How did the Coronavirus that has been around for years get to this pandemic level? Let’s get one thing clear – this post is not about the facts of this health concern. There are many official sites you can obtain current and factual information. We wouldn’t even try to discuss that part of this subject. This is about our friends and Gary and I. This is about how this is affecting people we know, care about and love.
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First Facts About Italy and the Coronavirus…
Back on March 9th, 2020 Italian Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte held a press conference announcing a national emergency imposing drastic measures to help contain the spread of the Coronavirus. He declared Italy would be a protected area and explained, “We are aware of how difficult it is to change our habits. But unfortunately, there is no time. The numbers tell us of important growth in infections, hospitalizations in intensive care and deaths. Our habits must be changed now. We must all give up something for the good of Italy, and we must do it immediately. We will take stronger measures to contain the advance of the coronavirus as much as possible and to protect the health of all citizens.”
Italy is no longer considered a “red zone” but is now been declared a protected zone or “zona protetta” with direction to the entire country to “stay home” in an attempt to contain the continued spread of the virus. The government decree was signed on March 8th and will stay in effect until April 3rd. At that time, the situation will be reassessed. Certain exceptions apply for work and the necessity for visits to the Farmacia, grocery shopping, or health emergencies.
I have been in contact with several of our friends throughout Italy. They all express that they and their families are doing well but it is difficult. The streets are empty and eerie. The only places open for business are Farmacias and grocery stores. I just can’t wrap my head around this or how it must feel being confined to your home. Our friends are in Rome, Florence, and Prato. My heart goes out to them but knowing they are alright provides some relief for both Gary and me.
We have good friends here in Arizona, Pat and Eugene, that was supposed to leave last week, before Italy’s lockdown. It was a difficult decision for them to cancel their entire trip, losing a good deal of money. I feel for them because it takes a great deal of time and planning to create your ideal itinerary. We all know the feeling of excitement just prior to a trip and I can only imagine their disappointment in having to cancel.
I just saw on Facebook that our friend Barb who was staying in Rome and just joined by two family members has cut her trip short and is on her way back home to the United States. My heart breaks for her as I recall her excitement about attending language classes.
She posted this on Facebook and I have her permission to share it. Her words moved me and when we texted and I told her my feelings, she replied: “People need to have faith in their fellow humans.” I completely agree with her.
I have been scanning Facebook these last few days and I have to say that I am disappointed in the nasty comments people have toward one another about this subject. People are arguing about facts and statistics and getting their information from the media. I hope it stops. Medical doctors and scientists have the correct information, seek out their information and guidance. I really would like to continue as I have strong feelings about this but I refuse to get political on our blog. Enough said.
This virus has changed all our lives. Gary and I are scheduled to leave for Arezzo on April 30th – 42 days from today’s post. Are we going to be able to go? Will this virus be under control by then? We have questions, like every other traveler, how our flight will be handled by American Airlines. If Italy is still on lockdown, will they credit our already purchased flight? We will hopefully find some answers in the next week or two.
We are already mentally on our next journey and adventure. If Italy gets the virus under control and opens its borders we will indeed continue with our plans. As we suggest to everyone we help with travel, always have a ‘Plan B.” What will ours be? We are still working that out.
Coronavirus in the United States
Here in Arizona, the large stores such as Costco, Sams Club, and Walmart have empty shelves of toilet paper, paper towels, Lysol and Clorox products. I happen to need some hand sanitizer, not due to the Coronavirus and went to Bath and Body Works. They were sold out the day I went.
I saw an article in the Washington Post on March 11th that they declared that 1,000 cases have been reported in the United States at that time. I shake my head. Let’s put this into perspective, which I feel the media has lost a grip on, and realize there are over 330 million people living in the States. As my grandchildren always say, “Really?”
There are cases reported here in Arizona. We are being sensible and careful, washing our hands as we always have. Why is washing hands a new concept to some? I find this most disturbing. Perhaps if this now becomes the ‘norm’ we might have better control of the flu and the common cold?
Silver Lining News
I have actually found some heartwarming news among the sadness of the Coronavirus. I’m sure there is more good news out there but I thought I’d share the two things I found recently:
- Giorgio Armani is donating nearly $1.5 million to fight the Coronavirus
- The Florentine is reporting the Uffizi has creatively thought of a way to visit the museum instantly. How amazing! Check out this site and follow their social media accounts for daily inspiration. Uffizi
Gary and I both are hopeful and pray for an end to this pandemic before it claims more lives. Lives especially of the elderly who have yet to teach and share with so much with us. We all must make some sacrifices and they will all be different depending on your location in the world. Be smart and safe.