Part 12 Diary of a Covid-19 Lockdown: I’m No Longer Scared

Spread the love
By Bonnie Khan

Part 12

Diary of a Covid-19 Lockdown

On March 9, 2020, Italy was put on near-total lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. On May 4, 2020, after eight weeks of lockdown, Italy entered Phase 2 – a gradual loosening of restrictions. Bonnie Khan – a Trinidadian living in Venice, Italy – is recording her life during the lockdown.

Monday 11 May developments

  • Total number of people infected: 219,814
  • Fatalities: 30,739
  • Recovered: 106.587
  • The number of people in Intensive Care dropped below 1,000, the lowest since the crisis hit.

Phase Two: Week Two

Less than two months ago I saw images on TV that shook me to the core. It was footage of army trucks moving hundreds of bodies out of Bergamo in north Italy.

Today, that footage seems worlds away. As sobering as it is, when I think back, I’m no longer scared. Why is this when there is still so much uncertainty? Italy might have flattened the curve, but is it safe? Is the immediate danger gone?

I haven’t forgotten the full-on fear from that moment, but it is fading. And even though the situation remains the same i.e. you can still catch the virus, you will still have to go to hospital alone if required, and the vulnerable like my son, in-laws and parents are still in danger, I am somehow less worried.

So, my dilemma right now is this: forget and slide into complacency or force myself to remember and live in fear. Or I guess there is the middle ground, like the Italian PM said, which is to live with the fear. The problem is that I have already been living with fear for the past six years because of my son’s condition.

My inner child hates this and wants to rebel against having to put up with even more, but my adult mind knows there’s little choice.

Things you might not know about Phase Two in Italy

Italy has been one of the easiest places for me to move to (bar the language!). I think it’s because I recognise a lot of Caribbean characteristics: people are warm and like to mind each other’s business; there’s a lot gesticulation when talking; genuine passion for food; and, of course, everybody has their ‘guy’. We have our gelato guy, a vegetable guy, a plumbing guy, a fish guy, and importantly, a pharmacy guy.

At the beginning of Phase Two, the Government said it would fix the price of masks at 50 cents. Pharmacists were not happy with this. Some are selling the masks with VAT and other taxes added, or not selling them at all and telling people that they haven’t yet arrived from the government. Yesterday, my husband went our local pharmacy to buy some masks. The conversation went like this:

Diego: Do you have masks?

Pharmacy guy: No, they haven’t been delivered yet.

Diego: Just one or two?

Pharmacy guy: I can sell you a couple, but they are €5 each.

Diego: Okay, I’ll take them.

Pharmacy guy: *Pulls out a pack of 10 masks*.

Diego: How much?

Pharmacy guy: For you, it’s free.

Side piece?: In his speech about Phase Two measures, the Italian PM said that people would be allowed to visit ‘congiunti’ – which roughly translates as close relatives. However, it can also be used to describe marriage or lovers. Government has since clarified: it means relatives, in-laws, spouses, cohabitants, long-term partners and loved ones.

Mafiosi rights: To contain the spread of the virus in prisons, prisoners over the age of 70, regardless of their crime, were allowed out and put under house arrest. This included close to 400 ‘mafiosi’ – the Mafia – including the Cosa Nostra boss.

Hunger strikes: About 700,000 children under the age of 15 have been left without enough food to eat, especially with the closure of schools and the two meals a day that students get there.

Different strokes for different folks: There are 20 regions (states) in Italy. Each one has its own set of rules for Phase Two in addition to the general government decree. Some examples: Genoa is reopening its beaches, but the region next door is not and people can be fined for going to the beach; some local mayors are keeping parks closed even though the national decree is to reopen them; in Veneto, where I live, bars with outside seating are allowed to open even though the national decree says this should happen from May 18.

Scooter distancing: Only those from the same household can ride a scooter together. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

The weight of pandemic: Italians have apparently put on an average of 2kg during the lockdown. Trinidadians living in Italy, however, have put on considerably more!

Andrà tutto bene, it will all be okay. Till next time.


See parts 1 to 11 of Diary of a Covid-19 Lockdown below:

Diary of a Covid-19 Lockdown: First Steps to Freedom?







Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *