Day 30 of lockdown in Italy: So, we've reached 30. Another perfect Wednesday spent inside, isolated from our fellow villagers and local community.
Miss S has ploughed through a lot of school work today, both Italian and Australian. She is now up to date with the assigned portal workload and ready to have 6 days off from enduring lessons delivered through the mobile phone portals while 12 other students forget to mute their microphones and yell at their brothers to get out of the room.
She and I spent some time doing Easter craft this afternoon. Painting, mosaics, crafting bunnies and listening the Robbie William's Knebworth concert. Gigi was holed up in the bedroom complaining about my awesome choice of music.
A phone catch up with Antonia distracted me from housework today, although yesterday saw laundry and floors get some attention. Tomorrow it's bathrooms and a trip to the greengrocer to buy fruit and veg again. I spend a lot of time picking things up and putting things away, like we're expecting visitors at any moment. I think a part of my brain recognises that there's little excuse for a messy house right now.
It's been a generally good day. Our spirits are reasonable, Gigi continues to develop our escape plan and I'm just trying not to think to much about how long we'll be in lock down.
I did read yesterday that 1/3 of Italian families don't own a PC or a tablet. Isn't that extraordinary for a first world country? I don't know how people manage without a laptop and a printer quite frankly. The printer was one of the first things I insisted we buy when we landed in Italy in February last year.
Italian authorities and experts are predicting that phase 2 of the Coronavirus emergency will involve 6-8 months. According to ansa.it "phase two is what has been called the intermediate period the country will go through when the current stringent lockdown measures are eased but some restrictions will stay in place, meaning normal life has not yet resumed."
Oh, brother. They are also saying it will be 'summer without travel'. I at least hope we can travel internally in Italy, but only time will tell.
The UK recorded 938 COVID-19 deaths in a day, while Itay's daily death rate has dropped to 542. The USA has surpassed 400 000 cases with more than 13 000 deaths.
Italy has increased its coronavirus stimulus spending package to 750 Billion Euro, which is nearly half of its annual GDP. Half of that is going to prop up export and a great portion of the rest to supporting businesses and guaranteeing loans. Forgive me for wailing in the corner as millions of Italians, including us, continue to fall through the cracks and don't receive any financial support at all. It has to be said that a lot of that 75o billion Euro will be redirected into hands that do not need it or allocated to pockets that are already well padded with government or organised crime related funds.
In a different approach, the Austalian government has announced another COVID-19 financial package, this time to subsidise the wages of six million people for at least six months. The plan is to "pay employees at any company that has seen a 30 percent reduction in revenues AUD 1500 fortnight." Maybe the idea of a universal basic wage will hang around after all of this is over.
The EU seems to be unable to come to a decision or compromise about a virus economic rescue package. It would seem that now is the tme to really play like a team, but instead it seems to be every minister for thesmelves.
Politicians around the world are being busted for breaking lockdown and stay at home restrictions as they have lunches with friends and officials, head off to their holiday homes and sneak off for weekends away.
The world is facing a devastating condom shortage with factories shuttered, including the major contraceptive producers in Malaysia. They expect to produce 200 million fewer condoms over the current four week period. That's a lot of potential unwanted pregnancies in the future if people don't go all Cahtolic and try abstinence or the withdrawal (not recommended) method.
It really doesn't feel like it's almost Easter. Without all of the commercial hype and paraphenalia it just doesn't seem like Easter. Although there is a ridiculously big Easter egg hiding out in my wardrobe. I think we'll have to do a lot of video chats over the next few days to up the Easter vibe and try to forget that our freedom has been taken away and our lives are at risk if we get too close to the wrong person. That's Wednesday, day 30.
Day 29 of lockdown in Italy: We're into our fourth week. Today was a busy day. Busy days are better as they leave less time for ruminating on ifs, buts and maybes.
Gigi and I both taught today and Miss S focused on both lots of schooling. She and I made a Sicilian orange cake with a mandarin glaze using oranges that were in the freezer from last summer. Without a food processor or a blender we did it all old school with a bowl and wooden spoon. It's good even with the recipe tweaks including wholemeal flour instead of plain, and banana flavouried yoghurt instead of plain yoghurt because that's all we had in the fridge.
I've never done so much baking in my whole life. I always leave the birthday cake debacle for Miss S up to Gigi each year, but it's kind of fun experimenting and there is no shortage of helpers when it comes to mixing and eating.
Miss S and I went for a walk at 7pm, winding our way through the laneways, catching a glimpse of the setting sun. She then cooked dinner, with supervison and coaching from chef Gigi. She is working on her Life Skills badge for Girl Guides in Australia and cooking dinner for the family is one of the challenges. She decided on rigatoni with a tomato sauce and melted cheese through it. I'm so happy that she's interested in food and cooking.
Easter crafting has commenced. We were inspired by Jacinta Arden's recent interview where she said that the Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy are considered essential services so they will continue to work. However, they may not manage to get to every house this year due to Coronavirus because they do have to also look after their own families. She suggested that children draw Easter eggs to put up in their windows to display for Easter, in the spirit of the teddy bears people have been putting up for children to spot on their daily walks around the neighbourhood.
It's being reported that COVVID-19 deaths have now exceeded the 9/11 deaths in New York.
The UN is reporting that 195 million full time jobs could be lost in three months and that 2.7 billion works, or about 81% of the global workforce are being impacted by the partial or complete lockdown measures. That's a lot of people who are going to be struggling, especially when you think about how many people actually live hand to mouth, and how many don't have any savings to fall back on.
The Australian COVID-19 death toll is at 48. Australia is being recognised as one of the safest places to be at the moment. Home feels a very long, long way away for us.
Our big news is that Gigi managed to buy some masks from the local pharmacy. Nine masks for 18 Euro. That’s AUD3.50 each. I don't know that they cost elsewhere but when they cost about 20 cents to manufacture, and the pharmacist provides evidence that he buys each packed for 17 Euro someone in the middle is making a killing. Pun not intended.
It was another beautiful, blue sky, perfect weather kind of day. I feel a stab of resentment that we can't be out enjoying, exploring, making memories that involve the blue sky, open space, mountains, historical sites and even pizza.
Keep remembering, this too shall pass. And the pizzerias will once again reopen and stoke up those wood fired ovens.