Update from Italy: Day 15 of the Florentine Quarantine

Photo by PRATAP CHHETRI on Unsplash

Yesterday (Day 14) was a rough day in lockdown, plagued with anxiety and the jitters. Feeling helpless. Trapped. Stuck. At the mercy of pathogens and a global screeching halt. I walked at least 30 laps in the garden to arrive at 1000 steps.

Italy’s count today is 743, with 5,250 new cases. Spain is not far behind. They’re loading bodies onto an ice rink in Madrid. Meanwhile the radioactive yam insists that life will be ack to normal by Easter. Got news for you, Yam-in-Chief: it won’t be.

Wuhan is just now coming out of their lockdown; they went into lockdown on January 22. The idea that we in Italy might only be at the top of week three of ten is terrifying. There is no monitoring structure in place in Italy like there was in Wuhan. No mandatory reporting of temperatures, no neighborhood wardens checking in. We’re all just here, inside. Waiting. Watching. Worrying. Trying to breathe.

Yesterday was the first day I broke down and cried. I think I scared Jason. I have had three really bad days since the lockdown began, and yesterday was one of them. Suffice it to say I had an unnecessary exchange on social media with a person known well to me, openly coddling a fake news crier at the expense of well-documented global suffering and loss. Why, I sobbed against Jason, why do some people get to say this is not happening? It is happening, and it is all heartbreaking, and it is getting worse. Those who claim hoax and fake news are fortunate enough, in this singular moment, to be free of the impact zone. And yet the lack of compassion packs a shock wave of equal magnitude.

Every day it’s like a market bomb in multiple cities, a handful of massive plane wrecks, and it is going to just keep happening until Mother Nature or science wins it. Hint: Medicine is not going to win it. The pandemic will overwhelm hospitals globally. No one could have prepared for this, for 800 million people globally being hospitalized.

Everyone has not been in our pressure cooker, Jason murmured. They don’t know.

They don’t know. How can they not know? It’s been all over the news since January. Do we all not inhabit one planet? Do we all not eat, commute, fly, work, touch surfaces, and breathe all day long? What hubris induces people to claim that they do not believe it?

Please accept with this post my apologies for sounding frustrated. Day 15 of lockdown has not been an easy one.