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Coffee? Martina_illustratesWhat a week it has been!  The COVID 19 pandemic has changed life for everyone. Last week, I wrote about COVID 19 and the situation in Italia.  Then the world became emotional watching videos of neighourhoods all over the country singing in solidarity from their balconies and windows.  There was also a collective round of applause at noon for frontline health care workers.  This uplifting show of resilience and community support was much needed. Rainbow paintings by bambini, and the positive messages #iorestoacasa and #andratuttobene spread positivity throughout the country in a show of mass cooperation and unity.

This week in Italia there is discouragement and low morale, with new cases going up daily.  Stats are updated here.  Things are getting worse instead of better. There are now more deaths than in China and the numbers keep rising, despite extreme social distancing measures.  We all saw the morbid images from Bergamo of a convoy of army vehicles transporting coffins elsewhere because there is no room for them.  I feel terrible when I think of all the people dying alone in ICU, without their families, not even given the dignity of a funeral.  It is natural to feel demoralized under the circumstances, and the mental health effects of quarantine and social distancing, but it is important to stay positive and hopeful.

What we all have to remember is that the COVID 19 virus can incubate for 14 days.  Knowing this, it makes sense that measures taken today will take 2 weeks to have an effect, and the increase in cases were mostly infected before the whole country was in quarantine. Now there are even stricter measures in place.

China has had 4 days with no new cases. We also need to remember they are on day 81 (since Jan 1st), while Italia is only at day 32 (Feb 20th there were 3 cases).  If all of this is correct, it should start getting better next week ……  if everyone stays home!  Movement of people will just keep feeding  the virus.

What I do not understand is why other countries are not learning from what is happening in Italia and acting sooner?  It is not if, but when. For example, the UK now has more cases than Italia did at the same point, but they only just closed bars yesterday!  Despite social distancing measures, we see videos of socially and morally irresponsible spring break partying in Florida, and a packed Bondi Beach in Sydney.  The only way to contain this thing is to STAY HOME!  Wake up and smell the cappuccino already! The super strict rules need to be stricter and need to be enforced.  This cartoon sent to me on Facebook shows what is needed to kick COVID 19.  The coronavirus says:  ‘I’m leaving, there is no one here’.

I hope the balcony singing resumes, because music is the universal language and it is so important for social and mental health. ForzaInsieme ce la faremo-together we will do it!  Stay strong everyone…and unless you are an essential service, STAY AT HOME!  Ciao, Cristina

Image: Coffee? used with permission by Martina Heiduczek IG @martina_illustrates

Coffee? Martina_illustrates

To lighten the mood I am attaching a hilarious video from Rimbamband of ‘Virus Corona’ (pronounced VEE∙roos Corona) to the tune of the 80’s hit My Sharona.  The lyrics are hilarious, but even if you don’t understand Italiano, it is still funny.