Day 14 of lock down in Italy: EDITED* We've survived two weeks. Child is adjusting to the situation. Marriage currently in tact. Conversations with friends and family around the world have been sustaining our social needs.
We're okay, and certainly glad to be in a warm, comfortable apartment with easy access to food, banks and pharmacies, in a country where it seems most people are abiding by the restrictions.
Compared to a lot of people we are very fortunate even if we are in the country currently experiencing the worst of the COVID-19. Although it looks like Italy has some strong competition coming up from behind.
Today was a BIG day of schooling for Miss S. We ploughed through spelling, she wrote a devilish tongue twister and corrected apostrophes and grammar. Her first draft of the fantasy chapter about the fairy and the dragon is done and the editing has commenced. A lively lesson with her Italian teacher via WhatsApp and then Italian history lessons with Dad.
Gigi went on an excursion to Caserta, the nearest city, but certainly outside of our local community boundaries. The language school we work for has kindly lent me a laptop, so he dropped into the school to collect it. Our boss was gloved and masked and only a few words were exchanged before he was back in the car heading to the LIDL (aka ALDI).
LIDL is the only local place where we can buy a lot of the food we like to eat as part of Gigi's vegetarian diet. Over the last two days I've written out a list of things we'll need for the next few weeks. It's the longest shopping list I've ever written in Italy. He dutifully returned home with at least two of everything on the list and once again we can cook dishes other than pasta.
He went past three road blocks but wasn't pulled over. He arrived home tired and relieved to be back inside the historical village. These are strange times. This is a man who never baulks at stepping outside of his comfort zone, and has confronted authority figures routinely as a matter of principle. He went out with disposable gloves and a scarf in place of a mask ready to confront the uneasy world that is now Italy.
Suspicion and mistrust are the overriding sentiment out on the street in Italy. Anyone and everyone could potentially be contaminated. I just can't imagine the stress and exhaustion supermarket staff are experiencing with reduced staff levels, a legal requirement to be open certain hours, increased hygience practices and that pervading sense of wariness of every customer and delivery person they deal with.
Of course, it must be 1000 times worse inside hospitals, doctors clinics and pharmacies, where people actually infected with COVID-19 must turn up unannounced looking for medical assistance.
That baby girl in Denmark has finally arrived. Can't 'wait to meet her. You know you're getting old when the exchange students you hosted and supported are now having babies.
Italy has lost 48 doctors to COVID-19 and there are over 4800 health workers infected. Cuba is flying 50 doctors to assist Italy with COVID-19. The death rate in Italy has slowed with 601 people dying from COVID-19 in Italy today. The lockdown is slowing the spread but the current aim is to ensure the south of Italy doesn't experience the same infection rates as those seen in the north. Only time will tell what impact the mass exodus from the north to the south as the north locked down will have.
I wrote a few days ago that the Chinese were providing a shipment of face masks to Italy. Apparently 110 000 of those masks were seized by Czech authorities in a sting operation on traffickers of medical goods. The Czech authorities have now loaded 110 000 masks and 43 stranded Italian tourists onto a bus headed for Rome. You couldn't make this stuff up.
The Civil Aviation Authority in Italy has approved the use of drones to help police monitor the movements of citizens. The authorization is in place until April 3...I wonder how many people will notice if it's extended indefinitely?
Boris Johnson seems to have come to his senses and is locking down the UK. I suspect a lot of Brits will flout the restirctions and things will get a lot worse before they get any better. I read that BJ's father is applying for French citizenship. It's no wonder considering the Brexit mess he and his supporters have created.
The Australian government is throwing $83b into the economy to bolster the impact of COVID-19. Over two million Australian are said to be unemployed with 88 000 losing their jobs over the last few days. In truly terrifying news, the NRL - National Rugby League - is suspending the 2020 season and Australian athletes will not be attending the Tokyo Olympics. Imagine all of those Australians in lock down, on their couches with no sport to watch on TV.
Dubai, the world's busiest international airport, is shut down for two weeks to all flights barring emergency evacuations and cargo lfights. NYC has been recognised as the epicentre for the crisis in the USA while Donald Trump is already congratulating its citizens on their COVID-19 response efforts.
My home state of Queensland is closing its borders from Wednesday. We watch and wonder when schools will finally be closed down completely. Teachers are threatening to strike in light of the mixed messages and apparent lack of concernn for teacher and student health and safety....*A teacher friend Su has told me this is actually incorrect. Here's what actually happened "The fake news about the strike was the result of a journalist misinterpreting the Queensland Teachers Union president’s answer to a question."
Back at home it was colder again today. I'm back in a woollen jumper and the heaters were on a lot earlier this evening.
Tomorrow our working week starts up again with our Skype English lessons. I don't know how long it will last but at least we still have some work and a well stocked pantry and fridge.