The Good, Bad, Ugly – Part 4 in A Diary of a Covid-19 Lockdown

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By Bonnie Khan

Part 4

As of March 9, 2020, Italy has been put on near-total lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. It is the worst hit country outside of China with more than 45,000 infected. Bonnie Khan – a Trinidadian living in Venice, Italy – is recording her life during the lockdown.

Friday 20, March developments

The numbers are still rising and despite having a small dip in the infection rate yesterday, the Veneto region has seen an increase today. Still no luck with flattening the curve.

Life under lockdown: Day 12

Today, for the first time, lockdown feels like locked in.

This diary is meant to keep me productive, to help people understand what’s going on in Italy outside of the numbers and what it’s like to live in lockdown. As I’ve said before, one day can take you through the entire gamut of emotions. Today was one of these days.

I don’t know how to write it in a coherent enough way, so I’m going with an approach I use at work to break information down easily: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Warning: the Ugly really is as it says on the tin. Here goes…

The Good

When did we get to Friday? Strangely enough, time goes by quickly under lockdown. Maybe it’s the repetition? Doesn’t matter anyway because it’s Pizza Day 😊. I perfected my pizza dough recipe (it’s embarrassingly simple and you can try it here, and that’s pretty much enough to make the family happy. Making some more upon special request from my husband for the in-laws tomorrow (Bonnie: 1, Lockdown: 0). We also had our first balcony party; it really does help to listen to music together and wish your neighbour across the way a ‘Buona Giornata!’.

The Bad

Around the country, people are taking advantage of the few allowances we have during this lockdown.

They are going to the supermarket every day, going on long walks, bike rides and generally assembling in groups. That’s why the curve – the rate of infection – is still going up. Italy will not reach the peak until people stay inside as much as possible.

So government has now tightened controls – only one family member can go out to the supermarket and pharmacy once per week, all shops to close on Sunday, and you can’t go farther than 200 feet from your home if you go out for any other reason i.e. jogging or walking the dog.

Police are patrolling the streets telling people to stay home on loudspeaker, army and drones are being deployed to make sure people stay inside as much as possible.

Italy’s official coronavirus numbers from the Ministry of Health

Special thanks to all those selfless people who felt that the rules did not apply to them for getting us to this point. Did I mention my theory that Italians are pretty much Trinis who speak Italian?

In more bad news: there are no dolphins in the canals. It’s fake news. ☹

The Ugly

I didn’t realise how shaken I was by yesterday’s disturbing news. After a mostly normal day of going about our daily routine and getting some good exercise, I lost it. With no identifiable trigger, I flipped, and the tears would not stop. I kept thinking about all those people who died in Bergamo and the trauma their families must be going through.

It’s the terrible reality of people are dying alone. If you get Covid-19 and are hospitalised, you go in by yourself, you are kept in a special unit, and no one can visit. The average stay in intensive care is three weeks. For those who have passed on, this means that they would have spent the last three weeks of their lives alone, among strangers, and suffering. Their families won’t get the closure of burying them.

Our friend in Sardegna lost his uncle. They can’t say goodbye. I’ve never seen him so upset.

If I had to offer some advice on how to stay inside your house to stop the spread of Covid-19 where you are, it would be this – if you’re thinking of just nipping out for a quick something…doubles, snacks, whatever is not actually ESSENTIAL, ask yourself this:

Would you want your mum, dad, aunty, uncle, ma, pa, nanny or even yourself to spend the last three weeks of your life sick with strangers, hooked up to machines helping you to breathe, all alone?

Be safe people, I beg you. And we will all be okay.

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

See Parts 1, 2 & 3 below:

Diary of a Covid-19 Lockdown – A Trini in Italy

Diary of a Covid-19 Lockdown – A Trini in Italy: Week 2

Part 3: Diary of a Covid-19 Lockdown – No Space for the Dead



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