Stay At Home!

Who ever said that simplicity in communication works? It does not. Because simplifying a concept too often corresponds to a mere banalizitation, which may be misleading for many.There are occasions when words are never enough to grasp the complete meaning of a message, and, being words free, should never be spared. A couple of days ago an entire nation experienced one of those occasions.

It was Monday at about 9:00 p.m. when our premier Conte spoke to the country on tv to refer about the new strict measures which were to be undertaken to stop the outbreak of Covid-19 in Italy. I was a bit of annoyed and with me other 10 million Italians, as we were all ready to watch the new episode of Commissario Montalbano, after all, what could be said that we didn’t know already! Well, he came up with a brand new decree, the previous one was only 48 hours old, whose name was: Stay at home!

We heard – did we? – him speak: the number of cases, deaths, red zone, orange zone, wash you hand, don’t hug, don’t kiss, do this, don’t do that, till he concluded that the entire nation was to be put on lockdown, so, he ended :” just stay at home”. Did we fully understand the meaning of those words at first? I don’t think so. I did not. For many of us staying at home was a sort: “Wow, we won’t have to go to work till April 3rd!” Splendid!. And I bet that soon after that speech many chats like these followed: “Have you heard?” “Since we are on vacation, we may catch up for a drink tomorrow at last, let’s say at 12:00” “All right”! And then we went all back to watch Montalbano. Of course, I’m talking about those who did not live in the red zones like me.

For others those words were reason enough to hurry to the nearest supermarket to stock on food and drinks – no cases of people stocking on toilet paper here, we actually didn’t think about it or it was not our primary issue like in other non-EU countries – so the following day there were those who lightly thought that the present situation was an occasion to improve their social life and those, a minority, who had barricaded themselves wearing face masks and gloves. It didn’t take long to understand that the simple phrase “stay at home” was not clear enough and some explanatory notes were required.

So we have learnt that staying at home means literally staying at home and since it seems we still had a little trouble in accepting it – as usual – all shops, bars, restaurants have been closed till (at least) March 25th. So there is no chance of having any social life. We can leave home only to buy what is strictly necessary, queue are so long that you don’t certainly feel like waiting an hour to get a bottle of coke. Jogging, going for a walk are forbidden and if we need to drive somewhere, we have take with us a sort of self-declaration, in which we state the urgent reason why we are moving to show it to the police in case we are stopped. For any violation we may either be fined or prosecuted .

So everything is clear now. By staying at home our premier meant being under house arrest with the possibility of spending our yard time at the supermarket only. Of course in the next two weeks (at least) we could do many things, but I am sure that among the vast range of opportunities, one in particular will be explored more than others: eating and since we cannot move much, at the end of this tunnel our next goal will be just one: seeing a dietitian.

P.S. Two posts ago (February 26 th) the cases were 378 and 12 deaths. One post ago (March 8th)  they had raised to 5883 and deaths to 223. Today’s bulletin is: 15.113 cases and 1.054 deaths. “Things are going so fast that this article will be old by the time I post it, that is: now.” We must all stay at home.


35 thoughts on “Stay At Home!

  1. I don’t think that in one 65 years of my life I can ever remember an occasion in which the entire world shared a common experience that simply does not discriminate between any single one of us whether rich or poor. So from a country (England) in which we have been told that we are “four weeks behind Italy” I send you my warmest greetings.
    And if you have any advice on how to stay home well do please share it. We are all going to be living as hermits soon.

    • I’ve heard Boris Johnson speak about Covid-19 yesterday and I was very surprised about what he said as practically nothing will be done at the moment, but will the done at the right time ( when???). He gave advice , but warned at the same time that “many families will lose loved one”. We are in this critical condition, because we have delayed measures to contain the virus, but we were the first in Europe and I understand that deciding to stop the activities of a country is hard decision. Now you know what it will/ could happen and can act wisely.

      • Boris and the rest of the political elite world-wide are plainly out of their depth Bella. If they had presented China with a fete accompli halting all travel to other parts of the world by its citizens and those who had gone to China on holiday or business, we wouldn’t be in this mess!!! Innocents are and will continue to die…

  2. A friend in Perugia has said she and her husband are “reading, writing, and enjoying the view”, as well as editing. But, she’s a semi-pro writer, part-time university instructor (teaching an online asynchronous class), and editor.

    Here in the States, I’m spending the time reading, writing, editing, and converting face-to-face courses to online courses. And delving into both Netflix & our copious stash of boardgames.

    • God bless Netflix, Prime etc, these times. My husband and I are reading, writing and….cooking. This afternoon we have planned to make bread and have fried cauliflower for dinner. Delicious. 😉😷🙋

  3. My understanding is that Boris Johnson is acting on the advice of the UK’s Chief Scinetific Adviser/Chief Medical Officer. One of the great (perhaps the major one) in political philosophy is that concerning the balance to be struck between the liberty of the individual and social order and, (in this case) potentially the health of the whole nation. Its a difficult balance to be struck, particularly in liberal societies. Best, Kevin

    • That is why we delayed undertaking strict measures, to keep that balance, but it didn’t work. At least it didn’t work here. I truly hope you to be more lucky and efficient than we have been so far.

    • Kevin, do you mean Sir Patrick Wallance? I saw him on Sky news and I heard him say that millions of Britons (at least 60 per cent ) need to contract coronavirus for herd immunity. If it were so, let’s interpret some figures,so far 590 prople have been infected in the U.K and 10 have died, therefore mortality rate is about 1.7. Condidering that U.K. citizens are about 66 millions, that means that more than 600.000 are expected to die. 😳

      • Yes, that is the gentleman to whom I was referring.

        There is an interesting (and, I believe trustworthy) article here,

        One of the points made in the fact checking article is that because many strains of flue have been circulating for years, many people have built up an immunity. I am not a scientist but this would seem to chime with what the Chief Scientific Adviser is saying about “herd immunity”.

        It does seem that Corona Virus is more deadly than the flu.

        Lets hope that the mortality rate in the UK is not at the high end of the spectrum.


      • Since he made that suiggestion, he realised how nonsensical it was. Herd immunity has been axed by him and the rest of the advisors…

    • Mortality rate here is about 8 per cent and it is spreading fast, very fast. That means thar very soon there won’t a bed for the new infected in any ICU and doctors will have to decide who can be cured and leave the others to certain death.

  4. I have to admit one of my first thoughts was of going to the local library and stocking up on reading materials, as well as food stuffs.
    So afraid of sitting in our room, to paraphrase Pascal.

    Your posting here really brings it home: prosecution for being out without good reason etc.
    Thinking of you, and all in Italy.

  5. The sad part is that with precautions, one could conceivably still lead a semi-normal life (again, with the exception of being in crowds). But, it always comes down to people who think they are excluded from following rules because they feel special or think they have a special circumstance.

    We are planning on minimizing all but essential contacts and we’re taking precautions with regards to packages we receive, mail, and anytime we are out and have to handle anything.

    The isolation isn’t difficult for us because that’s pretty close to our normal way of life. And, yes, thank goodness for the Internet and books. Plus, our hobbies are home-centered (quilting, photography, writing).

    If they formalize “stay home” here, I’ll be curious about how many people will comply, especially in smaller towns and rural areas (we’re a lot more spread out than over there). I think enforcement would be difficult based on the ratio of law-enforcement to the population. Using the military is an iffy proposition here. I can see it for some areas, but, again, we’re spread out.

    I’m curious about how they handle food shopping there. Although we’re not worried about running out of food, I’m wondering about the distribution aspect. It’s a catch-22 … you need workers to process shipments and distribution but if it spreads as fast as it seems, you’ll soon run out of workers.

    Anyway, stay safe and . . . cauliflower? On purpose?

    • When you understand how dangerous it is, you eventually stay at home . In Italy mortality rate is 8 per cent and even if in the place I live ,Ostia Lido, which is a district of Rome by the sea, there has been only one case, I stay at home.
      Fried cauliflowers are fantastic comfort food! 😉

    • Mind you, I’m not advocating walking around; I’m saying the opposite … I don’t trust others to take precautions, so I do. That includes staying home (I’m old and in the higher mortality age group).

      As for comfort food . . . Nutella with pinza, apricot walnut strudel, castagnoli, crostoli, sourdough bread salame e formaggio (mozzarella), french toast, and a host of other stuff without a shred of cauliflower as an ingredient. I suppose to each their own.

      • I dip them into the batter and then I fry them for a couple of minutes till the are gold. Think about it, Emilio. 😏
        P.S. You are not that old!

      • Can I just fry the batter?

        . . . and I’m 67. Sure, the wisdom of a 140-year-old and I feel as if I’m only 66, but anyway I look at it, I’d say . . . old.

      • Of course you can. Here there has just been a national flash mob. As we are stuck at home, at 6:00 pm we all sang our national anthem from our windows and balconies and put on some music to defeat fear and sadness. We won’t be defeated.
        #theitalian way 😬

  6. ‘House arrest’ is rather a chilling phrase but accurate in this case. I wonder what the political fall-out in Italy will be when this is all over when people increasingly ask why was the spread of the virus not picked up sooner than it was? It seems to have affected your country disproportionately, even compared with Spain. I wish you and yours every luck, Stefy, all I’ve had to cope with so far is the cancellation of the school production of We Will Rock You which I was playing keyboards for: now we won’t rock you…

    • Thank you Chris. When everything is over, and as far as I can see and understand it won’t be that soon, we will be just happy . Why did it spread so soon? Who knows? And I understand why stricter measures were delayed , as they hoped to avoid the disastrous impact on economy. They were wrong . But, what is your opinion about Johnson’s guidelines about Covid-19 in the U.k. ?

      • What a difference 12 hours makes, Stefy, Johnson has started to introduce stricter measures. Unusually, he has bothered to take the advice of experts…

  7. Wait up? ‘Jogging, going for a walk are forbidden’. No way? How do they mandate that and why? I’d go crazy.
    Thanks for updating us about what’s happening in your neck of the woods. I hope things start looking brighter.

    • When you understand how dangerous the situation is, you just at home and pray that it won’t last too long. It is an invisible enemy and your house in the only fortress when you can hope to defend yourself and the people you love.

      • They have closed the schools and universities here in Colombia. They have ramped up the ‘social distancing’ policy to a major degree although there are just 44 reported cases here.

        My best wishes to you and your family. The death rate in Italy seems out of proportion with the rest of the world. Is there any suggestion for why that might be?

    • This is the fun side of the matter. Every day at 6:00 p.m. we have this appointment from our balconies and windows to sing our anthem and cheerful tunes ( sometimes we were so noisy that even the police come to stop like yesterday 😬😬). This is the Italian way to exorcise fear.
      Stay safe.
      Stefy 😘😘😷🙋

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