I’m British and I live in Cesena, Emilia Romagna in Italy with my Italian husband and two children. Here’s a little snap-shot of family life from locked-down Italy…
My feed is full of the same topic. Here, it’s all we talk about pretty much but I am so proud of how people here in Italy are taking this in their stride, keeping each other smiling and staying connected.
To literally close down an entire country is something we never imagined.
It is bigger than huge and will undoubtedly have a massive impact on our economy for a long time. Italy is making a huge sacrifice to try to keep the ageing and vulnerable sector of society well. The country has put health before finance, and I for one, am overwhelmed by this. We have an amazing health system here but there’s no hiding the fact that it is slowly bursting. Fingers crossed that if we all sit tight for a few weeks we can slow this down. We just try to put out of our minds that our freedom has been severely restricted.
It is a very bizarre feeling seeing police doing road blocks.
I was definitely a little nervous when I had to head out a few days ago to retrieve my husband from a random bus stop in our local town. I kept practicing in my head what I needed to say if I was stopped. He is a pilot and had just returned from working abroad, luckily catching one of the last flights back into Italy before they tightened restrictions even further.
And how does this affect us personally?
Well up to now not massively. We are fit and well. The biggest change is our eight year old son doing his school work at home and I take my hat off to anyone who home-schools out of choice. They closed the schools in our region nearly a month ago now and it’s not always easy. However, its well organised and he has his daily timetable of subjects to do in his text books and through online apps. We get regular messages and videos from his teachers; with one even recording videos of herself reading little bedtime stories. Their passion and dedication takes my breath away. The community has really come together for our children, it is amazing. They even send photographs of the corrections, so he can mark his work.
As a way to offer something in return we have a started a little YouTube channel. We share short stories and clips in basic English to try to help our son’s Italian school friends with their English studies. We are asking friends and family from around the world to contribute a little clip in simple English. It’s been so heart warming to see people’s support.
We know we are extremely lucky here.
We have a big garden and even orchards, so we are outside a lot. Fortunately our daily work on the fruit farm (@arborycesena) is able to go on much as before.
Our two year old hasn’t really noticed much difference, apart from not seeing friends anymore and finding her big brother has far less patience with her. Even when you have a big outside space you start to feel caged in. My son misses his friends a lot now, they haven’t seen each other for nearly a month. The novelty of staying at home wore off a long time ago.
I miss my local friends massively too, but we keep in touch through social media. We regularly share craft ideas and clips on how to keep the children busy, as well as photos of our glass of wine or a funny clip at the end of a long day! So people never seem far away, and being an expat myself, I am more used to having my friends remotely.
Amazon deliver what we need, albeit from arms length and often in masks and gloves. The only time we go out is to stand in line outside the supermarket. It’s on these food shops that we encounter many people wearing masks. Although half of peoples faces are covered, there’s no hiding the fear in their eyes.
I feel sad that a virus can do this to our community.
Its becoming clear that slowly slowly we may all need to be exposed to this, just as we are to other viruses, but preferably not all at the same time. However, I don’t think people should feel scared. We need to feel reassured that these measures are helping to protect us and our loved ones.
The fact is that it’s not about us as individuals anymore, there’s a much bigger picture here to try to protect the elderly and vulnerable in society.