...I don’t think I have ever been in a situation in my life where I LITERALLY have no words. My mother, Patricia, told me that there were quite a few of you who were worried or concerned about me. This got her thinking and she suggested that I blog about the this emotionally and mentally exhausting moment in time. I was quite hesitant at first. The reason being, that I, myself, don’t even know what I’m thinking. So, I thought to myself “if I don’t even know how to arrange my thoughts in my own head, how the hell am I supposed to do that for all of you to read?!”
I thought - “FU** IT! I’m not alone in this confusion. Maybe my experiences and thoughts can help some of you muster through this trying time. “
So with this…
It is officially day 3 of quarantine. As many of you know, on March 10, 2020 the entire country of Italy was declared a “zona protetta,” aka “protected zone.” This meaning, we were all advised to STAY AT HOME as much as possible until April 3rd. Just one day later, on March 11th, the Presidente del Consiglio dei Ministri, Giuseppe Conte, issued further national restrictions that EVERY individual must respect! The movement of people is now prohibited unless proven for necessity, such as food, work, walking your dog and reasons for health. All other movements must be declared and recorded with a certificate that is available online. Obviously, if internet or printer is unavailable to you, if stopped, one will be given to you. HOWEVER, the reason must be legitimate and absolutely necessary. If declared not to be, or if found violating any of the national restrictions, a hefty fine or three months in prison are the consequence.
Here is a list of the restrictions at the moment…..
All museums are closed until April 3rd, as well as libraries and state archives.
Weddings and funerals are cancelled, as well as theaters, movie theaters and churches. Prayer is allowed in places of worship with a distance of one meter and any gathering of people is forbidden.
Schools are closed until April 3rd, and lessons will be taught remotely or online.
Congresses, conventions, medical meetings, demonstrations, events, pubs (those without kitchens), discos and dance schools, game rooms etc are cancelled or banned for the time being.
Avoid all unnecessary travel. This does not include those who cannot work from home, grabbing groceries, and/or other necessities (such as taking the dog out).
Grocery shopping is permitted, only one member per family can go at a time.
All shops/stores are closed except for supermarkets, pharmacies, tabacchi and newsstands.
The following are suspended: educational trips, exchange initiatives, guided tours and educational outings planned by educational institutions of all levels.
Visitors of patients must stay out of the emergency room except in particular cases.
Restrictions on access to hospices, rehabilitation facilities (these measures have already been taken in recent days but may now be exacerbated).
Employers are asked to encourage the use of ordinary holidays and leave.
Those who are quarantined or whom have tested positive for the virus cannot by any means leave their home.
It will be possible to order food at home, but those who make the delivery must maintain the distance of one meter and ensure the hygiene and health regulations for packaging and transport.
Banks and public offices are open but you must keep a distance of one meter from the employees.
You can take the train and get on a plane if you have a verified/justified reason for travel.
It is forbidden to visit friends and family unless there are serious reasons.
Dinners and parties are also forbidden at home as well as any kind of gathering both indoors and outdoors.
As you can all see, THIS IS NO JOKE! I don’t mean to scare you all, but with so much UNCERTAINTY about what exactly is going on, there is one thing that is for certain - this is in fact NO JOKE, and you should start taking precautions.
It was just a few days ago that I was frantically trying to change my ticket out. I originally had it for the 28th of March. Seeing all the very rapid changes that were happening day to day, my family and I thought it would be best for me to leave as soon as possible. But, with rules and restrictions literally changing by the hour, we officially decided it would be best that I remain here in my house where I am safe, rather than risk traveling in all this chaos. It is not that I was/am necessarily worried about the virus itself, but more about exposing myself to such uncertainty when traveling internationally.
That’s just it - there is so much uncertainty and so much confusion. My one piece of advice is to STOP watching and listening to ALL the media out there about the virus. Instead, rely only on those that are credible - for example, the CDC or the W.H.O., etc. If you believe everything you hear or see on the news and social media, you literally will freak yourself out. Yes, you need to be concerned. Yes, you need to take this very seriously, but you must be calm and obtain clarity of the mind. We have reached where we are today because of PANIC and LACK OF RESPONSIBILITY, not to mention ARROGANCE and IGNORANCE. You will not believe what I have heard or seen in the beginning weeks of this crisis. I have never been so disgusted with some of the unfathomable things that people have done or said. In part, it is because of these impulsive and unwise actions that the virus has spread so rapidly and we are now where we are!
Those of you in the States, please begin to prepare. Grab necessary supplies, medicine – do anything it is you need to be comfortable and calm when the situation reaches you. While chaos is still somewhat at bay, take all the necessary precautions to avoid panic. The States has the ability to confront this situation differently than we have. The Italian Government has been praised so far with trying to get this situation under control. But, if some circumstances that we have experienced could be avoided for you, that would be ideal. You must all learn from the crisis of China and Italy and work together; it is the only way to get this under control.
PLEASE DO NOT BUY MASKS IF NOT NECESSARY. Please please please respect this request. As you know, the supply for masks is running low due to people frantically purchasing them. You need them for the sick, for the doctors and nurses, and for all those who are confronting this virus on a day to day basis. Don’t be stupid and risk sinking the medical supplies you will need to fight this thing.
Please be devotedly thankful for all those on the medical staff. I assure you this is surely a REAL war for them, and they are doing everything in their power to help those in need. They are risking their health for helping you all. REMEMBER THIS! Be thankful also to those who will volunteer when in need!
Just be smart, remain calm, respect the restrictions, and remain united. It is the only way the world can win against this pandemic.
You will be tired from worry; you will tired from boredom; you will be tired physically and mentally, but remember to make the best of the situation. Surround yourself with your loved ones (in a healthy way!) and stay positive.
There are much worse things that can happen to us than being locked up in your house for a few days.