793 COVID-19 related deaths today bringing the total to 4825. A village in northern Italy, Vo, in the centre of the pandemic epicentre (the so called red zone) had its first infection about days of no infections. This is a town that tested all of its 3 300 residents early on and isolated all of those who tested positive at home, even if they had no symptoms. That meant 3% of the population, some 89 people, were in isolation. They purposely kept them away from hospitals to avoid infecting doctors, nurses and other patients. Two weeks later they were all re-tested and only 0.14% of residents tested positive. A mini experiment that surely was a success.

The director-general of WHO said 'test, test, test,' and yet many countries are still applying strict criteria to who can and cannot be tested. South Korea is routinely testing 20 000 people a day. Friends in Australia who are displaying the symptoms have been told they're not eligible to be tested. This of course means that there is no way that the stats are anywhere near accurate. Of course we all know that 75% of all stats are made up!

Australia has officially closed its borders to everyone except for citizens and permanent residents returning home.

Gigi has been home schooling Miss S all afternoon with maths lessons and Italians lessons via WhatsApp. They are playing chess as I run a bath for her. The aim is to get her body and brain to sleep before 11pm.

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