Day 15 – 16 of lock down in Italy

Day 15 of lock down in Italy: I've stopped checking the weather app. It doesn't matter much what's happening outside meteoroligically. But today it seemed much colder, and the largely ignored app advised it has in fact only been 9 degrees today. Apparently a cold snap swept across most of Italy.
Miss S completed editing her fairy and dragon fantasy novel chapter. Effectively, she's now finished Term 1 English for her Australian schooling. Unfortunately for her, she will skip the Easter holiday break and get stuck into Term 2 work in the coming days. I'd rather get ahead while we have the time just in case we ever get out of lock down and spend some time enjoying the outside world again.
In contrast Miss S and her father have endured a rather combative day with regards to her Italian schooling. Gigi finds himself in a difficult position of having to navigate the clumsy school portal, communicate with multiple teachers who are in turn ill equipped for these trying circumstances, and tutor Miss S in a range of completely new Maths, History and Geography material with limited resources...and ever depleting patience.
At one point after the meltdown and during the Cold War phase I took her out for a brisk walk around the back of the village, away from prying eyes. We didn't see a single soul. It was good to be outside. We strode out along the road that snakes along the cliff edge of the village, cats darting into doorways and under cars as we approached. The warmth of the sunlight greeted us briefly at several points. The view is amazing. It seems especially clear and picturesque with no pollution and a spring blue sky.
Late yesterday I received an email from a friend who works at Pax Lodge, one of the Girl Guide world centres. Miss S and I attended a Brownie camp at Pax Lodge in London in May last year. The email included a Coronovirus Isolation badge challenge. Miss S has chosen her challenges and today went about completing the first one....a treasure hunt. It was to be around the local community but in the circumstances she set it up all around our apartment, with little notes and clues hidden in every room. Gigi was the lucky winner and his help her with another challenge - making Coronavirus cookies.
I briefly video chatted with a friend from Gympie today, Bridget. It's been a year since we've seen our friends and family in Australia. Bridget and her lovely family are people that we genuinely miss.
In COVID-19 news the Australian government has implemented a broader range of restrictions. Although listening to the Prime Mininster today the messages of what is and isn't allowed was a bit mixed at times. Unlke in Russia where the message is to stay inside for 15 days or go to jail for 5 years. The Aussie PM has also announced that Australians are banned from leaving the country. Although I'm pretty sure it's almost impossible to get an international flight out anyway at this point. And you certainly wouldn't get on a cruise ship.
Italy recorded 743 deaths today, bringing the total deaths to double those in China. The Italian government has approved stiffer sanctions for those breaking lock down rules including fines of 4000 Euro and confiscation of vehicles.
The WHO is reporting an acceleration of cases in USA with it potentially becoming the new epicentre for COVID-19. The battle between doctors and economists in the Oval Office continues with Trump adament that normal life will go on and the economy will recover strongly, all with minimal disruption. His plan seems to be focused on the economy and not on minimising infections or deaths. I wonder how we'll look back at the way Trump and his adminstration handled the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
Britons have enjoyed their first day of virtual lock down with many ignoring the requiremnt to stay inside. Thailand has declared a state of emergency. The move will give the Thai government the power to "implement curfews, censor the media, disperse gatherings and allow deployment of military forces for enforcement." Maybe another military coup in Thailand will add to the COVID-19 drama.
In a common sense move, the International Olympic Committee has agreed to postpone the Olymipc Games to 2021. Finally.
In a warning to Millenials it is being reported that 1800 30-somethings have Coronavirus pneumonia in Bergamo in north Italy. It's not just making old people sick.
An ice rink in Madrid has been turned into a makeshift morgue as the death toll continues to rise. Spain is also in complete lock down.
Singapore Airline has grounded 96% of its fleet and is implementing cost cutting measures that affect 10 000 staff. Imagine all of those planes around the world that are now sitting at airports gathering dust waiting for this to pass.
Facebook has donated 720 00 mask that it had stockpiled. They had apparently stockpiled masks in case the wildfires returned. Really? 720 000?
So that was Tuesday 24th March in lock down in Sant'Agata de'Goti in southern Italy. May you abide by your government's recommendations, keep yourselves and your loved ones safe and well and understand that this is a unique opportunity for us to all stop and think for a bit.
Day 16 of lock down in Italy: It was cold again today with a maximum of 6 degrees celcius. The wind was rattling the French doors at the front of our apartment this morning, and we've had the heaters running for a good part of the day. The rain is making it feel even colder and some parts of southern italy have had snow and hail today. I'm sitting her in my thermals....because why not? They're comfy and a change from jeans and tracksuit pants.
This is the 15th day in a row when I haven't worn any make up. Standards of dress and presentation across Europe are slippng.
I've spent most of the day planning lessons for the rest of the week. I've used PowerPoint a lot for my work in Australia but this is certainly the most proficent I've ever been. I decided to watch Season 1 of 'The Crown' again, and worked on some mosaic art in my diary while I watched.
Miss S and Gigi tackled a good deal of Italian school work today. With my ear buds in I wasn't aware of any disagreements.
Miss S and I made meatballs for dinner. The problem is they are so good we end up eating them all. She's also learning how to make sugo (tomato sauce for pasta). She made herself ham and eggs on toast for breakfast, completely unsupervised this morning. It's pretty funny when she sits down to eat and spend the whole time congratulating herself on how delicious it is.
Miss Esther in Germany called for a video chat and we exchanged updates. The lock down in Germany isn't as severe as it is here in Italy so she gets out of the house to walk a friend's dog on a daily basis. Lucky her.
Italy has reported a COVID-9 death toll of 683, taking the total over 7 500. The infection rate is slowing but the high death rates continue to worry authorities, and my parents. I video chatted with them this morning. They are back in their own home now having returned from Tasmania. They are self quarantining for the next 14 days. I know they are concerned about us, but we are taking all of the necessary precautions and if there was a safe place to be in Italy at this moment this little village is it.
Italy celebrated the life and cultural works of Dante for the first time ever today with the inaugural Dante's Day. All of the events and festivities of course have been cancelled but the celebrations went online instead. I'm sure Dante would never have imagined that such a day would kick off in the middle of a global pandemic and be entirely online.
The 31st doctor and 2 more dentists have died in Italy with 5 000 health workers now infected. This is a huge problem for the Italian health care system. The family of one doctor who died are threatening to sue the Italian state for compensation. Surely, that is a legal battle that will take decades to get through the courts in this country. One can only imagine how devastinig it is for the families.
Civil Protection Department head and Coronavirus Emergency Commissioner Angelo Borrelli was unable to attend the daily press conference today as he's suffering from a fever. He's awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.
In other good news "up to 6,000 of Italy's jail inmates could be let out to house arrest under a new government plan to ease prison overcrowding,..15 inmates had tested positive for the coronavirus". Will they all be tracked I hear you ask? Well, less than half will be tracked, because Italy has only 2,600 electronic bracelets.
In Spain the death toll has now surpassed that of China with more than 3 400 fatalities. Spain is importing 500 million masks, 5.5 million fast test kits and 950 ventilators from China.
In the US there are more than 55 000 infections and 800 deaths. The government has passed a $2 trillion package to support the economy. Government debt around the world is skyrocketing. It makes you wonder who is bank rolling all of these COVID-19 bail out packages and at what future cost?
A growing list of celebrities and athlestes are testing positive with Prince Charles, the 71 year old heir to the British throne, testing positive today. Imagine if COVID-19 toppled him before he had a chance to sit in the big chair after waiting in the wings all these years.
India, the world's largest democracy, has 450 reported cases. Despite the low numbers compared to other nations, India has gone into complete lock down for 21 days. With a population of 1.4 billion peole, India has the second-largest number of people living in extreme poverty. A challenging time for the Indian government and its people as they try to contain the spread of the virus.
Authorities in Egypt have taken the suspension of flights and the lack of tourists as an opportunity to sterilise the pyramids. In Singapore there has been panic buying of condoms, Not because Singaporeans are trying to prevent pregnancies but because they are using them as an alternative to gloves. Police in Nairobi have used gas to control a mini riot as market holders refused to shut down a food market.
So that wraps up our third Wednesday at home in lock down.

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