'The indomitable warmth and humour of the Italian people will find a way to shine through coronavirus lockdown'
On the first day of Italy’s lockdown I stepped out of my house in Tuscany to go for a walk. It’s been six months since I moved here, and there was something distinctly different in the way a neighbour said hello to me. Prolonged eye contact; a certain solidarity that we were in this together.
三级成人视频They asked how my Italian classes were going. I explained in broken dialect that my teacher lives across a municipality border to me - there will be no more lessons for a while.
三级成人视频The measures now introduced allow us to leave the house only to work, buy food, or seek medical care. We must keep one metre away from anyone who isn't an immediate family member.
A few days later, my husband came back from the supermarket announcing that we’d have to take turns from now on. This is usually his chore alone, something he enjoys, but the new rule that allows only two customers inside at the same time has resulted in long queues. It has sucked the joy out of shopping.
My turn to venture out, and people in my path were crossing the road to avoid me. I know we’re all supposed to be keeping a wide distance apart but it was a shock to the system nonetheless. It’s lonely. My only close friends live across a municipality border too, and we aren’t meant to socialise anyway. I keep wondering about the effects this isolation will have on people’s health.
Then I come across a white sheet with a rainbow painted on it, and the words, ‘tutto andra bene三级成人视频’ – ‘everything will be okay.’ The humanity of this gesture reached out from behind closed doors and touched me.
Outside the Carrefour, an eerie line of people stood metres apart, their faces wrapped in scarves or behind masks. More silence, until an elderly lady living above the supermarket flung open her window and shouted down, ''is this distance good enough?''
三级成人视频Everyone laughed. Another sign that the indomitable warmth and humour of the Italian people will find a way to shine through.
On the walk home I came across an elderly man who approached to start a conversation, as is the custom here. “How tranquil it is,” he mused, not keeping the prescribed one metre distance to me. “Are you going to the piazza?” This struck me as a funny thing to say. In normal times, it’s where locals gather to converse. For a moment we were in an illicit pretence that nothing had changed, until I remembered my social responsibility to step away.
In these times of social distancing, life is being managed more and more online, but I find myself resisting it. Instead I step outside my house in search of these tiny moments of connection each day. The ‘buongiornos’ and the ‘buonaseras’ feel like small treasures.
There are instances under lockdown when I feel like I am losing my sanity, but they are only fleeting. Most of the time, meandering through olive groves under the Tuscan sun, I am hopeful in the knowledge that I can make the best of this. Take the opportunity to improve my Italian, buy a daily newspaper, and enjoy the retreat.
Today an Italian friend messaged me to apologise on behalf of her country for what it has become, so soon after I chose it to be my new home. There is nothing to be sorry for, of course. There’s nowhere in the world I’d rather be isolated than here in this nation, with its big, bold heart.