The Coronvirus has turned our world upside down and inside out, it is filled with incertezze. Being confined to home there is nothing urgent pulling me out of bed in the morning…I actually open my eyes and think to myself, “can I just stay here awhile and not think about what’s going on?” Since Mauro didn’t have to get up and go to work today we had time to cuddle and talk. We talked about how for our generation, this is probably the first time we’ve been asked to make a major sacrifice for the good of society and how uncertain everything feels right now. It is the uncertainty that makes me want to stay in bed a little longer, which I do…and then I get up and face the day.
That was yesterday, and while our world hasn’t exactly righted itself overnight, today feels a bit more optimistic. I came down with a sore throat a few days ago, plaque in my throat, very painful, no fever, but I still had to visit my doctor. I have been on antibiotics for a few days now and finally woke up without a sore throat. That was a good start.
Nobody else is up yet so I lay out my breakfast and open the New York Times app on my tablet where I find an article “on finding a moment of joy…. ” Italians, in this difficult time of quarantine, are finding a way to come together. Flash Mobs from isolation; open your window and sing, or just listen, it’s a really lovely concept. For the last few nights, I have been getting video clips from my city dwelling friends sharing the music around their homes. At noon yesterday, there was a national round of applause for all of the people working in healthcare. While I didn’t need the NY Times to confirm that this is really what’s happening in Italy, I am thrilled it’s getting some positive attention from the world. Italy seemed like nothing but a scapegoat last week, the Coronavirus is all our fault, blah blah blah. So why is this important to Italy?
Italy is not a very patriotic country. Italians first commitment is to their families, then to their towns or parishes, campanilismo is a term that essentially means loyal to your bell tower. The next step down in loyalty is to their regions, and since most Italians have no faith in their national government due to the high level of corruption and the sheer number of political parties that make it completely ineffectual…well, enough said. I often think second and third generation Italian Americans feel more “Italian” than the Italians. The only other time the people here seem to truly unite is for World Cup Soccer every four years. Sadly, we didn’t qualify for the last World Cup so this patriotic bond was even weaker than usual until the Coronavirus came along.
The second thing I did today that lifted my spirits, was listen to a video that was made by my friend and fellow tour guide, David Tordi, and his band from Orvieto, Bartender, L’Anno che Verrà. The band asked all their family and friends for help a few days ago by sending video clips of what people were doing to keep busy during the quarantine. If you watch carefully, my son, Emi is just past the 2 minute point playing with our neighbors daughters. In general, the amazing number of jokes and videos being shared by people is phenomenal and how the internet helps unite us in this case is wonderful. People’s creativity and ingenuity will never cease to amaze me so keep it coming Italy.
Every day seems to bring a new set of rules, some of which I am still unclear about. I don’t actually know if I am still allowed to go for a walk as long as it’s in an open space and we respect the “one meter” rule. A few days ago this was ok, but we were supposed to do everything alone. Now our parks are being closed, but I live at the edge of a village surrounded by countryside so can I go walk along the road? I get a message from our mayor, “don’t go out except for work, to buy necessities, or for medical visits (not related to the Coronavirus). Then I see an article in a newspaper, then another, then another…you can, you can’t, you can, you can’t…incertezze.
There are always times in life in which we feel uncertain. My rational mind knows there are many things beyond my control and right now that list is long. There is one thing that I am certain of however. This will end…not today, not tomorrow, but someday in what I hope is not the too distant future, we will all meet again in person and I for one, will be singing!