Covid-19: Reporting From The Red Zone

31.03.20 (LATEST UPDATE): Hey World, not today..

There are rumours floating around that Italy could be extending until the end of April, maybe even into May. Dean and I calculated the time we had been in the house, and we are actually in our 4th week of isolation. That’s a long time come to think of it. To not know a certain end can be scary, but we have learned to take each day as it comes. If there is nothing we can do about it, there is no sense in taking time to sit in worry. 

Yesterday I went to the supermarket wearing a mask, it was so tight and uncomfortable and I only had to wear it for 30 minutes. I took it off and my face was red marked and sore. As I was shopping I looked around at the security who stand outside the doors all day letting one in and one out, I looked at the super market workers, some who looked like volunteers, they were stacking shelf after shelf. These people were working tirelessly to ensure the community remained calm and well fed. Not to mention the thousands of doctors and nurses who go to work every day, putting their own health on the line to save the loved ones of others. And then there are the angels who have left retirement to continue to save lives.

I saw a post on Instagram, where Dr. Giampiero Giron has ended his retirement at age 85! He has thrown himself back into work to help the Covid-19 patients here in Italy. He said “They asked for my help, and I said yes. When you decide to be a doctor in life, you get involved. I swore an oath. Afraid of getting sick? Then it is better not to be a doctor.” (information found via @good).

These times are so uncertain, and I know I have found myself feeling very helpless. I am positive most days, as there really is so much good to be taken from these times. But then there are days like today where it is a more of a struggle.

I am learning that it is okay to not make the most of every day. This morning I woke up with a tummy bug, nothing serious but Dean brought me a hot water bottle and Wheetabix in bed. As I lay in bed like a rolly polly pudding I said to Dean I just didn’t feel like getting out of bed today. I felt guilty for it, but he reminded me that some days are okay to rest and reset. I have been so focused on keeping busy in a struggle to manage my own wellbeing, I haven’t had a chance to really just veg out. So today is the day, a vegetable day.

And here I am 4 hours later still in my jammies having watched Three Men and a baby, drank two coffees listening to Band Camino and writing to you guys. 

Tomorrow I think I’ll get glam just because it’s Wednesday and just because I can. Might even surprise Dean and wear a nice bra, change from my comfy undies into something sexy. Who knows, the possibilities are endless. Called your loved ones. Stay safe, we’ll all be okay.

23.03.20:

We are over two weeks in lockdown at our home in Italy. I am seeing the rest of the world following in suit and many either panicking or not taking the new rules seriously. Here in Italy if the rules are not followed there are arrests, fines and imprisonment, there are more police on the roads every day. Just yesterday we lost over 800 lives to this virus and we have been in a total lockdown. This virus is serious, it is not a conspiracy and it does not discriminate. I am doing my upmost to spread positivity, but I also want to spread awareness at how bad this virus really is for so many people and their families. Fortunately we are safe and healthy at the moment, but that is because we have followed the rules and taken precautions.

We have chosen to stay in a foreign country, a country on the front-line of this disease and not go home to our families because we are doing our part to stop the spread. And you can too.

Tomorrow, masks will be flown into some of the most severely effected towns and each family is entitled to collect a mask. One per family. Dean and I have made the most of the masks we have here so have chosen not to collect any and leave to those who are needing them most.

We hope and pray this will pass soon, we are still in high spirits and making the very most of the time we have been given in our home and together – I hope you are too. Who knows how long this will last, your isolation may become the new normal for a while, like it has for us – so make sure your new normal is a good one.

In the mornings when the world is quiet and I stand on my balcony with my coffee – the world seem’s so still. I see the flowers starting to bloom and feel the warm breeze and you can’t help but realise that the nature just keeps going no matter what is going on. So when you are feeling like you are struggling because there is so much uncertainty in the world right now, be like the flowers. Keep going.

15.03.20:

We were truly blessed with incredible weather this weekend – and it looks like it’ll carry on this week. Sunshine makes everything better.

We live in a gated apartment complex on the second floor and are lucky enough to have great balcony space. We spent most of Sunday soaking up the warm weather. Our neighbours below took this time to lay in lawn chairs or garden. Besides the occasional lawn mower or laughter of kids playing on their bikes – our world is quiet but not in a scary way, not at all. It’s peaceful. It feels like the world has simply slowed down for a while. 

Perhaps the virus is here to teach us something. That the world cannot continue in the direction it’s been headed. Perhaps it’s trying to wake us all up. 

Since the lockdown we only check in with the news every so often. If you watch and read it all the time you may lose your mind. I personally try and avoid the news altogether,  I did this even before the outbreak. But Dean is keeping tabs on our local area to ensure we are aware of any new rules put in place and group chats are busy with latest updates. 

We’ve never had so much time on our hands as we do now. It’s been wonderful! I’m starting and finishing a new book every other day – finally getting my teeth into the book collections I hoard. Amazon still delivers as normal, I run down in my fluffy socks and sweat pants to meet the delivery man to get our orders, I’m always sure to be super friendly and thank them. Anything to make their job easier. Those still working in the red zones (e.g nurses, doctors, super markets workers delivery men, garbage men etc) are real heroes and deserve all the recognition. 

As I sat on our balcony reading, drinking noodle soup and eating chicken nuggets, I counted only 4 or 5 cars pass by in the space of a few hours. Including two police vans that pulled over to talk to one another. They appear to be patrolling the local area to ensure rules are being followed. You can’t help but laugh that moments like this feel like you’re living in a Netflix series (without the zombies).

Do not be ruled by fear or greed. Let us choose this time to hold the ones we love closer, love harder and help others as much we can.

Will update soon.

14.03.20

We are currently living in Treviso in Northern Italy. A few weeks ago our area was declared a Red Zone for the Corona Virus. Last week an official statement came from the government that declared Italy enter complete lockdown and quarantine. As far as we know this will be in place until the 3rd April.

The only places open in our town are the supermarkets and the pharmacies – these are to be accessed only in urgency. Only one member of a family can shop at any one time. Surprisingly our supermarkets have been organised fantastically, there is security at the door and on the busy days there is a one in one out policy once supermarket reaches a certain head count. Not only is this to control the crowds but also to ensure that customers are able to maintain a meters distance from one another (another rule put in place by the government). Gloves and anti-bacterial wash are readily available upon entrance to ensure all customers are germ-free while they browse!

As you check out at the store, sticky marks are laid out on the floor to measure a meters distance between each customer waiting in line. The shelves are still full and people are not panic buying. We had more than enough food before lockdown came into place, there is no feeling of panic or mass-hoarding when it comes to food here. There is more than enough to go around. At the moment, certain restaurants are still delivering.

Local businesses are suffering immensely, one of my girlfriends went out to eat before the lockdown was even in place and was told by the owner that her and her husband were the first people they had served in three days – and this was prior to quarantine. 

Other small businesses such as Personal Trainers, Hairdressers and Beauticians are also feeling the pressure as they are unable to work for at least a month. Because of this, Italy has decided to forfeit mortgages on houses and goods and serves tax for at least the next month.

It is against the rules to be out driving/in transit unless you can prove that you are on your way to an employers. If you are on your way to work then you must provide documents to prove so. Only two passengers are able to be in the car at once, one in the front seat and one in the back, only.

You are able to walk your dog (not far from you residence), Dean and I have never enjoyed walking Due as much as we do now. We are using this time to get some fresh air at least once a day and move our bodies.

Hefty fines are being handed out for those breaching the new rules. A prison sentence up to 3 months has also been in place should these rules be broken.

Deans club have suspended all training. Some of our friends have left and some of us have stayed. The main reason why a lot of us have stayed put, is due to the fact that wherever we go (be it back to New Zealand or even London for example) we will have to quarantine ourselves for a minimum of 2 weeks upon arrival. Dean and I made the decision not to leave, as we did not want to risk infecting our parents or grandparents.

If your kids are off school, I urge you not to leave them with grandparents or elderly relatives. Find child-care with young adults and people less susceptible to contracting the disease. Reports here suggest that the elderly were contracting the virus at a much higher rate when children were left in their care and carrying the virus without symptoms. 

Speaking from the red zone itself, I urge you not to panic. 

Stop bulk buying food, stop hoarding bloody toilet paper. There are so many more important things you can be doing to help yourself and others at this time. If there are any elderly people you know, offer to buy there groceries and help in whatever way you can. Save the masks for the sick, elderly and medical workers.

We are living in sweatpants but happy and healthy!

Will update every few days.

Keep calm and just wash your damn hands.

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